“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”Gilda Radner

Monday, January 9, 2012


Noah's due date was May 2.  Everyone has their pregnancy stories.  With Noah, I hemorrhaged at eleven weeks, fell down the stairs at Christmas, had kidney stones, suffered sciatic pain, and then, in early April, starting having shooting pains in my belly that made me double over and cry.

The doctor said, "Well, discomfort is normal."

Finally, he said he could induce me.  On April 25, I went into the hospital at 8:30 am.  They expected me to deliver by 12:30 pm.  But at 12:30 pm, everything went wrong.  We thought my water had broken, but when I stood up, blood was everywhere.  (Sorry for the visual, but it happened and it was terrifying.)

The next thing I knew, I was being raced into an OR.  Nurses were shouting things like "BPs" and "Stat!" and as embarrassing as it is, I did feel like I was on an episode of Grey's Anatomy.  The scary part was that it wasn't just a TV show.  It was really happening.  I had no idea why, or what went wrong, and neither did my doctor (even scarier--should they actually say that out loud?).

When Noah was delivered fifteen minutes later, it was discovered that the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck, he was upside-down, and my placenta had torn. "But we're not really sure what the actual cause of bleeding was," they said.  And that, ladies and gentleman, is how Noah Michael entered the world.  He has since lived up to his grand entrance.

He is trouble.  He is mischief.  He is THREE--but add about ten octaves to the scale of being three and then you'll have Noah.  It's not ordinary trouble.  It's not average mischief.  Just like there wasn't only one complication at the time of his birth, there's never only one thing you can name about him.  He's a tornado of traits.

One thing he ISN'T?  A faker.  In fact, days might pass before I even realize he hasn't been feeling well or has been coming down with something.  This is a major contrast to Joey, who complains dramatically when his hair tickles.  But Noah never lets on that he feels any type of symptoms, and sometimes doesn't even acknowledge them when I SEE them.  "Noah, is your nose running?"  "Uh....no."

I think he honestly just doesn't want to be bothered or slowed down by anything (again, note his birth--he wanted to be born NOW).  But this also means that when he says something is hurting or bothering him, he MEANS it.

Flash forward to last night.  Noah was in bed by seven, asleep by seven-thirty.  The house was deliciously calm and peaceful.  Nine-thirty rolls around, and a blasting, piercing, heart-stopping scream comes down the staircase and through the monitor.  I am up the stairs faster than I have ever moved in my life--I think I grew wings on the way.  I am in his room.  Noah is drenched in sweat.  He is hysterical.  He is screaming.  He is crying.  He is holding his body so rigidly that he is shaking.  He is saying, "It hurts, it hurts" through his sobs.  At first I cannot pick him up.  Then I cannot bring him close to me.  He is saying, "I want my Mommy," but I am right here and he is not stopping.

I somehow determine that his foot hurts.  I rip off his Halo Sleep Sack, thinking he must have outgrown it (it's a size 5T), but he is irate.  "It's not that!" he screams.  It is so dark.  I turn on a lamp and tear off his socks.  It is then that he manages to say, "Not my foot--my knee!"  I set him down experimentally, and he cannot stand.

His screaming does not subside at all, so I carry him tightly downstairs, all the while whispering calmly, "It's okay.  Everything will be okay.  Mommy's here."  I am not at all sure that everything will be okay.

We sit on the couch, and I stroke his hair and rock him back and forth, but his body is so stiff and he is now crying so hysterically that I can see the veins in his forehead.  I call my mother.  She comes over within a minute (she lives across the street).  We cannot calm him down.

Suddenly, there is a pause.  I look at his soaking wet face, and see that has stopped to yawn.  When he is through, he slumps over and clutches his knee fiercely.  "Make it stop hurting," he sobbed.  I held him tight and rubbed his leg and whispered over and over again, "It's okay, it's okay."  I gave him ice, I offered him candy, I offered him presents, I offered him Disney World.  At long last, his sobs settled into shaky breaths, and then in a trembling voice he said, "Please take me back to my room."  I did, and  after several minute, he fell asleep curled in a tiny, perfect ball.

This is the second time this has happened.  I have called the doctor, and we go later this week.  He woke up this morning, all smiles.  He stood in his bed and said happily, "Well, hey, Momma.  Ready to start our day?"

I have no idea what to think.  I just know that no mother EVER wants to see her child like I saw Noah last night.  Scraped knees and mean friends are bad enough.  But this...pretty unbearable.  If you have a spare second in your day, please say a little prayer that Noah is fine.  He is trouble, but he is wonderful.

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