Just In Case

When you’re pregnant they make you do things just in case.




“Well, just in case…come into the office.”

“Just in case you should pack up everything you are doing and come to the ER and get checked out.”

“But I just have indigestion.”

“Yeah…but…you never know.”

And the problem is … YOU DON’T!

So you go in.

Just in Case.

Me at my recent visit to Labor and Delivery...neither of which applied to me at the time.

Me at my recent visit to Labor and Delivery...neither of which applied to me at the time...obviously.

After my heinous car wreck this Sunday Andrew called my doctors office who advised us to immediately go to the hospital to get checked out.

So we stopped at Dunkin Donuts – I was starving.

Then to the hospital and up to the birthing center where I was admitted straight away.

They got me dressed up in one of those fancy gowns and asked me if Andrew was a creep or not, took my blood pressure and pulse and strapped me down to a ton of monitors that, together, all sounded like a nice techno song.

The room was divided by a huge curtain and seeing as I was not having any contractions I found it extremely easy to eves drop on the “stall” next to me.

One woman was there when I came in.

She got dressed and left.

One woman was there when we left.

And one woman was there in the middle of our harrowingly long triage experience.

Andrew came in after they knew he was safe and a bunch of nurses came in to ask me questions and examine me and tell me what was what.

I got to hear the baby’s heartbeat for like…5 hours and also see all the fake contractions I was having, most of which I think were sympathy contractions from listening in on the ladies next door.

my bling!

my bling!

So after the borage of students came through Andrew and I sat and waited for blood tests and so on playing scrabble and laughing at nothing.

While we were waiting a woman came into the area next to mine.

The nurses asked her a million questions including,”Do you smoke?”

“About a pack a day.”

“Do you drink or do drugs?”

“Only socially.” she said in a whisper.

“How much pain are you in from a scale of 1 to 10?”

“About an 8.” said the woman in an extremely light and delicate voice as if she were already holding her sleeping child.

“No you’re not. You’d be screaming if you were an 8. Let’s put you at a 2.”

“ok…” she said meekly.

The nurses came in and out and then left her alone for awhile.

Andrew and I realized that she had come alone – off the street – with no one.

And she didn’t make a sound not even to ask for water.

Finally some nurses came in to do a cervical exam.

“What?! This can’t be right. I must be going crazy because I think I just measured her at 9 and a half! Hold on Miss. I’ll be right back.”

The Attending rushed out of the room and brought back some nurse and doctors to check her work. (she was freaking out. it was pretty hilarious)

“Yes. 9 centimeters. We’re going to have to move you now.”

This was my face as they discovered my roommate was going to have a baby in less that 30 minutes.

This was my face as they discovered my roommate was going to have a baby in less than 30 minutes.

They wheeled her out, bumping into every wall and cabinet they could.

My heart was racing.

I could barely believe that we were going to be here for this child’s birth. My uterus started going crazy so much so that my nurse came in and asked me if I could feel the contractions that I was having every 2 to 3 minutes.

“No.” I said, trying to glance around her to see our friend being pushed down the hallway.

Only minutes later we heard the cries of a new baby girl.

She waled and howled and sounded like Little Richard.

And we were there.

All I could do was pray that this child, born into circumstances so different than my own child, would be given a fabulous life full of great blessing.

I will never forget that experience as long as I live.

Every time I celebrate my little girl’s birthday I will remember this little girl, who was born into silence with no one there to dote over how beautiful she was and how happy they were to finally see her.

And I’ll be thankful that we went to the hospital just in case.

Just to check on Clare.

Just to have a life changing experience that would leave me more thankful and more grateful than I have been in a long time.


9 responses

  1. Wow. I think you are amazing Val, that in the midst of everything that was going on you saw that. I mean not just witnessed it but that you actually processed it, considered its meanings, and cared. I too will be remember this little girl now as we approach my son’s first birthday and I pray she is loved and doted on and cared for and that it was just a horrible set of circumstances that keep everyone away.

  2. Yeah, Daniel was sick on Tuesday, and all I knew was that his sub was named “Tara.” =) That’s so funny! So, you mentioned she went to school with Sam, but how are you friends with her?

  3. what a day for that mother & child. this made me so much more grateful for my husband & family & friends who already are loving my son along with me. what a precious thing to come into the world already being cherished. i hope that baby gets to experience that.

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