This is an edited little something I wrote in July of 2000. It was originally titled From the diary of a VERY Pregnant Lady -- Henricus Park. I can still feel the pain even today! It's not my best work of writing but it gets the job done... And it brings back so many memories!
Deep in the heart of Chesterfield County, lies a cute little park named Henricus that took my breath away.... literally.
My mother had seen a write up on the park in Southern Living magazine. Well, one day last summer, actually late August, my husband and I were trying to decide what to do for the day. He was off from work, and I was on maternity leave waiting on the arrival of our baby. I talked with my mother and she reminded me of Henricus. So we decided to venture there.
My husband was a little leary. He had fished at Dutch Gap, a place to put in your boat on the James River, many times and never remembered seeing anything remotely close to a park nearby. So he thought we would get there and be disappointed. The directions we were given to the park said that it was very close to Dutch Gap. Lo and behold... once we got to Henricus Park we immediately were surprised! There really was a park there!! We drove down this long paved driveway, through fields of hay... And found a quaint little building and lots of construction under way. They were in the process of building an addition to the place.
After looking in the gift shop and using the restroom (I was 9 months pregnant, thank you!), we headed out to walk the trail. It was a humid August day with lots of clouds and looked as if it would rain soon. We really enjoyed the trail. We looked at the beautiful little lake/pond they have there and enjoyed watching the ducks fly overhead. We also saw some muskrats which freaked me out because I didn't know what they were at first. We even took some pictures of my big belly with the pond in the background for memories later on in life. The first half hour we had no idea how many memories we would leave with...
Time passed and we continued to walk. The day was beautiful with just a bit of sun and the trail was nice and shady. The wind was blowing just enough to keep us cooled.
The trail was 4 miles long. My husband said he did not think I could make it that far, (I wanted to walk as much as I could so that I would possible urge my baby to hurry and be born!) being so pregnant and needing to go to the restroom every 15 minutes.... But I surprised him. The end of the trail was nearing and we were just passing the 3.5 mile marker. I was excited because I had to use the restroom so badly! But we still had a ways to go. We had looked at the map and could not really determine whether or not the trail took us directly back to the rest area. But we continued to walk knowing we would eventually get there. Then, a man rode by us on a bike. We stopped and asked him a question about the trail. He said, "Well, the trail ends up ahead another 1/2 mile or so. But then you have to turn around and go back." I was stunned. My jaw dropped. My eyes started to tear and I could feel the need to urinate get worse.... WHAT?? Please tell me he is joking!! :o(
He rode on by on his bike and we proceeded to turn around and walk back 3.5 miles. We took a look at the map we had picked up at the gift shop... 'IN THE FUTURE' a bridge will be built across the pond at the end of the trail, connecting the end of the trail to the beginning of the trail... But for now there is no bridge!! We would have had to swim across in order to get back to where we were parked.
The walk back was what I would imagine the walk into hell would be like. I was hot and miserable and wanted to die. The urge to pee was beyond able to describe! I am just glad I didn't go into labor!!
We started off that day not knowing I would be able to tell my future son that his momma had walked 7 miles with a full bladder trying to urge him out into the world!
To end this long but worthy story, I must say Henricus Park is a beautiful little place with lots of quiet, serene trees and water.... Just be sure and read the fine print on the park map!