Wednesday, March 16, 2011

27w3d - The Little Bear(s)

I know my babies are tough and that we're going to make it to term. How do I know? Because when I was five weeks pregnant we survived an encounter with a bear.
I was back on the east coast to be the matron of honor in my best friend's wedding. She had been my maid of honor three years prior, and I was really excited for her wedding. The location was a beautiful resort in the Poconos, and the leaves had started changing and it was nice feeling "fall."
The other bridesmaids and I stayed overnight with her after the rehearsal, and the morning of the wedding looked perfect for a quick run before we started getting ready. The resort property either included a lot of woods or backed into a lot of woods; either way I headed out down a nice, flat trail. I brought my phone with me because I didn't have a watch and I didn't want to be gone too long.
On my way back, I crested a small hill and saw, straight down the trail in front of me about 50 yards, an adult black bear. I stopped and blinked a few times because I had never seen a bear in Pennsylvania in my life. Maybe it was really a deer? No, it was definitely a bear. I couldn't go backwards or to the side--the trail was straight and there was a steep ravine to my right and a steep hill to my left. The bear started coming toward me (or rather it started walking down the trail--I don't think it was yet aware of me). I noticed a shed about 10 yards away from me--closer to the bear--with a large pickup truck next to it. I thought maybe I could hide behind the truck. I crept over to the truck and called the bride.
Jenna: There's a BEAR.
Bride: What?? Where?
That did not help her. I gathered my wits enough to explain where on the property I had gone and how she could get to me. Fortunately the "trail" was something of a service road so she could drive to me. Then she hung up. I called her back.
Jenna: You CANNOT HANG UP ON ME. There is a BEAR.

The bear by this point had noticed me and was curious. I had scooted around to the side of the truck, which was parked on a gravel pile. Each time I tried to push myself up and away from the trail, I slid in the gravel. The bear did not seem to like the sound of the sliding gravel. The bear had stopped directly opposite me on the trail--about 10 feet away--and just looked at me. I have never been so scared in my life. Just then I heard a car pulling onto the service road, and the bear shook its head and went down the other side of the embankment.

I sprinted away from the truck to the car where the bride and another bridesmaid were waiting for me. I was so happy to see them. The maternal instinct kicks in early--the whole time the bear was there all I could think about was that I had to save my baby and that the bear was not going to get us.

I later talked to the manager of the resort about the bear on the property. "Oh yes!" she chortled. "He's very friendly. Comes around to eat the garbage." How delightful.

So that is why my baby was called the Little Bear for two months until we learned that there were two Little Bears.

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