Tag Archives: pregnant

1862. Large family

Hi. My name is Nona. My mother named me that. My father apparently didn’t like the name much because it means “ninth” and I happened to be only the third.

“But I want a Nona,” said my mother.

“Who the hell is going to pay for all those babies if we have nine?” asked my father. So my mother, not to be stymied by silly particulars, named me Nona even though I was only number three.

These days Nona is not a very common name, mainly I suspect because people don’t have large families anymore and to get up to nine children could be scorned upon by the disparaging masses. I like having a not-so-common name. I have a younger brother called Octavius and an even younger sister called Decima.

Once my father abandoned the family, not long after I was born, my mother met my stepfather. By the time my mother and stepfather had reached number nine they couldn’t use Nona so they named number nine after the number three because three hadn’t been used. That is why I have a younger sister called Triana. Strictly speaking I should have been named Triana and my sister named Nona.

People these days stare if we all go out together. Just the other day my mother took all ten of us to the zoo and we went by bus. No sooner had we all sat down than an old lady asked my mother in a very loud voice, “Are they all yours, Sweetie?”

My mother said, Yes” and the old lady said “Goodness, that’s a lot. Aren’t you embarrassed?” I was so mortified.

When we got home from the zoo I heard my mother ask my stepfather what the Latin name was for Eleven.

1766. Do not take this…

How am I to know? (Excuse me a minute while I get my reading glasses; these days I can hardly read a thing without having to squint). The bottle of pills says on the label “Do not take this if you are pregnant”. How am I meant to know if I just got pregnant or not?

Doctors these days seem to proscribe medicine willy-nilly. This prescription is from the doctor attached to the Retirement Village. The pills are for my arthritis. The doctor doesn’t seem to care. He never asks if I’m trying to get pregnant or not. Goodness knows my husband and I have been trying for a few years; without much success I might add. But you never know. These pill things that I’m not meant to take if I’m pregnant could do their dirty work just at the very time I am at last going to have a baby.

The baby certainly won’t be named after the doctor by way of gratitude I can assure you. I would change my doctor here and now to someone more sympathetic, but every doctor’s visit costs money and I’ve just paid the earth to the regular Retirement Village doctor. I can ill afford to go see another.

I’ve been so inspired by that 66 year old Italian grandmother who had a baby. An inspiration! If she can do it, so can I. It keeps me going. But I hope these pills I’ve been given don’t stop any possibility. We try frequently, my husband and me, at the Retirement Village. We’ve been here for two years now.

No! No! We’re not residents at the Retirement Village. We work here. What on earth made you think otherwise?

1551. He who catches none

(The closing sentence for this story was suggested by Nitin of Fighting the dying light. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future closing sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)

It had been (at last!) one of those cooler evenings after a long insufferable summer. Wallace and Blanche sat on their verandah. Dinner was over. The dishes were done. A bit of moon hung somewhere in the night.

“What is it you wanted to tell me?” Wallace asked.

“I’m pregnant,” said Blanche.

“Ah! Petit à petit l’oiseau fait son nid.”

Wallace and Blanche had been married for just over a year. They had tried furiously and frequently to make a baby. All to no avail – until now. It was the perfect revelation for a perfect evening. They simply sat arm in arm and looked at the moon. No words were necessary.

* * *

That was the memory that overwhelmed Wallace as he drove home after the funeral. Blanche and three year old little Rudolf were gone from his life. He had tried to save them both. The fire in the upstairs bedrooms spread faster than he would have thought possible. He had dashed to Rudolf’s room. As he passed the door of the main bedroom he paused to wake Blanche. He shouted. “Wake up! Wake up!” He sped towards Rudolf. Too late. If he hadn’t paused to wake Blanche, perhaps he could have saved Rudolf. He raced back to Blanche. Too late. Hell was on fire. Blanche and Rudolf were lost. All was lost. If only he had tried to save one, and not both.

* * *

Wallace sat on the verandah of his partially burned house. He sat there for two hours and watched the sun fade. He sat in the dark. He would never want to live there again. Blissful memories now pierced like a spear through his heart. He went inside to get two things: Rudolf’s toy truck and a beautiful seashell that Blanche had once found on a beach. That was all he would keep.

He walked out of the house, listening to the crickets and watching the moon weave her little web of light, and bathed in both beauty and regret, said, “Qui court deux lièvres à la fois n’en prend aucun.”

1212. Shannon was pregnant

Shannon was pregnant! She was excited, although it wasn’t planned.

She told her partner who said, “I thought you were on the pill.”

She told her parents who said, “Who’s going to pay for it? Don’t you realize how expensive a kid is?”

She told her girlfriend who said, “But you’re too young to have a baby. At your age you should be out enjoying yourself.”

She told her doctor who said, “Would you like an abortion?”

Shannon was pregnant. Somehow the joy of the unexpected occasion had gone down the gurgler.