I was able to go home the next day as promised. The nurse that Mike picked out for me, I found comical. She could’ve been a wrestler. She had a solid body. I couldn’t tell if she was there to be my nurse, or my bodyguard. She was a sweet woman, though. Her name was Helga and she was a big woman with blonde hair, pinned in a bun, and deep, brown eyes.
Over the next few months, the sickness left. I thought I was on easy street. I was wrong. Next stage was the crazy cravings. I don’t mean I craved Tide or cat litter. I mean I craved things that didn’t sound good on a non-pregnant day. I would never think of eating half of this stuff. The bad thing was, they hit me at odd hours of the night when Mike was sleeping.
I woke from a deep sleep, having a craving for Rocky Road ice cream. It’s like I couldn’t think of anything else but that ice cream and how good it was going to taste. I nudged him. “Honey. Mike.”
“Huh?” He jumped up, hands on the bed, sleepy eyes now wide awake. He tore off his pajamas and quickly got dressed in his street clothes. “It’s okay. Just relax. Everything will be fine.”
I wasn’t sure what he was doing. It wasn’t close for the baby to be born, but you couldn’t tell by watching him. “Mike it’s just–”
“I know. Don’t worry. I’ll have us there in no time. Where’s your bag?” He looked around, clapping his hands together. “It’s in the closet!”
“Honey, I just want–”
“I know me too, but I’ll help you as soon as I get everything else ready.” He put his hands out like he was patting the air. “Just relax. I’ll get everything and then I’ll help you get dressed.”
I nodded. “Okay, dear.”
He wasn’t listening so I let him run around. He gathered everything I was going to need for the trip to the hospital, and loaded the car. He rushed over, pulling off my covers, offering me a hand to stand. “Let’s go meet our son.”
“It’s not time. I want some rocky road ice cream.”
“Oh.” I could see he was really disappointed. He was instantly tired. It was as if when the excitement left, it drained him of his energy. “Okay, I’ll go get you a bowl.”
“No. There’s none down there. We don’t have any rocky road ice cream an’ that’s what I want. Rocky road ice cream with McDonald’s fries dipped in chocolate syrup. Mm….”
He grimaced. “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me! It’s one in the morning. Can’t these cravings come during the day after I’ve already gone to work?”
“Baby, I really need this. It’s like Logan’s tuggin’ on the cord or somethin’. If I don’t get it, he’s not gonna be happy. If he’s not happy, I’m not gonna be happy, an’ ya know you’re not gonna be happy listenin’ to me moan. I can’t get it. Otherwise, I wouldn’t wake you up.”
He sighed long and hard. “Okay.” He stood, reaching for his coat. “I’ll go get you the ice cream, French fries, and chocolate syrup. They need a pregnant woman craving store, so we fathers’ can get it all in one fatal swoop.”
“Thank you, baby. Ooh an’ pick up some fudge too. Ooh an’ some caramel! Oh, an’ don’t forget the cherries!”
“Do you just want a banana split now?” He grabbed his wallet and keys, trying his best to wake up for the ten-minute drive to the store.
“Ooh whipped cream an’ bananas!”
“I’m going to quit talking. Be back soon.” He left quickly before I could yell out anything else.
He was gone longer than an hour and I fell asleep.
The next morning, I watched him getting ready for work. I looked over, smiling as he yawned. “Ya look tired. Didn’t ya get any sleep last night?”
He knotted his tie, glaring at me as if he thought he was putting it around my neck. “No. You see my wife woke me up and wanted ice cream. That wouldn’t have been so bad, but it was ice cream, French fries, chocolate syrup, fudge, bananas, whipped cream, cherries, with caramel. Being the nice, sweet husband I am, I made the sundae with fries before coming up the stairs thinking she was still awake.”
I chuckled. “Was it good?”
Once the tie was knotted, he tightened it, looking in the mirror, fluffing down his collar. “Imagine my surprise. I was awake, but she was sleeping. I had to eat it while watching some horror movie. I knew I had to get up early, but I couldn’t go to sleep until I saw the ending.”
“Aw, honey I’m sorry.”
“You convinced me to do something after work tonight.”
“I’m going to the store and stocking our freezer with every flavor ice cream they have.”
“I don’t like them all.”
He grabbed his jacket, pushing his arms through the sleeves. “I don’t care if you don’t like them, someone will and your cravings keep changing.” He walked over to the bed. Leaning down, he kissed me goodbye. “I have to go, dear. I love you.” Leaning further, he kissed my rounding belly. “Love you too, champ. Don’t give your mom a hard time today.”