Natalie, A Christmas Baby!

Unlike my first pregnancy, which I immediately shared with everyone, I was more reserved  when I carried Natalie. I remembered the adverse reactions my employers had when I told them I was expecting. I was only working part-time, for a local financial planning company, when Natalie was conceived, yet, I only told them I was going to take time off when it became obvious that I was pregnant. I was working on straight commissions, no salary, so this time, the employers weren’t as concerned.

My energy was low, and I was gaining weight fast. In fact, I felt so tired, my eyes closed involuntarily and I was forced to take naps. I spent most of my life with Eva and our dogs. She couls speak a little. She could say:” Where is dog?”  I tred to imagine the joy of having two girls, the time they would be able to play together, later be each other’s support in life.

Kevin was spending more and more time away from home. Working… Something had broken in our relationship since the lunch-tray and the broken French door. The day after it happened, without any comment he just fixed it, as if fixing the material damage fixed the wounds inside of me and Eva. As if now, we could not, or were not supposed to remember it happened. He never said “I am sorry.” I felt too dependent and overwhelmed by the responsibility I had for our child and the baby on the way, and all the pets, to dare ask what happened? I pretended everything was just fine and hoped, if I really wished it to go away, it would.

I entirely focused on my upcoming baby and Eva.  In June I had an amnyo test and on July 7th the results came back. Happy news, good news, I was carrying a healthy baby-girl!

I was grateful it was a baby-girl, as deep inside, I believed  I related better to girls. I knew I would make a good mother for two girls, I just felt it!

In August, Cassandra and Nick invited us to use their cabin on Long Pond, Maine. Was that how Paradise felt? I wondered.  The calm lake, the ducks quaking care-free… the swimming alway from the crowds.

Then, one day, we decide to go in Bar Harbour on a tw0-hour trip around the Port.  The wind  was blowing hard. I was reluctant, but everyone thought I was exaggerated, which would have been normal for a pregnant woman, still, the rest of my family deserved to have some fun!  Beside, the ship on which we were about to embark was named “Natalie Todd.”  We assumed the name was of good omen and in spite of the inscreasing winds and my gut feelings, we trusted the whether man and embarked!

The trip started well. The Capitain seemed to be able to handle the white sales, but soon the ship started to shake, and most of the 75 passangers on board panicked.   I was among them. Eva, in a back pack on my back, and Natalie inside of me, I felt vulnerable.  The ship kept tilting to a point when we thought the cold waters  of the Ocean will brush over us!

Someone from the crew tried to take down the sales and start the emergency engine, so we may return ashore. The skinny crew member couldn’t handle the furious wind and was thrown off the sale, as one of the passangers, a solid, muscular man, without asking for permission, went up the sale and managed to take it down.  The captain was upset, but we cheered him.  We all felt he saved our lives, and  were grateful. Back in the Port, we asked for our money back, and after being told they “offered us an adventure, and we should have been happy for such a “racy” trip, we managed to be reimbursed.

The rest of our Maine trip went smoothly, but  nothing seemed to completely relax Kevin, and I was too preoccupied by my children, or to afraid to ask or dwell on why Kevin was beginning to change. I was just too tired…and in denial.

Even Halloween, one of my favorite holidays, couldn’t make me get out of the rutt. I was tired, and in November, just before Election Day, I ended up in Abington Hospital suffering with excruciating pain from a kidney stone.  The first time I had a stone, I was a teen ager. My mother didn’t believe me at first, she thought I was pretending, to avoid going back to school, after extensive dental work. But I didn’t, I was really hurting. When I started urinating blood, she finally believed me and that’s how my adventure with kidney stones started! I thought I was rid of them, but there I was, eight months pregnant, in the hospital, and they could not, and I didn’t want to take anything for pain because of my baby.

The pain subsided after a couple of days, and I couldn’t wait to hold Natalie in my arms. On November 18th, I was already 1 cm dialated, but the baby didn’t drop yet. A few weeks of agony: Who will stay with Eva when I deliver the baby? Uncle Tom, Kevin’s father’s brother, offered to come over when the time arrived…

and it finally did, on December 11, 1988 at 1:38 PM. Natalie arrived after 14 hours of labour. A second birth being easier, is another old wife’s tale. Natalie was in posterior position and she only turned just before birth.  My blood pressure went up to 149/97 and just as with Eva, I had to be induced to deliver.

Natalie, was slightly smaller than Eva, 8 lbs 10 ox, and Eva was 8 lbs 15 oz, but she had a very different personality. She liked to nurse from the beginning, and I don’t know if it was my experience from trying so hard with Eva, but this time it seemed easier.

Eva called Natalie, “Nanny” and we proceeded as the book “A Baby Sister for Herry” told us to: Eva had a present from her baby-sister, which of course, we purchased. But Eva, even in those early years, was smarter than the average 22 months old. We kept giving her the present, the 7 Seseme Street Characters, which she loved, but she kept putting them back in Natalie’s crib.

Baby Natalie had a round face and lively almond shaped eyes.  She demanded a lot of attention, and the second I put her down she screamed…

I thought our lives were changed forever!

I was right!


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