She sped after the topspin lob, finding herself behind the baseline and, thankfully, catching a glimpse of the quickly approaching fence behind the court. Realizing that she had only inches between the rapidly descending ball and the fence, she hoisted her racquet head high over her head and connected with the ball just as she collided and bounced off of the fence to get herself back into position on the court. Ball still in play, the opposing team, shocked at what they’d just witnessed, defiantly returned the ball into the net. “You can’t do that!” Screamed the lady who ended the point.
Confused, Laura and her partner approached the net. “What do you mean, ‘I can’t do that?’” Laura asked. “Can’t do what?”
“You’re pregnant!” They said in unison.
“I know you said the doctor told you it was ok to play tennis, but not like that! Crashing into the fence and all! You’re going to hurt your baby! Y'all need to retire if you’re going to play like that.” Demanded opponent “B”.
Laura and her partner looked at each other totally bewildered by the request. They were winning and wondered if that could be the real reason the other team suggested they pack it in. Or, were they really concerned about the baby? It was hard to tell unfortunately.
“Listen. She plays like that all the time." Laura’s partner chimed in. "She’s a former college athlete and she doesn’t know any other way to compete. If she feels she can play, then it’s up to her!” As she eyed Laura putting the ball squarely in her court.
Doubled over, not from laughter, and exhaling hard through her mouth, Laura held her belly and said, “I’m fine! Let’s go!”
“I knew it! What’s wrong?!” Asked a terrified opponent “B”.
“Nothing.” Laura offered as she unfolded herself to stand up straight. "It’s just a little Braxton Hicks. What’s the score?”
Even after Laura accommodated their insistence to sit down and at least rest a minute, mama and baby were up and ready to receive serve before anyone else could grab a sip of water.
"Okay, we’re not delivering any babies here today!” Reported Laura’s partner. "Let’s finish the match."
Disgusted, the opponents returned to their baseline, throwing their hands up into the air, “She doesn’t care about her baby so we’re going to play.” Announced opponent “A” to her team giving audience to the situation. A collective gasp of disbelief was heard and from the back of the crowd, someone yelled, “I’ll keep 911 on standby for the baby!"
So, Laura played…in all her 8 months gestational glory. And even though her partner was bombarded with ball after ball for the balance of the match, they won anyway. Later it was overheard that the other team said they could not play their best because they felt like they had to protect the baby if Laura wasn’t.
Who was right in this situation? What do you think?
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