Jared was a late bloomer. He grew very slowly–extremely slow.  When he was born, he was a complete surprise to Ilene, his sixty-four year old mother as his gestation had taken twenty years.

Ilene made an appointment with an OB-GYN.  She was feeling crampy and bloated –among other things.  

“Your estrogen levels are really high,” the nurse practitioner announced.  Are you taking estrogen pills? 

“No–nothing at all.   I’m over menopause, thank goodness, for twenty years now.”

“So in your forties you went through menopause?”  The NP asked.

“Yes.  And it left me in a permanent state of warm.  I’m never cold. I adore winter now.  There’s nothing better than a good blizzard or ice storm.” Ilene said.

“And you’ve gained quite a bit of weight” the NP said as she looked over medical records forwarded by Ilene’s GP.

“Yes and I just can’t seem to get the weight down.  Menopause did a number on my metabolism”  Ilene went on.  “Plus there’s some problems with my skin, acne. Can you believe it? At my age–is there no justice?”  Ilene added.

An examination was performed followed by an ultra-sound and Jared was discovered, a full term, albeit tiny baby boy nestled in Ilene’s womb. 

The color drained from Ilene’s face and she promptly fainted. Her husband was called in.  When he got the call to come to the doctor’s office–immediately,  he’d just waken from his midday nap.  When he arrived he was disheveled and then dumb-founded with the news.

“Here we go again,” Ilene said as she looked at Rob.

“But how?” Rob asked.

“How indeed?” said Ilene?  “I haven’t had sex in, well not proper sex, in three or four years. And then there’s your vasectomy, what, twenty years ago?” she added.

Ilene looked at the NP.  “I want a DNA test, right now!   How this little bugger got inside me, is some kind of–of, oh, I don’t know–immaculate conception or something.”

And so it was that a DNA test was performed that irrefutably confirmed Rob as the father and of course, Ilene the mother. There were no apparent health issues with the baby. Jared was born two weeks after the visit to the doctor.  Ilene had given up her bi-weekly glass of wine and stopped eating fish and drinking coffee. For those two weeks she started and ended a regiment of vitamins. 

Ilene insisted on an epidural for the birth.  She’d done the natural childbirth thing twice before. “I’m just too old for this,” she said.  “I don’t know if I can manage it. And if this goes on a fraction too long, I want a C-section.  So just be prepared,” she told the doctor and nurse.

When asked if she wanted to birth at home she said, “Hell no!  And I don’t need a special birthing room or pre-birthing parlor with flowered curtains and overstuffed chairs. A sterile room with the proper equipment, plenty of drugs and the doctor and nurse in the room is all that’s necessary.”

When asked if she wanted breast feeding classes and birthing classes she said, “God, no!  This baby will be suckling from a bottle. I can’t think of anything more disgusting that this poor little child having to nurse these breast of mine. And I’m not about to go to birthing class with a room full of soon-to-be-mothers only a few years older than my own granddaughter.  What a freak show I’d be – I am!”

Rob was asked if he wanted coaching lessons for the birth to which he turned pale and broke out in a sweat.  Ilene spoke up, “Rob will not be present at the birth. I don’t want him having a heart attack or at the very least fainting away and striking his head and dying on me.  I am going to need some extraordinary help and plenty of it to raise this baby.”

And so Jared was born, swaddled and taken home to Ilene and Rob’s retirement condo.  In the corner of their bedroom, they’d set up a nursery of sorts consisting of a pack-and-play bed, a changing table and a basket of diapers, one piece sleepers, lotions and wipes.

Somehow the media learned about the birth and parked in the lot of the condominiums. The other condo owners were furious to have their “peace and quietude” disturbed by a potentially crying baby and media hoards. A delegation from the condo master association called on Ilene and Rob on the first day home from the hospital. Rob opened the door to find the condo master association president, vice-president and architectural review chairman standing there.  The president handed Rob a letter of complaint in anticipation of the noise of a child on the premises.  

“I have enclosed a copy of the Condominium Covenants that clearly states that The Plantation was designed for senior residents in mind,” he said still holding the envelop out for Rob. 

“The Association’s lawyer has been contacted and will be in touch with you shortly.  He will enumerate any and all violations that you, your wife and baby” he fairly spit out the words “are in breach of, as well as, any potential future breaches”. 

Rob, somewhat hard of hearing, blankly looked at the three gray and white haired people standing in his doorway.  Rob knew trouble when he saw it, so he did not accept the envelope and slowly shut the door without speaking a word. 

Ilene standing in the hallway, holding little Jared said “Good job, Rob!  They can just go fuck themselves!” She looked down at Jared “Oh my!  I guess I can’t say things like that now.”

“But the nerve–what a bunch of cold-hearted, narcissistic asses.” She shifty Jared in her arms. “I mean fuddy duddies.” 

Rob came over and pulled back the corner of the blanket revealing some of Jared’s blond curls. “He’s a sweet little thing, Ilene”.

Ilene smiled at the bundle in her arms and then at up at Rob. “I know,” she said.

Glenda Kotchish © August 2019