As nine month pregnant Carrie stared at the pair of Manalo Blahnik's in front of her, she wondered if she would ever buy another pair again. It had been months since she had bought a pair, and after the baby was born it would be months still since she would buy another pair. Maybe that was selfish, worrying about a new pair of shoes when her thoughts should be on the little one she was carrying. But she couldn't help it; she was saying goodbye to the old life she had loved so much and was preparing for new and unchartered territory. She and Big were about to become parents.
It was terrifying for her to tell Big about the news. She wasn't sure how he would take the news. How do you tell your husband that your birth control that is 99% effective was the one percent failure rate? She knew how he felt about kids- the same way she did. They were nice to play with but at the end of the day send them home to their parents. Pretty but unnecessary for their lifestyle. But not that lifestyle was about to change, permanently. How could she do that to the man she loved more than anything in the world? Carrie could see him hating her if she had tricked him, done this to him callously, but she hadn't done anything wrong. Still, he was a runner, and she had to face the fact that her marriage, which meant more to her than anything, was on the line.
She cooked a dinner of baby back ribs, baby carrots, and miniature corn on the corn and followed that up by miniature cheesecakes, hoping that Big would take the hint. If he did, he hadn't noticed.
"How was dinner, John?"
"Great. Perfecto." He kissed his fingers and blew it her way.
"You didn't notice… notice anything?"
"Should I have?" Big asked.
"No. Just wondering."
Big stopped to think about it for a minute. "Baby back ribs, miniature corn on the corn, baby carrots, Carrie, are you trying to tell me something?"
Carrie nodded, trying to brace herself for his reaction.
"Are you pregnant?"
"John, it was an accident. I didn't mean for this to happen. My birth control failed. It might have happened while I was on antibiotics… I don't know. But I promise to you that I never intended for this to…"
Big stood up. "Carrie do you know what this means?"
Carrie closed her eyes. This was the moment she'd been dreading ever since the wedding. Big was leaving her. He loved her but he just didn't want to be married to her any more. Now she would be left alone with a reminder of her feelings for him every day, unable to do anything but watch as he walked out the door.
John laughed. "Carrie, this is great. We're going to be parents. You and I… I'm going to be a father. You're going to be a mother. I always wondered what it would be like to be a father."
"But you said…."
"I know I said that. But you said it too. We both agreed. But now that it's happening… listen to me, kid. You're the only one I ever wanted to be the mother of my kid. And that much is true. And for goodness's sake don't just sit there. You've got some shopping to do. Don't you think you'd better call the girls first?"
Carrie wrapped her arms around her husband, knowing that she never loved him more than she did at that moment.
And now here she was, in labor with her first, and if labor was any indication, her only child. She'd heard horror stories but Charlotte had always downplayed it. Of course she would. This was awful. She was trying to think of everything she could to get her mind off of the pain, but there was only one thing she wanted. She wanted Big.
"I'm here Carrie. Don't worry about anything."
"I'll try to keep that in mind."
"You know what I meant."
"I'm sorry. It's just that the drugs haven't really kicked in yet."
Big started to speak but couldn't find the right words.
"What's the matter you big crybaby?" Carrie smiled, lovingly brushing the hair from his eyes.
"I just never thought this day would arrive. And I'm proud of you. I love you kid."
"John…" she smiled, touchéd at his sudden sentiment.
"Yeah, well, I don't know how Steve and Harry kept it together. I have to hand it to them."
"I don't want Steve or Harry. I want you. And I wouldn't be too proud of me yet. Everything's about too let loose." Carrie squeezed his hand and tried not to yell.
"Do you need me to get the doctor. She didn't answer.
"I'll take that as a yes."
"Mr. Preston, your wife is fully dilated. If you want to watch I'll be delivering your child now," the doctor offered.
He looked at Carrie, who nodded. He nodded back and stood back. It didn't take much time for Carrie to deliver their first child, a girl. She was six pounds and five ounces, and was born with a full head of black hair, very much resembling her father.
Once cleaned up, she was placed in his mother's arms and the couple marveled over her.
"She's perfect dad."
"Marvelous… mom. Now you have someone to share all those Manolo's with, Carrie," Big laughed while he kissed his wife on the cheek.
"Who says I have to share? We can just buy her her own?"
"And the closet space? Imagine the fights you two will have… oh that's right, we'll just build on."
"Now you're catching on," Carrie laughed.
"Aren't you forgetting something?" Big asked.
"Like what should we name our baby? She can't go around as the girl with the thousand pair of shoes forever you know," Big joked.
"Why not, I could," Carrie laughed.
"I like something traditional… something a little romantic… how about Faith?"
"No, had a schoolteacher named that once," Big vetoed.
"How about Mariah?" Carrie suggested.
"Dated one once."
"How about Beatrice?"
"I like it. Beatrice Preston. Formal yet classy. Sounds like we have a winner… mother." And as Big went to kiss his new family, he realized that his life was about to change forever. Nothing would ever be the same. He wasn't a gambling man, but he would bet that for the rest of his life that he would be a happy man- all thanks to the two loves of his life, now sleeping there beside him in his bed. Who said that a man couldn't' change after all?