There’s been an accident.
Suddenly, the world stopped.
You see, hearing about an accident is jarring, for most, if not all, people.
For me, it’s my greatest fear come true.
Put it this way,
If I can’t reach one of my loved ones for a half hour,
I get jittery.
If it’s been an hour and I still haven’t been able to track them down,
I have been known to call my sister, dad, grandmother and family friends if my mom doesn’t answer her cell phone.
We do that in my family.
We’re scared of something bad happening.
We’re scared of getting the kind of phone call that I was getting
On that April afternoon.
My mom continued,
It was my Aunt. She was in an accident. She was OK, but it was bad.
You see, my Aunt is not some distant relative whom I see at the holidays.
My aunt is my Mommy 2, my Mommy Too,
My dear friend and beloved loved one.
I could go on and on.
Without going into too much detail,
My Aunt has been through a lot, in her time,
And the idea of something happening to her was just devastating.
As it turned out, my Aunt parked her car in a public garage, got out to move some traffic cones, and was run over by her giant SUV.
Did I mention that my Aunt is one of the tiniest people imaginable?
Let me just say,
It is amazing,
That she survived this horrific accident.
She was beaten up,
One side of her body crushed,
But she was alive,
And that’s all that anyone could have asked for.
Needless to say, I became a bit distracted that afternoon.
I was still contracting,
And baby was still quiet,
But I had other things on my mind.
I could tell you what we did the rest of that afternoon, but I’d be lying.
I have no recollection.
It is all a blur.
The next thing I remember is going to dinner with my husband,
Determined to stay distracted.
I ordered a giant cheeseburger,
And smothered it in hot peppers,
Continuing to try every labor trick in the book.
I told the waitress that if the meal put me into labor, I’d come back and buy drinks for everyone in the restaurant.
Desperate does not begin to describe how I was feeling.
My husband and I got home and got into bed,
And my mind started to churn in overdrive.
The baby was still quiet.
Something was going on.
I decided that I had to call the emergency OB line
(for only the 110th time this week, or so it seemed).
I told the on-call doctor that the baby was quieter.
She told me that she was probably fine, but that if I was really worried, I should come in.
To be honest, the doctor seemed a little annoyed that I was bothering her at 9 on a Saturday night.
I felt guilty,
But I decided that it was better safe than sorry, and gathered up our stuff, once again, to go in for a quick check in Labor and Delivery.
By this point, we were old pros, and decided that they would most likely send me home in an hour, so we didn’t even bother bringing the dogs to my parents’,
Or even picking up my mom to join us.
I was sure I’d be home to watch my Grey’s Anatomy re-run at 11.
Again, so much for being sure about anything.
I had waited all day, not calling the doctor, feeling like I could give it time,
But as soon as I made the decision to go in and be checked, I felt a sense of urgency.
I needed to get in there as quickly as possible,
So, as soon as I checked in on the Maternity floor,
I walked into the delivery room, stripped off my clothes and rushed to the bed, so that they could hook up the fetal heart monitor,
And I could be soothed by the sacred sound of my daughter’s heartbeat.
As soon as I heard the steady sound of her beating heart, I was able to exhale. She was OK.
A resident came in to examine me,
(fortunately, it was a different resident than the “head-shaker” from the night before)
and care to take a guess at what she discovered?
I was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced.
At that point, I had to laugh.
3 days of steady, solid contractions, and my cervix and uterus seemed to be giving each other the silent treatment. No communication whatsoever.
They questioned me about the baby’s movements, and, at one point, the nurse came in to give me cranberry juice, to try to encourage the baby to move.
I felt drained.
I felt uneasy.
I felt water.
The same exact water feeling as the night before.
I wasn’t even going to mention it, because of how they had dismissed me at my previous visit,
Saying that it was nothing,
But I decided that since I was there, strapped down and hooked up, I might as well tell someone that I was lying in a wet bed.
They went through the same protocol as the night before,
Did some sort of test,
As I played around on my phone,
Waiting for the resident to come back in to tell me that I could leave.
When the door opened a few minutes later, I saw the nurse dragging in a big, IV pole.
“I hope you’re comfortable,” she began. “Because you’re staying. Your water broke.”
“WHAT?” I asked her, incredulous and in shock. “Are you serious? Are you sure? Like, 100% sure?” I think I asked her those questions 11 times each.
Maybe, actually 11,000. I’m not sure. It’s a little fuzzy. It was a lot. Trust me.
She told me she was serious, she was sure, and that I was staying. I would be having my baby within the next 24 hours.
I could not believe what was happening.
It had felt the exact same thing as the day before when the “head shaker” told me that my water hadn’t broken.
What was going on?
I hadn’t planned to stay.
My mom was at the Phillies game.
What about my dogs?
But, despite all of my questions,
I couldn’t contain my excitement.
I would be meeting my daughter, and soon.
I was finally ready to be a mother.
What I wasn’t prepared for was what would happen next…