1.05.2017

Our Love child

On September 7, 2001 I went to work at Lindenwood Child Care Center for what would be my last day as Assistant Director. My colleagues and a few parents threw me a small going away party/baby shower. I had a doctor's appointment scheduled for 12:30pm. At the time Geoff and I had only 1 car and he had the car at work. 
He called me at 12:25 and apologized that he would be late. His shoot had gone long and he and a secretary were on their way to give me the car. I called my doctor's office and asked them if I could please come in a few minutes late due to the car issue. They obliged. 
Geoff arrived and I raced to my appointment. 
This pregnancy had been filled with doctors. I was 19 and lost more than 25 pounds during my first trimester due to insane morning/all day sickness. Nothing we did made it stop and I craved vegetables and BLTs. Good vegetables; Brussels sprouts, broccoli, Spinach, etc. Though my blood work did not look bad, I had a wide pelvic opening and the baby quickly fell into it. My doctor never got good measurements and immediately sent me to a high risk doctor. He diagnosed my precious cargo as having IUGR, IntraUterine Growth Retardation, the intrauterine equivalent of failure to thrive. For 20+ weeks I saw both doctors, got measured, answered dozens of questions, had my dietary choices questioned, Geoff was questioned if I was starving myself, and had ultrasounds. In my heart, I just knew everything was going to be ok. Geoff was scared. 
He went to as many appointments as his schedule allowed. Sometimes just holding my hand, rubbing my hair (so annoying, but he liked it), and always carrying my milkshake. (Proof for the doctors I wasn't starving myself.) He was scared. This was his first baby and the memory of his sister after delivering his still-born niece was still vivid in his mind. He often shared that pain with me and was fearful that that would be our fate. 
So, on this day, I walked into the office. Greeted the receptionists brightly and went through the confusion of the message having not been relayed that I was late and the girls thinking I was having a baby! What a laugh we had! They got me back on the schedule while I went to the bathroom. Once I came out we checked my weight, up a pound!! And got me in a room to wait. My doctor came in, chatted, measured my belly and listened to the baby's heart rate. She frowned. I frowned. My heart raced, palms sweat and the cold, thick feeling settled somewhere below my chest and above my stomach that says, "something is VERY WRONG." She asked me to do a none stress test. She said, they'd hook me up to a machine and track the baby's heart rate and it wouldn't hurt at all. Then she looked around the room and realized I was alone. "Would you like to call your husband?" 
"We're not married. And he doesn't have a car," I stammered. 
"Why don't you go sit at a nurse's desk and give him a call and once you get things straight will do our test."
"What's wrong?"
"I think you baby might be a little stressed and may be ready to come out sooner than we thought." 
(I have no idea what I said. If anything.)
I then made a myriad of phone calls. I needed my mom to get my "husband", someone to get my sister ruth from soccer so my mom could get Geoff and someone to take my mom's students' art to the show it was headed to. And I needed everyone to do RIGHT NOW. No text messages, no cellphones and I got it all arranged in a few phone calls. I went to my second little room and got hooked up for my non stress test. I'm pretty sure I was in there for eternity. The clock said it was only 30 minutes. In that time I had bargained everything with g-d. I'd give it all up, live poor, do whatever I had to do for her to be ok. Just get her through this. In those 30 minutes, I believe, I took the first steps in becoming a mommy. 
My doctor came in and read the paper and sat down. She looked stern and sad. I don't really remember everything she said. But I remember very clearly that she explained how induction would work. She didn't want to do a pitocin induction due to my extraordinarily low blood pressure. And so, she walked me through, step by step, my slow overnight induction. We were nearly done and my mother and Geoff walked in. The nurse tried to introduce them and everyone stammered with titles for Geoff. 
She reviewed, more succinctly what would happen and asked if anyone had any questions. I'll never forget what came next, my mother asked if this was really necessary and my doctor looked at her, squared her shoulders and said, "yes, because I prefer not to deliver dead babies." The room fell silent. She half hugged me and said, "I'll see you later tonight."
My mother, Geoff and I left. She made him promise I would eat. I wasn't hungry. She asked to meet me in the hospital. I agreed. I was frightened how she would behave in the delivery room as I saw her faint at my sister's forehead bleeding from a injury when she was about 8. This could get really bad. Really fast. 

We went home, got food on the way and tried to relax. I repacked my hospital bag and gathered my things and we headed to the hospital. It would be romantic to say we held hands all the way to the hospital, but it was more like Geoff squeezed my hand all the way there.

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