What follows is still no excuse for what happened next

10 May

Yesterday, I had two simple things to accomplish, besides teaching, which is never simple and rarely accomplished.  First, I had a routine OB/GYN appointment; then, I had to go interview the pediatrician.  I am not sure that is how he would describe the meeting, but that is how I saw it.

What should have been an easy jaunt to the OB/GYN turned into me running really late because of several unexpected (but delightful) visitors who stopped by my office.  Because I was late, I made a poor veggie turkey sandwich lunch choice that I would later regret.  Then, I drove to the doctors’ office on an absolutely empty tank because I didn’t need to worry about getting gas because the appointment was routine and because the gas station was right next door, and I had hours after the appointment to fill up the tank. And I never have to go anywhere, anyway.

During the appointment–mere seconds after the OB announced that Baby Boy wouldn’t arrive anytime in the next three weeks–I had the privilege of getting my cervix checked “to establish a baseline” so we could measure progress over the next three to four weeks.  I hear that this is rarely much of a party, but what happened next was terrifying.

My OB stopped speaking.

For a long time.  

I think she might not have started to speak again had I not shouted, “WHAT?”  And followed it up with another “WHAT?” and then some “Whatwhatwhatwhat?”

“You’re dilated to five centimeters and I can feel the baby’s head,” she said.

Me:  “How exactly is that possible?”

Her: “Well, it happens sometimes, and you need to go to the hospital. Now.”

Me: “Do I have time to get gas?”

Her:  “Well, I guess? Maybe?”

The trip to the hospital reminded me why I hate Californian drivers who allow no one–no one–to merge.  Ever.  Just getting out of the parking lot took a lifetime. 

I bought $11 worth of gas and made it to the hospital, where my friend S. met me in the parking lot. She might have had a bloody nose, but that is a story for another time.  S. kept me hopeful by, among other things, describing my swollen feet as not puffy but, instead, “the ankles of destiny.”

What followed was a frantic drive home from work for the spouse (whose fuel tank was also empty, despite, or because of, his newfound hyper-miling hobby). He collected our half-packed bags and made it to the hospital.  My parents made it to the airport.

And then we waited, and waited, and waited, until, after hours of monitoring the baby–who is strong and on his way to being a mover and a shaker, based on his activity–and checking me again, we got sent home to our friends/hosts with the mosts over at the Queso Dip and my parents decided to wait until the next day to fly out. 

This morning, we headed back to the hospital and, after conferring with a different OB, nurse practitioner, and nurse, we decided to go home and wait, hoping Baby Boy can hold on a few more days and make it to full term.  Added to the stress is the fact that my grandfather is quite ill.

But all of this is not an excuse for what happened next.  Joel dropped me off at home and immediately went to the gas station to fill up the car; a few minutes later, I heard the trusty rumble of a diesel in front of our house.  So trusty, in fact, that the dog stood by the front door wagging his tail, waiting for JD to arrive home.  I opened the door to a fed-ex delivery.  If only I’d been wearing pants. 


4 Responses to “What follows is still no excuse for what happened next”

  1. Sara May 10, 2012 at 3:58 am #

    It seems impossible that Baby D will not inherit his mother’s flair for storytelling when he is already so adept at creating stories! Glad all is well. I’m sure you made the fed-ex guy’s day . . .

  2. teachiro May 12, 2012 at 5:12 am #

    Welcome back! There’s too much awesomeness here to cover in one comment, but I must inquire about the conversation that occurred after the door was opened.

    • awningonanouthouse May 12, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

      Thankfully, I have cat-like reflexes and slammed the door so fast that I think I preserved the shreds that remain of my dignity. Have spent Fed-Ex delivery time every day since then hiding upstairs.

  3. CëRïSë May 17, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    AHHHHahahahaha! Brilliant post, and good luck on the impending arrival/delivery (too many FedEx puns!).

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