“Just be careful. Don’t fall again.”
He was referencing the week before, and the week before that, when, both times, I had tripped, coming down directly on my stomach, landing me in the hospital for test after test. The nurses knew me in the maternity ward now, and I was embarrassed to do it again, unless it was actually go time. I concentrated on my footing as we yelled hearty thank-yous to the elderly couple who stood on their front porch and waved goodbye to us.
“I’m good,” I said to him quietly. Then excitedly, “Ooooh, look! Snickers! Full-size!” It was the little things.
I was looking back, not paying enough attention. Off-balance from my sizable stomach. I fell. Again.
“Oh my God, are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine,” I said, as I brushed the grass and dirt off. What the hell was wrong with me? “I’ll go to a few more houses and then go back,” I told him. I looked down at the bump that extruded from my purple sweater.
“You’ll be alright,” I whispered. “Hang in there. I promise to be more careful.”
A week later, just a few days before my due date, a regular office visit with my obstetrician turned into a fast-paced walk over to the connecting hospital. Hunter was born unto this world, healthy as an ox, the next day.
I was actually feeling pretty damn good after the whole rigmarole, and I looked forward to getting my body back in working order.
Finally, I’d be able to walk across the room without fear of toppling over!
Unfortunately, my balance didn’t return. I knew something was going on, after all, balance had been my “thing” at gymnastics class as a kid.
Must just be an old-age-hormone cocktail, I lied to myself.