Friday, October 2, 2009

Fire Drill (Part I)


Last Sunday evening, we were enjoying a delivery pizza and some good red wine with our friends Anne and Andy when the phone rang. It was V., who explained that she'd been experiencing painful contractions and thought we should stand by because "tonight might be the night." We told her, "no problem, we are ready to go!" She told us she'd call back if things seemed to be progressing.

We hung up and....squealed!!! And jumped around a bit!! The Raggedies were a good audience.

We tried to settle down to watch the big show: the season premier of The Amazing Race, our favorite. During commercial breaks, we scurried around, making sure we truly were ready to go at a moment's notice. M. watered plants and washed dishes. I can't quite remember what I did, other than run around, but I'm sure it was productive!

The first contestants had just made their way to Phil and the mat when V. called again. She said she couldn't take it anymore and was headed to the hospital.

Oh, boy!

We both jumped in the shower, checked and double checked our various lists, and we set off. Once on the road we did a few things:

- M. drove carefully but faster than usual, with intense concentration.

- I called my mom and told her we'd keep in touch when there was more news.

- I called M. sister and told her the same.

- I called the agency as instructed. The operator patched us through to the on-call social worker, who happened to be S., our adoption counselor. She sounded excited for us. I asked what we were supposed to do when we arrived, and she encouraged us to go on up to labor and delivery.

- I recalled some good advice I received on my wedding day: take some "mental snapshots" of special moments. This will make it easier to recall a few things in the blur.

We were a little more than half-way and just out of a mountain pass when we decided to run into a service station for a bathroom break and something to drink. Alas, we left the cell phone in the car. Fortunately, we thought to look at it when we returned two minutes later, and sure enough, there was a message from D. He indicated that he thought they'd be sending V. home, and asked us to call him. We tried to call him back but couldn't reach him. So begins a very sad part of the story.

Pulling into the parking lot at the hospital, we tried to call again. No response. Were they still there? We debated what to do. Ultimately, we decided to go in. Because it was about 11:30 p.m., we had to enter through the emergency room, which was crammed with sick and uncomfortable looking people. After inquiring, we were sent on up to Labor and Delivery.

The elevator doors opened on a calm, quiet floor. Behind closed doors, we could hear the occasional cry of a tiny baby. Some further exploration finally yielded a nurses' station where we inquired about her. They directed us to her room. So she WAS still there.

I knocked softly. No response. I opened the door slowly and whispered. No response. I went on in. No V! She wasn't even in the bathroom. Finally, a more in-the-know nurse clued us in that they had indeed released her about 45 minutes earlier.

So back to the parking lot in a quandary we went. We tried calling again.

Briefly we debated heading home. Then we decided better and headed to a hotel that M. had scouted out online. I called and found they had availability, in fact at a good rate better than advertised on the net. We headed over there, concerned about V. and not sure what to do.

We checked in and headed to bed. I'd just drifted off when the phone rang. But no one was there.

We were both sound asleep about 2 a.m. when the phone rang again....

1 comment:

Bobby said...

Oh no don't leave us hanging...!