(Okay, I'm starting to think I should have named this post "A Redneck Love Story" - Epi
Edited again: Thanks David for the POTD nod!)
"What do you mean, pregnant?!?! I'm not pregnant, do the test again." I was quickly approaching frantic.
That poor Doctor, I'm sure that I was the highlight of his day. He told me in the calmest, most rational voice that he could muster that I was in fact, pregnant. And no, they didn't need to test me again.
"But I'm CATHOLIC." I blurted out.
Yeah right Epi, that's about as far from a "Get Out Of Pregnancy Free" card as you can get. Guess again, girly.
"Been having sex?" He countered, less than impressed with my argument.
"Oh yeah. There is that. But we used... ya know. Protection." It came out as a whisper.
No amount of Novena's was going to get me out of this one.
Now I just had to tell Him.
Four days later....
"What's wrong with you? You've been so quiet lately..." We were in bed watching some late night comedian. (Or was it South Park. I can't remember for certain.) What I do remember was Mr. Epi's concern over my sudden withdrawal. I also remember the date. July 1st, 1999.
I hadn't told him yet, hell, I hadn't told anyone. Looking back, I just didn't know how. I was terrified. It didn't matter how well I thought I knew him. This was life altering stuff, and the truth was, I was quickly figuring out that I didn't know him as well as I thought I did.
"Uhm... Did you notice that I didn't have anything to drink last night while you and Jackass friend were drinking?" I was shaking. Terrified. I did mention I was terrified, didn't I?
"Come to think of it..."
"Okay... And I haven't had as much as ONE cigarette in four days, right?"
And that's when the future Mr. Epi had his first lightbulb moment of our relationship.
"OH SHIT." His face instantly fell.
You know the saying Hope for the best and expect the worst? That pretty much sums up how I had been feeling up until that point. Now I just wanted to die. "Yeah, Oh shit," I replied. I rolled over in bed and tried to fall asleep.
He was making it very clear to me that even though he loved me "More than life itself", he didn't love me enough to actually marry me. Even if I was pregnant. This caused major arguments for the first time in our now year-long relationship. I'm sure that it didn't have anything to do with the fact that for the first time in our, yes, very short relationship, I was very cranky, very tired, and possibly a touch irrational.
"What's that smell?" Mr. Epi, err... Future Mr. Epi is sitting in the recliner watching TV.
I'm half asleep on the couch. And nauseated. "Mmmm... I dunno."
"Weren't you making something in the kitchen?" Mr. Epi takes a long draw off a bottle of Bud Light that he wasn't even old enough to drink legally.
"Oh SHIT. The noodles!" I jump to my feet and sleepily stagger towards the kitchen.
(Thirty seconds later...)
*Hysterical sobbing heard from the kitchen, Mr. Epi cautiously approaches the scene of the crime against noodles* "Uhm... Epi? You okay Baby?"
"NO, I'm NOT okay. Why didn't you tell me I was boiling noodles for the second time today? Jesus what's wrong with YOU?"
Yeah, I wouldn't have married me either.
I cried before Mass.
I cried during Mass.
I cried after Mass.
My closest cousin was marrying his pregnant girlfriend. I know how that sounds... Believe me. It might have been a Catholic wedding, but it was a redneck reception. What was killing me (other than the fact that she was due the same day I was, February 29th, 2000), was the fact that I knew her from high school, and oh, by the way, her baby wouldn't be born out of wedlock.
Hey, I didn't say I was rational, remember?
I was one of a small handful of sober people at the reception (with the exception of the Bride, I said we were rednecks, not white trash).
At one point I pulled my sombrero-wearing-extremely-intoxicated-future husband aside and begged him to marry me.
"Why don't you want to marry me now? You wanted to marry me a few months ago. You know I love you. You know that you're the only person I want to spend the rest of my life with. This is your baby. Don't you want to be a family?"
"Yeeeesssshhhh I waaahnnt to marrry you. Whhhhyyyyy would you shhhaaaay I don't want to marrrrry youuu?" Before I could answer, my cousin was pulling my sombrero-wearing-future-husband away to join into a chorus of "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers.
Not exactly a scene from "Love Story", but being the irritable cranky irrational pregnant girl I was, I planned on holding him to it.
Except that he forgot about it the next day.
Sure, he treated me like a Princess. Anything I needed and he did it. He rubbed my feet, my back, my head... He didn't tease me for sleeping just about every second that I wasn't working. He didn't even tease me when I called him in tears after tossing my cookies outside of the Amish Meat Market after a call for work.
He was doing what he promised my very threatening Father he'd do. He was taking care of me.
Despite his effort to take care of me, our fights were occurring on a pretty frequent basis. We'd argue over one insignificant thing or another, and I'd do what I do best to this day. I'd take off. I'd run and hide.
And then a few weeks after my Cousin's wedding... Something changed in Future Mr. Epi. At almost the very second I became resigned to the fact that I would be an unwed Mother (Horrors!), he did something I never expected.
I was walking to the kitchen with a glass, preparing to do a sink full of dishes. He stood in the doorway, effectively blocking it. I might be obnoxiously tall (6'1"), but he's still a good four inches taller.
I wasn't in the mood to be playful at that particular moment. To this day, doing dishes brings out the cranky in me. I really wish I had a dishwasher.
I looked him directly in the chin. "What...do...you... want? And no, I'm not in the mood for sex."
"So when are you gonna marry me?" He had this cheesy blissful grin on his face.
"Uhhhm... Huh?" I'm a woman of many words, clearly. I really didn't know what else to say.
He took the glass out of my hand and set it on the kitchen table behind him and pulled me close. "I said, When are you going to marry me?"
"Really? Because I know that I said I just wanted to marry you for the epidural your insurance would pay for, butImighthavebeenlying." Being hugely emotional, I could feel tears coming, and quickly.
"It was never that I didn't want to marry you. I love you, Epi. You know that, right?"
"Do you promise?" A somewhat juvenile statement to make, but one that he knew the importance of. A promise is a promise. It was then and it has been to this day.
In a three minute ceremony in the Mayor's office two days later I married him. Two of his friends, the jackass and the man who would become my Son's Godfather were there as witnesses. No flowers, no pictures, none of my friends or family. The only memento I had was the marriage license.
And you know what? It didn't matter one bit to me.
Married life really wasn't much different than the two of us living in sin. Well, there were less arguments, oddly enough, but in general things were good. We complimented each other well.
He knew that I was obsessed with anything with wings and would call me outside when a C-130 was coming in to land so that I could take pictures. (The benefit of living in the flight path of a very nearby Air Guard base.)
I knew how much he hated to do laundry or iron anything, so I would keep his clothes clean and pressed. And I'd cook. And I'd clean. And do other wifely things.
When our job presented us with the opportunity to move back to Toledo we jumped at it. I was now VERY pregnant, and had no friends or family nearby. His family and friends were a short drive away, but he knew that this was something we had to do. We would both get a pay increase (He would be my supervisor now, technically,) and I would get more hours. And I wouldn't have to consult a map whenever I'd leave for a call.
We packed up our belongings and moved with three days notice. No small feat, believe me.
Life in Toledo came with a learning curve for Mr. Epi. While he had visited several times, he had NO idea where he was going at any given point. He would have to call me constantly for directions. Kind of like I had to when we moved to Mansfield. Only Toledo is four times the size of Mansfield, give or take a bit. He's a smart guy, he caught on quickly.
And sicker than hell.
I woke up with two stuffy ears, including one that hurt like hell, a fever, and a cough. When you add that to being EXTREMELY pregnant, it equals misery. I called my PCP immediately. His nurse and I have been friends for a while, she found room for me in his schedule.
I sat with a box of tissues in one of the exam rooms. When his nurse came in she had to take my BP three times. Not a good sign.
When he came in, he didn't recognize me. TRULY not a good sign.
Once he realized who I was, and that my BP was sky high for a pregnant girl, he lost it. He was ready to call an ambulance to take me directly to L&D. I had to promise to name my child after him and that I would drive to the hospital and only to the hospital for him to allow me to leave on my own.
My BP was 210/120. Far too high.