Thursday, August 21, 2014

No Ordinary Day

The sun came up that day, just like it did every other day.  The alarm sounded exactly at ten minutes before six in the morning, just like it did every single Monday through Friday, and I rolled out of bed, bleary-eyed and mumbling silent curses that we weren't independently wealthy so I could sleep as late as I damn well pleased.  I stumbled downstairs and pushed the magic button that brought the aroma of hot coffee into my brain, and woke up enough to let Sandy the Wonder Dog(RIP) outside along with a couple of cats.  I sipped my single cup of coffee, ate a small meal, and woke up.

The sky was the same color of blue, and there were the same little white wisps of clouds punctuating the horizon.  We got into the car, just as we had done every Friday for the last seven months; the only thing that changed was the name of the doctor.   It had been that way forever, it seemed. My high risk pregnancy had turned out to be rather dull, I thought.  The radio station in the car was classic rock, when they actually played music, but both of us were talking rather than listening.  We had plans to make.

In two weeks, I would be going on maternity leave, but today would be just another routine visit to the perinatologist.  They would check my urine, look at my blood sugar levels, and we would spend a good thirty minutes looking at sonogram pictures of our boy, so they could take measurements and make sure everything was okay.  I enjoyed seeing pictures of my son; he always seemed to be kicking or running inside my belly, and he didn't seem to care that someone wanted to check out the size of his liver or measure his kidneys. 

An ordinary day in our lives. 

On this day, we waited for the doctor to come into the sonogram room to take her measurements, and Zane seemed sluggish. He wasn't moving much at all, although his heart was beating as strongly as ever.  The sonogram tech thought that perhaps Zane was just sleeping, and she didn't seem all that concerned.  However, I was starting to worry.

Finally the doctor came in to the room, and briefly took some measurements while speaking to us. She seemed a little concerned that Zane wasn't moving much.  A phrase jumped out at me: "When you get to the hospital..." 

"What do you mean 'When we get to the hospital?'" I finally asked. 

"You're throwing proteins," she said, looking exasperated, as if I should already know this.  "You'll need to go straight to the hospital after you leave here.  I already called your doctor."

Throwing proteins was bad, we knew.  Pre eclampsia had stolen our first child at nineteen weeks, and I had nearly died.

That day had started out ordinary, too. 

The doctor left the room, and the nurse led us to another room to strap on a fetal heart monitor. The fetal monitor had just been turned on when Larry's phone rang.  He talked for a moment, then handed the phone to the nurse. 

"Who was that?" I asked him.

"It's your doctor," Larry told me.   "He wants us at the hospital right NOW." 

My Ob has been my doctor for over twenty years.  He is usually one of the most laid back people on the planet.   If he said NOW, that meant something.   The nurse was already unhooking all the wires and belts and shooing us out the door.  We made our way as quickly as a waddling pregnant woman can move, and got in the car and got on the road.  During morning rush hour.  Our sense of urgency was not matched by the willingness of the other drivers to move a little more quickly.

The cell phone rang again.  I answered it this time.

"Where the heck are you?" he wanted to know.  His voice was calm, but there was a little edge to it that got my attention.

"In traffic. It's rush hour."  I gave him  an estimate of our time of arrival.

"When you get here, just come right up to Labor and Delivery, don't stop at admissions. I'll be waiting."

As I hung up the phone, I thought about how extraordinary an ordinary day can suddenly become.

This was inspired by Mamakat's World Famous Writer's Workshop.  The prompt was to write a blog post inspired by the word "ordinary".


  1. That's beautiful. I too had an ordinary day at the OB got from 0-60 and it was so scary. I agree - ordinary can become extraordinary in the blink of an eye.

  2. Oh my... What a high tension story. I almost couldn't bear to read it this early in the morning, it was so scary. Very glad to see your handsome boy's face about half way through. REALLY happy for your good ending. Much love to you all. xoxo
    (and regarding ordinary... I think about that a lot... how the biggest headline days in life all started off rather ordinary. Strange. Also comforting.)

  3. Glad to hear all turned out well! It is so true that ordinary can turn into extraordinary in a flash. You just never know ...

  4. Wow! That story sure makes you appreciate an ordinary day doesn't it? After all that drama, you sure got a cutie to make up for it!

  5. I was per-eclemptyc with my first child and remember how scary it was. Your son is a wonderful gift from an ordinary day. M

  6. Labor and delivery is the one time in life that I'd really really prefer everything to go as ordinary as possible! What a cutie. :)


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