I went to sick call that day. Sick call is what the military refers to as going to the doctors because you find yourself sick and can’t go to work.
I thought I had food poisoning.
I felt horrible and nausea as hell.
The smell of bacon made me want to throw up.
Something was definitely wrong.
I went into the office and the young woman asked me the date of my last period – standard procedure.
I gave my standard answer, “Last month. I don’t know the date because I don’t keep track”.
They gave me a urine sample – again, standard procedure.
I told her that was senseless. I explained I had it figured out.
“It was the mayonnaise!!”
I left the mayonnaise out all night and used it the next day.
I had food poisoning!
I was sure of it.
“Actually Airman, you don’t have food poisoning, you’re pregnant…”
“Uh no I’m not. That’s impossible.”
“Do you want to see the stick?”
Eric immediately started crying as I said, “There’s no way. They told me I couldn’t have kids”.
“I don’t know who they are, but they were wrong”.
“I’ll be damned! Are you sure??”
She was right after all.
Back then the military had an opt-out option for women if they found themselves pregnant… you know… a fork in the road – a change to your life’s plans.
I had had it up to my eyeballs with the military.
They lost my paperwork about six times up in Arlington after I had gotten hit by a drunk army MP. They lost track of me. They lost track of Eric. They didn’t want me when I was a medical burden, but when I healed, they suddenly found use for me again.
I chose to opt out.
I do not regret this choice.
There was a rule that if you got pregnant while in the service, you could have the baby at a military hospital.
The closest naval hospital was located in New Orleans and they did not have a maternity ward. My only other option was Ft. Polk Army hospital located roughly two and half hours away.
To be continued…
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