Karla Barry, 24, from Australia, told Take 5 how she tried to keep her painful secret for just a few more minutes...
My boyfriend Adam’s hands were gripped tight around my neck. As he started to choke me, I pushed myself up off the ground, breaking free of his stranglehold.
Rolling back onto the floor, Adam looked up at me with a big smile.
“Hey, not bad!” he said, helping me up.
I felt proud of myself, but also knew he was the one who deserved congratulations for pushing me to get better.
Our relationship had begun when I decided to take up martial arts. I hadn’t planned on falling in love with my instructor! But Adam was smart, sexy, and had a great sense of humor. What’s more, he helped me to develop my self-confidence.
Some couples spend their free time going to the movies or beach, but we loved to wrestle and train together.
My best friend, Katie, agreed that Adam was a real catch. Like me, she’d also found the man of her dreams, Jeremy, who had recently proposed to her.
“I’d love it if you’d be my maid of honor,” she said over coffee one day.
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Katie had no sooner ordered the bridesmaid dresses and started planning her outdoor wedding when Adam and I got engaged, too. Now, it looked like there would be two special weddings coming up!
But one day, I woke up feeling sick. Could it be what I was thinking?
“Let’s get a pregnancy test,” Adam suggested.
He was always very intuitive, and just as he predicted, the test came back positive. I was four weeks along.
Adam was over the moon. He was a cheerful guy, though I’d never seen him smile this wide before.
“Karla, I’ve just realized something,” he began, pointing out that Katie and Jeremy’s wedding was now eight months away. I’d never fit into the gorgeous blue dress Katie had ordered for me, so I bought another from a maternity store.
We both acknowledged the timing was cutting it close. Her wedding was getting closer and closer, and so too was the birth of my baby.
“It’s going to be a boy. I can just tell,” Adam said. “And he’ll be born on Katie’s wedding day!”
“Stop it!” I cried, laughing off his joke.
I wanted to give all my attention to Katie, even if being pregnant was slowing me down.
The day before the wedding, we had a last-minute rehearsal. I got through it all, before flopping down on the couch to rest. I needed all my energy for tomorrow.
The next morning, I woke up at 5:30 a.m. feeling a sharp, stabbing pain in my groin. Pushing it aside, I stood up and got dressed. Adam could see the obvious discomfort I was in and grew worried.
“I’m going to pack your stuff for hospital just in case,” he said.
“Why?” I asked defiantly. “The baby’s not due for another week.”
When we arrived at the rural property, I started to feel unsure of myself. I gulped down a couple of Panadol, which did little to ease the pain. On top of that, it was 104 degrees and sweat was rolling down my face.
Desperate to keep my cover, I smiled at Katie and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
“You look beautiful,” she said.
Others weren’t so easily fooled. Katie’s mom, Lisa, is a midwife. She took one look at me and asked if I was feeling okay.
“I’m in pain,” I admitted. “Please don’t tell Katie.”
Lisa looked at me seriously.
“You could be in early labor,” she said. “Make sure you take it easy.”
It was hard to relax when my back ached and we had to trek through the bushes to pose for photos. "Take deep breaths," I thought, hoping that would work.
By the time people started making speeches, the pains were getting stronger and stronger. "Please don’t let them be contractions," I prayed. I calmed myself down and sat through the rest of the speeches. Then, it was time for the first dance.
Jeremy’s best man, Brad, put his hands around my back as the music kicked in. I swayed back and forth awkwardly.
“Is something wrong?” Brad asked.
“I’m fine,” I winced, until Adam interrupted.
“Come on,” he said. “You need to go home.”
“No, no, I’m fine,” I snapped, feeling another sharp pain.
Today was all about Katie and I was determined not to upstage her on her big day.
But Adam wasn’t having any of it.
“I’ve told Katie what’s going on,” he said. “She agrees — you have to go.”
“Baby can wait,” I told him, crying in both joy and pain.
By now, word had spread, and most of the guests knew what was happening. Some even followed Adam and I outside to the car to cheer us on. Still, I felt guilty — this was meant to be Katie’s night, not mine! I didn’t want a crowd.
Adam helped me get changed in the car. I was suddenly grateful that he’d had the foresight to pack hospital clothing.
At the hospital, we were sent home, before rushing back all over again when my water broke.
On our second trip to the hospital, little Xavier was born just 20 minutes later! It was quite the eventful day, that’s for sure!
Once we were home, Katie and Jeremy came to visit.
“We’ve got a present for you,” Katie said, passing me my bouquet from the wedding.
But I think I already got the best present of all — Katie’s big day had no sooner ended before the most important one of my life began.
This post was written by the editors of Now to Love. For more, check out our sister site Now To Love.
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