I wasn’t sure I would write about this. As I type, I’m not sure I’ll publish this (obviously if you’re reading this, I have). I wanted to document what has been the scariest experience of my little life thus far.
I flew to Michigan two days early to surprise my parents. A dear childhood friend who remains a sister figure in my life, Holly, asked her parents if they would get in on the ruse by picking me up from the airport, to which they happily obliged (how much do I LOVE them and yes, they will be receiving some chocolate treats in the very near future).
The surprise went off without a hitch, everyone is so excited and kissing the baby belly and we all eat homemade nachos and then go for an evening walk to check out the Scream 4 set that has transformed my childhood neighborhood into a woodsy, hippie version of Paramount (not really, but it is super cool to see catering tents on the lawn of your elementary school). Bliss.
When I return from said walk, I have a voice mail from my doctor saying, “I have some test results to discuss with you. I’ll try to reach you again this evening and if we don’t connect, we’ll talk tomorrow.” I instantly know something is wrong. The doctor never calls if it’s neutral. And she doesn’t call back, and I have no way of reaching her as it’s after office hours. The wait begins.
I’m not going to go into detail about what the test revealed, or thought it revealed, as it really is nobody’s business. Suffice to say, we didn’t know if the baby was going to be okay for five. Interminable. Days.
In those days, a couple things happened.
Because my husband was a country away, I had no choice but to lean on, and become extremely vulnerable with, my parents, who were nothing short of rock stars. I love my parents and consider myself close to them, but I am not a big crier or leaner or heart-on -the-sleeve kind of gal or daughter. That all changed when I realized someone elses fate was way more important than mine, and as I prayed and pleaded for all manner of personal suffering in exchange for a healthy baby. I let my parents witness this because I didn’t have a choice, and because I desperately didn’t want to be in this alone. And I wasn’t.
I had no doctor here. Why would I? Immediately after receiving the news from my OB, mom and I started a crazed phone crusade, and our last call was to the University of Michigan hospital. I’m not sure why we left this one last, and in fact, we almost didn’t call. Maybe we thought they’d be snobby, or too busy for us…who knows. After deciding we would call just to say we’d covered all our bases, mom gets the operator, who transfers her to the perinatal assessment center and, as dad would say, “long story longer”, we had an appointment the next morning at 8am, provided that my medical records could be faxed by then.
Oh my heart. The cold, clinical medical community I largely loathe, swooped me up in it’s arms and all the tests were done less than 24 hours after we got the horrible call from my California doctor. I don’t know if this is a testament to Midwest kindness, or UofM, or simply proof that angels exist. All I know is that I’m leaving whatever fortune I have to Motts Childrens Hospital.
After a 30 minute ultrasound and an amniocentesis (piece of cake that is, by the way, be not afraid), and a weekend of waiting…we have a healthy baby boy. God willing. I’m honestly afraid to type this for fear that it will all come crashing down. It is a complete cliché, and for good reason, but I’m going to say it anyway; life is precious. We just don’t know, do we? What can I do? Love the hell out of this baby, and my husband, and my family, and my friends because we are here. Now. That’s all we have.