Monday, July 28, 2008

Shock . . . and awe . . . and relief

Several times yesterday afternoon as the events of the day unfolded, I found myself on the edge of deep emotion. But something held me back from letting go. Maybe it was an innate realization that I needed to "hold myself together" for somebody--or many somebody's--else.

* While still at home and the grave nature of the situation began to break upon our consciousness: Dave coming out of the bathroom where Jonelle was: "Could we have a towel or something? Jonelle is bleeding really badly."

* A few moments later . . . hearing the quiet gasping, whimpering, crying from through the open bathroom door as Jonelle tried to deal with the situation largely on her own, but, of course, with some help from Dave.

* On the way to the hospital: Jonelle crying softly in the back seat, apologizing that this wasn't according to plan. "I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry!" --"No, no. It's okay, Sweetheart! There's nothing to be sorry for. You've done everything you can. . . ."

* At the hospital: Dave had called ahead, en route, so they told us which entrance to come to, and Dave ran on ahead as soon as I stopped the car (and left it running) at the entrance. So by the time I was able to help Jonelle out of the back seat, a woman was there with a wheelchair. . . . But then we sat there waiting by the elevators for what seemed like an eternity, Jonelle bleeding and crying . . . and suddenly it hit me: "She could lose this baby! And after nine months!" --That, I think, was the first moment when I thought I myself might break down and begin to cry.

* Later, in the hospital room, as they wheeled Jonelle out for surgery, Dave began crying and I put my arm around him and started to pray . . . out loud.

* The miracle of seeing a beautiful, "perfect" new baby. . . .

* Jonelle, pasty-faced, absolutely ashen, being wheeled by, for all we could see, unconscious, on the way to her room . . . well over an hour after we had been told she had come out of surgery. --Yipes! We really were dealing with a life-and-death situation!


I "held it together" all evening. But I felt wooden. Leaden. Heavy. Tired. Like I wanted to cry, but I didn't have anything, specific, to cry about.

Sarita isn't the most emotionally demonstrative person in the world (!!! :-) ) and she buried herself in a book.

I decided to watch a movie. So I started Good Will Hunting. That's a nice emotional movie.

Robin Williams plays his character's deep emotions absolutely magnificently.

An hour into the movie, it was 10:30. I turned it off. Time for bed. Or time for something.

I went upstairs and tottered over to the couch opposite Sarita.

And then I was able to have my cry.

I got to re-live the details of the day, the details she had missed while I was at the hospital with Dave and Jonelle, the emotions I had gone through.

I almost lost my daughter! We almost lost our daughter! . . . And we could have lost our granddaughter, too! . . . "A few more hours! . . ." the hospital staff had said.


I am so glad we live in a place where, on the one hand, we can have a home birth with a midwife if and as long as things go well; we can also get to a hospital on a few minutes' notice and have a baby delivered relatively safely by c-section if the conditions warrant.

And our daughter is alive. And our granddaughter is alive. And the sun is shining on this new day.
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