So….just in case you were wondering why I haven’t updated lately…..let me tell you. I just started my new job this week, which has been challenging and rewarding. Unfortunately, they asked me to work six days the past week so Peanut and I have been dragging our tails. The real reason I didn’t update on Mother’s Day has a slightly more sinister twist.
My Mom woke me up on Sunday with the announcement that my cat was gone. It was 8:30am. Not a time that I wanted to me up on my one day off work. I got dressed and went out to the backyard, called Honey, and he came running to me. Why I was needed for this task, I’m not sure, but nevertheless, I performed admirably. I found a comfy place on the couch, ate a breakfast of frozen waffles, maple syrup and orange juice, and started watching a DVD. About half-way through the movie, Honey wanted to be let out, this time with a leash and a proper harness. I tied him out and then went back to the movie. A little while later, my Mom went to go untie him. Honey likes to wrap himself around the bushes and shrubs and then stand there looking confused as to why he can’t chase after the birds anymore.
My Mom slips her feet into her tennis shoes, with the toes in, but her heels hanging out, and goes outside. A minute later, I here her screaming on the grass, holding her ankle. I’ve never heard any sound like that before in my life. It is one of those heart-wrenching sounds that will wake you up at night if you think about it too hard. I ran outside, kneeled down beside her, and realized that we needed to call 911. In my rush to stand up, I didn’t quite back it fully vertical and I began sprinting for the door, more hunched over than a notorious French hunchback. Apparently, I haven’t sprinted for a while, especially in the “just out the blocks” position. I went face down. On concrete. There were no knees involved. My top heavy body just went down. My left hand reached out to stop my fall and my right hand went around belly to protect Peanut. At least I think that is what happened. I started screaming for my Dad and he came out, in classic Dad fashion and yelled, “What the hell is going on out here?” His very pregnant daughter is laid-out on her stomach and his wife was still screaming on the grass. I told him to go to Mom and I picked myself up.
I think the shock stopped me from really being concerned for myself. Of course the thought, “I just fell on my stomach,” kept running through my head. I went out to the front yard to wait for the ambulance and started crying when I looked down and saw blood on my hands and felt a scratch on my breast. I lifted up my shirt and I could already see the bruises forming on my stomach. I went out to the backyard, where my Dad kept screaming at me: “Are you alright? Sit down!” Our family tends to yell at each other during times of stress. I showed him what happened and my Mom overheard us, now convinced that somehow she was responsible for hurting her first grandchild. The word “hysteria” comes to mind.
The nice folks at Emergency Response took my Mom and me, in the same ambulance, to the hospital. She gets out on a stretcher and I get rolled up to Labor and Delivery on a wheelchair. I get strapped into a continuous fetal monitor, which monitors Peanut’s heart rate and my contractions. A funny thing happens when a pregnant woman has trauma to her abdomen: the uterus starts contracting to protect itself. They tested for fetal blood in my system and I had no less than three ultrasounds in two days. I had to stay in the hospital overnight for monitoring and my Dad kept running up and down the floors of the hospital between my Mom in ER and me in L&D. He said that we were really annoying because as soon as he got into one of our rooms, we started grilling him for information about the other one. He got this look on his face like, “I need to buy the two of you walkie-talkies and you can leave me out of this.”
My Mom, with a fractured fibia bone in her ankle, got to leave two hours later with an air boot on her foot. I was in for the long haul. In a beautifully ironic twist of fate, a huge thunderstorm struck the Houston area last night, causing power outages to entire chunks of the city. The hospital power went out just around the time that I was digging into my disgusting steak and potato. I sat in the dark hoping that the babies on my floor were ok and almost cried a little out of pity. Don’t fear, however, the power came back on in time for me to watch “Desperate Housewives” and “Grey’s Anatomy”.
The low-level contractions that were consistently working their way through my body caused me to get violently sick around 1am. The last time that I have thrown-up and pooped at the same time was when my friend Brian convinced all of us in his training group that we should have an “authentic” first Mongolian meal at the black market. Note to all: never eat food at a place called the black market. It’s unsanctioned for a reason. The nurses gave me an anti-nausea shot in my butt that caused me to fall instantly asleep until I was woken up at 4am by the same nurse telling me to empty my bladder. Apparently a full bladder can strengthen contractions.
I do have good news out of all of this. My contractions stopped sometime this morning and from the ultrasounds, we know Peanut is down head down, with the crown of his head getting ready to go through the birth canal of life. He has hair, is around 5.5 pounds (give or take a pound), and based on his current measurements they estimate that he might come to see us, (baring any further trauma) around June 26th or so. My Mom should start walking without the aid of crutches right around the time of Peanut’s birth and my Dad might calm down hopefully a little before that. Right now, he is still running between doctors and trying to keep the two women in his life either completely vertical or completely horizontal. God help us all if we have two wheelchairs (again!!!) pushing us to the curb of the hospital after the Peanut’s delivery.