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2018: Summer of the Bun in the Oven


Dorothy Wilson The Marion Mom

A little empathy for you moms-to-be out there

[ Editor’s Note: My mother had two summer babies, and she always talked about how tough it was, so here’s a story from the Marion Mom about her own experience for any expectant moms out there]

There are good surprises, like a free box of donuts at the office or winning a raffle, and there are bad surprises, like running over your mailbox or ripping your pants.

Then there are life-changing surprises that overwhelm you and send you into a surreal daze for a while.

So that’s what happened to us eight months ago.

My husband and I made the conscious choice fifteen years ago to start a family, and at one point, we had five children almost under the age of four.

When the twins were born, our oldest had just turned four, giving us a 4-year-old, a 2year-old, a 1-year-old, and two new infants.

We added a sixth child–on purpose–three years later, just months after moving back into Marion next door to my childhood home (and more importantly, my parents, aka “Free Help!”) When that baby turned five, I started to sense the buds of freedom peeking out from the curtain of heavy responsibility I’d been bearing for the past decade.

With a teenager at home, I discovered I could shop for groceries by myself. By myself, y’all. It was like a vacation.

I could hop down to the Methodist church for a little recreational volleyball with my husband.

I could go out on a Friday night with my husband–just the two of us–to eat, or watch a movie, or enjoy the Grizzlies, or eat cheesecake, or heck, we even ended up at Kroger a few times, without interruption. Without tears.

Without refereeing the latest sibling catastrophe. Without boo-boos or bandaids, toilet training or high chairs, bathtime or bottles.

I felt like I was just starting to recapture a fragment of who I was outside of “Mom.”

We celebrated the twins’ tenth birthday mid-November. I remember, as I counted out pieces of cake, one of the twins said with glee and assurance, “Don’t forget the baby in Mom’s belly!”

We all laughed as I assured him there was no baby in Mom’s belly. And don’t get your hopes up, buddy.

Well, I was wrong. Two pink

See MOM, page A3 MOM

From page A2

lines burst into my life a few weeks later.

When we told the kids, my oldest exclaimed, “Mom!

When your baby is three, I’ll be going to college!”

If I may be honest with you while also maintaining a sensitivity to the multitude of 39year-old women who would love to have a surprise pregnancy, my first thoughts weren't of the “Ooh, free donuts!” variety.

They were more like the “What are my options?” variety.

But only for a moment, because I’ve always known my options: Do we put the crib in the boys’ room or the girls’ room?

(Answer: girls’ room! We’ve grown excited about our sweet surprise, our bonus baby. My husband nicknamed her “Daisy,” short for “Whoops-a-daisy.”) My doctor offered me a genetics test on my first visit, which I declined, reasoning, “Well, I didn’t have one with any of my other children.”

She replied, “You weren’t of advanced maternal age with your other children.”

Oh great, I’m geriatric now.


That must explain why I’m so stinking tired and so dang hot all the time.

I mean, shees, couldn’t God have given a girl a break and surprised her with a winter baby?

Remarkable fact: By her third trimester, a pregnant woman will have 50% more blood volume than before conception.

Combine that with the sweltering heat indexes we’ve been suffering since mid-May, and you’ve got yourself one hot momma. Literally.

My sixth-grade son has been playing competitive baseball since February. I remember hauling down comforters and portable heaters to our first two tournaments in mid-March, eager for the pleasant spring temperatures to grace our season.

The next tournament, however, required arctic cooling rags, ice packs, and water fans.

It only worsened. The heat index for the last spring tournament in Oxford, Miss. hit 110 degrees!

I’m sure I looked a sight–ice packs wrapped on each foot, arctic rag around my neck, ankles and hands swollen to the size of grapefruits, smearing ice chips all over my sizzling skin.

At least we fortuitously planned a family reunion at a lake house north of here. I spent the week freezing out my family inside the house and sloshing about the lake outside the house like a happy polar bear returned to the Arctic circle.

When we returned home, however, our bedroom welcomed us at an unbearable 83 degrees.

David Smith with Delta hustled over early the next morning to clean and charge the compressor, hoping for improvement, but warning, “Your system’s pretty old, and it might be time to think about upgrading.”

Well, a pregnant gal in the thick of this heat is a salesman’s dream, if he’s selling relief!

The next day, my husband opened my Nest app, which controls the thermostat. He spent about two seconds examining it and then said the most glorious thing: “Nest is a learning app. When it didn’t detect any movement in the house, it set itself to eco temperatures of 83 degrees.

All we have to do is turn off that feature.”

So we did, and my house is cold again.

Praise the Lord we didn’t replace the entire HVAC system to address an issue that “convenience” technology caused!

In keeping with #myLife, the air conditioner in our black van also failed. I took the van three places, received three different diagnoses, replaced three different parts, and yet I still find it functioning intolerably.

The black beast sits in the driveway taunting me like a vaccination or a meal comprised mostly of lettuce–I know I need it, yet I hate it.

Even though the unyielding heat and the relentless swelling torture me, I did discover that the timing of the due date in early August causes the medical expenses for the entire pregnancy to fall under one deductible.

And that’s a great surprise!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, since my phone just alerted me that Crittenden County is under a heat advisory until the end of time, I’m going to go find a freezer in which I can snooze while.

Dorothy Wilson lives in Marion with her husband Chris as they enjoy all of the many adventures life raising their seven children has brought… and she’s probably grateful to be done with summer pregnancies. This column originally appeaared in the Jne 2018 edition of the Marion Ledger.

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