Baby, Don’t Go

“My stomach furled into knots as I sat down in the lounge. ‘So, what did you want to talk to me about?’ I asked my husband, Dennis. He’d tested me earlier that day saying he had news.
‘Well, it’s about work’, he began. ‘They want to send me to Sudan for a year’. My heart sank. They were the exact words I’d been dreading. Dennis was in the army and in the six years we’d been together, he’d spent more than half of it away. I knew it was part of the job but it didn’t make being apart any easier. At first, I’d found the thought of him fighting in a war-torn country noble and heroic. In fact, his bravery was one of the things that attracted me to him in the first place. Then, I lost my twin sister, Maria, in a car accident. I became very anxious and started to believe that sudden death was lurking around every corner. I wasn’t sure how I’d cope with Dennis leaving, but I knew I had to be supportive. ‘Wow, that’s exciting. When do you leave?’ I said through gritted teeth. ‘In four months,’ he said. I went silent. My insides were churning so much I nearly threw up. For the next week, I started crying every time I thought about it. I couldn’t cope if anything happened to him.

Then, a light bulb flashed in my mind. A baby. That’s how I could stop him going away! We’d talked about starting a family but were just waiting for the right time. Little did Dennis know – that time was now. That night, I skipped my contraceptive pill and launched myself at him. ‘Wow, what’s got into you?’ he chuckled. ‘Well, I need to make the most of having you here while I can!’ I replied.
For the next three months, I continued to skip the pill and jump Dennis’ bones. One morning, I woke up feeling nauseous and extremely tired. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I was excited. Had my plan worked? I went to the chemist and bought a few pregnancy tests. I couldn’t believe it when two lines appeared on every single one! ‘This time I’ve got news’, I told Dennis on the phone.

When he got home from work, I sat him down. ‘I’m pregnant!’ I cried. His mouth dropped open and his eyes welled up. ‘Well, how’s that for timing?’ he laughed, as he pulled me in for a massive hug. It was such a relief to see how thrilled he was. ‘Wait, aren’t you on the pill?’ he asked. ‘Oh, well… Er, yes, but it’s not 100 percent effective’, I stammered. Dennis shrugged, satisfied with my answer. ‘So, does this mean you’re not going to Sudan?’ I asked.
‘And miss the birth? Not on my watch!’ he replied. ‘I’ll get another chance, I guess.’ He was right. Our beautiful little girl, Sasha, is now three years old and Dennis is about to leave for deployment. I’m still going to worry about him while he’s gone but the whole situation made me realise I needed counselling to help me come to terms with Maria’s death. These days, I’m a lot more calm and level-headed. Sometimes I feel guilty for lying to Dennis about how Sasha came into our lives. But seeing how fantastic he is with her just confirms that I made the right decision. At the end of the day, I don’t regret it, because it was the push we needed to do something that’s changed our lives for the better.”

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