I never could have imagined how this day would really turn out. We knew the day was coming. We knew in our hearts that today was the day. I had my bag all packed just in case.
Calmly, quietly we made the 20 minute drive to the doctor’s office. Things had not been going the way the doctor had wanted for the last two weeks, so today was a checkup. I was 2 days overdue.
We walked into the office that had become so familiar, the rows of seats were almost comforting as we walked up to the reception window. The same familiar clock was on the shelf, the same black pens and blue clipboard, but this time we knew it was different. There was a catch in the air, like a breath held waiting to be exhaled.
The nurses all wore pleasant smiles and showed us to the ultrasound room. It was still, sterile, and uneasy. After a few moments the doctor came rushing in. As she moved through the door, time quickly sped up, swirling around us, trying to catch what we had missed. In a flurry, she apologized for being late, moved machines, sat me on the hard brown pleather table, whipped out the wand and paused.
“We’re just going to check you to see if everything is still ok.”
I watched the screen, watched the wand moving over my rounded belly, waiting, caught in the breath again.
“I’m sorry Amber, you don’t have very much fluid left. Looks like you’re going to have a baby today!”
As we made our way across the street to the hospital my mind raced at the thought of this. Today? I’m not ready. Today? Really? Today.
The nurses were kind and patient. They could sense the fear and disappointment I had. As a last attempt the nurse took pity on me and checked if I was ready to go on my own. No, I wasn’t. It was quite a let down. The first step of my natural birth flew out the window as the Pitocin was started.
I’m ok, I can do this.
I relaxed into the gentle sounds of the heart monitor. The reassurance of my child’s heartbeat calmed me. I would soon see my little boy.
The sounds slowed. Slower…slower…slower. We were confused, did the monitor slip off? Should we get someone? Another breath caught.
Before we could move, nurses came running in, oxygen was turned on, and I was flipped all about. Dignity was set aside. The nurse spoke with a stern tone that gave away the severity of it all. Fear welled up inside me, choking me. I have no control, I can’t do anything, I’m helpless.
Finally the sounds of the monitor picked up again and we exhaled. We relaxed for a few minutes, before it all started again, and then again. Each time the fear ate away more of me. Each time I lost more of my hold. Each time I became more hysterical and more terrified.
When the monitor sounds did not come back up, I was lost in a sea of fear. I saw no way out, no resolution.
I was spoken to, blur, I was prepped, blur, I was wheeled away, blur. The fear clouded everything.
Until I heard a cry, a glorious and healthy cry. The fear still rang in my ears but the cry was louder. The cry pushed the fear back, and released the joy.
My husband left my side, the fear still subsiding. I was no longer the one that needed him the most.
And the whole world shifted.
This post is written for this week’s Red Writing Hood meme over at the Red Dress Club: Write a maximum 600-words that begin with the line, “I could never have imagined” and ends with the line, “Then the whole world shifted.”