It was early January of 1982 that my wife Delyse complained about feeling like shit, especially in the morning. Oh Oh.
A couple of weeks before, on New Years Eve, part of our celebration was a love connection without protection.
Delyse decided that she better have a pregnancy test. But rather than do it at home she set it up with her doctor. She actually took a urine sample to the drug store. We wanted to make sure.
I came home from work the next afternoon, totally obsessed with what the result would be. I knew Delyse would probably phone for the result during her lunch hour, so I waited till after one o'clock. And then I waited till after two o'clock. I was afraid of the answer. When the clock struck three, I felt pretty good. Obviously, if she was pregnant, she would have phoned me and told me.
That had to be it. I decided to phone her and here it for myself. She wasn't pregnant.
She picked up the phone and sounded cheery. That was good. There's no way she's knocked up.
"So" I said
"So what?" she replied.
"What's the word?"
"I don't know" she said.
"You don't know?"
"I haven't called yet."
"You haven't called yetâ€¦.. why?"
"I've been too busy?"
"Too busy?â€¦ Dol (that's her nickname) I've been sitting here all afternoon going nuts. I need to know what's going on."
"Well then you phone" she suggested.
"How can I call? They're not going to tell me!"
"They might and anyway I'm right in the middle of something and I need to concentrate so I'm not going to call until I can deal with the result."
"OK then." I said. "I'll call."
The lady at the drug store was bright and cheery. Like over the top.
"Hi, my name is Fred Patterson, and yesterday my wife brought in a urine sample for a pregnancy test. I was wondering if I could get the result."
"No problem Mr. Patterson, just give me a minute."
I thought what? She's actually going to give me the result even though it's not me who might be pregnant. At this point I wasn't sure whether I was happy about this.
When she came back on the phone she was even cheerier. "Mr. Patterson?"
"It's positive sir."
"What does that mean?" (this my sound like a stupid question, but to me, at that point, "positive" would mean Delyse wasn't pregnant.)
"It means your wife is going to have a baby."
I was stunned. This couldn't be true. I was going to be a father. Little Freddie Patterson from Scarborough who still thought of himself as a kid, it just couldn't be.
"Are you sure?" I said.
"Oh yea, these tests are 100 percent accurate."
After she hung up, I took the receiver of the phone and pounded it into the carpet. You see, by the time I got the result I was on my knees.
I started to shake. I didn't know what to do. So I did what any spineless weasel would do. I phoned Delyse even though I knew she was busy and this would throw a wrench into her day.
I thought about waiting till she got home, but I couldn't. I phoned her.
Of course she started to cry and told me she'd be home right away. When she got home we just fell onto the couch and both continued to cry.
We were scared. And what do two grown adults do when they've just found out they're pregnant and they can't stop crying? They run to mommy.
We jumped in the car and drove to Milton. For some reason I actually knocked on the door. I never usually did.
My mom answered the door and all she saw was the two of us balling our eyes out. She looked terrified.
"What's wrong?" she said, expecting the worst.
"Delyse is pregnant." I said.
"Delyse is pregnant."
"Well what the hell are you crying for you asshole, (you have to know my mother) you should be happy."
At this point I gushed with my concerns with responsibility and money being at the top of the list.
Junie sat us down and eased our fears. Yes, having a baby was scary but it would prove to be a wonderful thing and all the things we were worried about would mean nothing once the baby arrived and we fell in love with it.
And you know what. My mom was right.
On September 24, 1982 Melanie Nicole Patterson made the scene and she's done nothing but make us happy and proud for 25 wonderful years.
Happy Birthday Darlin'.
Category: Family | Short Stories