Apparently, my mom didn’t tell anyone she was pregnant with me until she went into labor. I always thought that this would be really difficult to accomplish. How did no one notice? Even her brother had visited her when she was eight months along and had not figured it out. Seeing this photograph though, it becomes apparent- Six months pregnant and you can’t tell that there’s anything going on at all. Save for the shirt tied around her waist, I’d say there was not a single piece of evidence.
The story is an unusual one, and though I’ve recited it many times, it does not seem to lose momentum in my mind. Basically, my mom didn’t tell anyone she was knocked up- and I do mean *anyone*. Not her mom and dad, nor any of her friends, not my father, not her job… and I’ve never been able to quite divine why. I have my theories, of course, but in the end it’s a mystery.
At one point my dad found her crying, and he asked if there was something really wrong- and was she pregnant?
Someone had recently made a cruel joke at her expense, asking her if she was pregnant or just fat- and it had really upset her. My dad finally decided it might be prudent to ask.
Yes, she said- she was. How pregnant, exactly, was she? He asked- Well, her water just broke… she said.
Then we’d better get you to a hospital! He said.
She took about one day (maybe two) off of work en totale. Yep.
I always wondered how she had managed to not reveal it- not just physically, but emotionally. How does one go for NINE months without telling ANYONE that you’re carrying a baby. I need to talk about it a lot- I need to say “Hay, I felt it jab me in the abdomen just now! Hay, I think I’ve got a trampoline bladder! Hay, my brain’s not working very well”
etc etc etc… but she managed to do it alone, essentially- how and why almost become obscured by the very fact of that. Her mom told me that one of her favorite things to say when she was a very young child was “Me do it my own self!”
That makes so much sense it’s almost as if it was a foreshadowing in the novel of her life.
But I need my support system, and I am so very glad for all the love, attention, presents, massages, understanding and nice bus drivers who lower the bus for me. I really need my family- as small as it is- just to pat me on the head every now and then and say “you’ll do good, don’t worry”… I would be LOST without all the generous gifts people have given me, or the crafts that I know are in the works.
I can speculate, but I am sorry that I did not know sooner that I was such a surprise. If I had, I would have gotten perhaps a great deal more insight into my mother’s mind.
I would also like to ask her what it was like for her- and get her bad advice and comfort and all that- I’m especially sorry that she will not be able to meet her grandson.
Anyway, just thinking about her today, and after finding these old photos, I thought they deserved to be scanned. Everyone out there- remember to love your moms, even if they’re super flawed- no…especially if they’re super flawed.