|Hanging Out at the Hospital Campus Fitness Center|
Somehow I found myself riding down the long road to the big city with my daughter Saphira driving me. Saphira, now married with a baby, is all grown up. She’s on maternity leave from her hospital job as an RN and has taken on the job of getting me to my Dr. appointment and moving me into medical housing. This seemed surreal to me. 1. Saphira is all grown up. 2. She has a cute, chubby baby which I was there for the birth of. The baby is no longer a newborn, but the chubbiest and cutest baby girl EVER!! She’s now 10 weeks old. 3. I’m moving to medical housing (ME!!). 4. I’m about to have a baby (what?!?! How did this happen?!?!). 5. I’m high risk for medical problems, so I am stuck with letting the Dr.s intervene though I secretly fantasize about not letting them. In these fantasies, I go through extreme measures to birth naturally even though I’m not really supposed to.
In all truth, I somehow avoided processing the last 9 months in my mind. I ran from one thing to the next, never slowing down. I was always greedily trying to conquer the next big thing in front of me with a strange sensation that I was about to fall off the face of the earth. As the medical reports seemed grim from the beginning, I could never quite allow myself to dwell on the fact that I was actually pregnant. I’d lost 3 babies of my last 4 and with the grim reports I’d been given, along with a big load of grief I seem to often flounder in, I just couldn’t indulge in baby thoughts. But, here I was, riding down the road and it seemed like some kind of weird dream that I was going to wake up from. Nothing about it seemed like it fit. For one thing, I always take care of people. People do not take care of me. In this case, Saphira called her dad and told him that I would not be left alone and she arranged for people to stay with me until he was able to come. That is another thing that seemed weird – Saphira taking charge of a family situation. And how did it come to be that Saphira, Ali Cat and I would all be having babies in a relatively short time of each other? I am for sure one odd woman. Some people shake their heads and don’t know what I’m thinking (actually I don’t know what I’m thinking either). Others think its great and go along with the joyous, momentous occurrence. Only a few tried to discuss birth control options with me.
At the medical appointment, Saphira and Miss Moonbeamer along with Saphiras Chub-A-Muffin saw my new baby girl on ultrasound. She is 6 lbs and 2 oz already. I tried to pay attention to the specialist, but mostly fantasized about ways to avoid him. I smiled blankly and nodded my head obediently. I hoped I was putting on a good show. Saphira thought my behavior rather suspicious. This was part of the reason that she insisted that I not be alone this last leg of the journey.
Then we met the “hospitality” lady from the hospital who guided us into this apartment. Staying in an apartment in the city seemed crazy to me, but so did going into labor in Yaak in the middle of winter. What seemed worse was the potential for life threatening complications in Yaak in the middle of winter. I knew that being here was sensible and decided to try and see it as a long awaited vacation from life as I know it. There would be no responsibility for me here – just resting, shopping, lounging on the internet, taking advantage of the pool and fitness center. I would have to leave my OCD behind as well as my other mental hang ups. I would truly be forced to REST. In some ways it was the falling off the earth feeling I’d predicted.
The hospitality lady pleasantly told me that I was HUGE, which I already had observed in the mirror earlier. I waddled along, contracting every so often. She also told me that there are 3 other people here from Yaak. My neighbor is a feisty 90 year old - once Yaak bar owner when Yaak was a wilder less civilized place to live. I laugh every time I talk to him because he cracks me up. Not long ago, I marched some of my behavioral school girls over to his house to check on him. I knew he was in chemo and driving back and forth. I had been worried about him. We knocked on his door and announced we were there to see how he was doing. He sauntered up, threw his arms out dramatically and said “well here I am!” Then he just looked at us like “and what the heck would you think you’d find?!” It was pretty hilarious. Now the dear old man was my next door neighbor. That in itself seemed comical that we would both find ourselves here at the same time.
Since I’m here now, this has been a good introduction to an adventure in my life that I’m yet to live. How I’ll survive medical housing, I’m not sure. I am betting I am about to embark on many adventures here. Probably many of them will be rather comical. I am not used to living in the city and am prone to getting into trouble. I continually revert back to wondering why I’m here and then feel shocked that I am about to have a baby. Contractions hit and I remember all over again “oh yeah that’s why I’m here”.
Art Dog also suffered a moment of panic this morning when it occurred to him that he and Super Cat man would be cooking their own meals for the next several weeks. He roamed through the cupboards not seeing their contents. He called Saphira in a panic telling her “we don’t have anything to cook”. “Whats the last thing you made?!?” “What did you make before that?!?!” He felt ill prepared and the idea of grocery shopping was monumental. He was able to convince his adult sister to pick him up some “easy stuff to make” and paid her for it. She and I had a good laugh about it on the way to town. It would be a good adventure for her younger brothers too.
There has been a lot of firsts for me this pregnancy. 1. First time picking up dog poop from a public location. Yes, I am actually becoming a responsible pet owner by picking up my dogs poop from public locations. 2. First time having “just us girls” for several days. Saphira took good care of me the first stint of my stay. She patiently waited while I pushed the cart e v e r so s l o w l y…… Waddling along and pausing to contract…. And beginning to understand how a little old lady might feel. Why does everybody walk so fast anyway?! Besides patiently transporting me to multiple assorted shopping locations, and waiting, Saphira cooked really really good for me. For the first time in a long time, I wasn’t rushing around and she was very purposefully reminding me of nutrition strategies I’d forgotten along the way. She even censored my shopping cart and there was no out running her to check out. At night we had girls sleep over, pushing mattresses together to form a gigantic bed on the floor. It was really a lot of fun and I will always be thankful for that time with her. Of course baby Astrid was a good distraction for me too.