Thursday morning, I had to escort my old dog Daisy to the end of her life here on earth.
Thursday afternoon, I drove to Chicago with my husband and Bubba.
Friday, we played a strenuous game of tennis, got desperately lost, then attended a wonderful wedding and danced all night.
Saturday, we ate and ate and visited with my sister and her kids.
Sunday 2:30am, my brother, mother and I woke up and went to the hospital to meet my sister and her husband. It was time to have the babies.
We waited and waited until they said we could see her. As we walked down the hall to her room, my phone rang. It was Amy: We’re having the babies today.
Me: I know. I’m here.
Me: Here. In the hospital.
Me: I’m in the hall. Outside your room.
Amy: You’re what?
Me: I’m opening the door.
Amy: OH MY GOD!
Weeping and laughing ensued. I had never been in town for my sister’s previous births.
Her labor was progressing normally, which is something Amy had never experienced. She was so scared. So scared. I held her hand when she let me. We joked around with her while we waited for the doctor to arrive. We watched her entire giant belly slide over to her right side. If it had gone any further, it would have been lying on the bed next to her.
The contractions were strong and hurt. The doctor arrived and Amy cried with relief. She knew he would take care of her and her babies. He did an ultrasound. The nurses prepared her and she took off her jewelry. Amy was cold from the IV fluids. John changed into his scrubs, shoe covers and hat. He was a rock.
My brother never blinked. My mom had really big eyes. I couldn’t stop smiling. I was here. With my sister. On one of the most important days of her life. How lucky I was. What a gift.
We waited in the hall by the surgical suite. It went fast. A nurse went by the window to the nursery, carrying a baby wrapped in a warm blanket. We didn’t get to see the baby’s face.
A little bit later, another nurse carried another baby by. She was kind enough to stop and let us take a picture, but I used the flash and the baby’s face was lost in its reflection on the window.
The baby was beautiful: round head, puffy face, open eyes, head the size of a nectarine. Of course I wanted to be with her. We all did.
But we waited in the hall. The neonatologist went by and told us both babies were fine, one just needed a little oxygen. We peeked through the teeny holes in the blinds on the nursery window.
We saw one pink baby waving her arms and legs. If we caught just the right angle, we saw another pink baby in the corner of the room. She had a little tent around her head, and she kept sticking her right leg straight up in the air. She was pretty active.
The doctor told us Amy would be in recovery for a while, so we went back to the waiting room. Tired, but on pins and needles. I made some calls while Mom and Greg got coffee. John ran into the room for the camera and left just as quickly.
We floated back to the closed nursery window and saw that Amy was in there, in her stretcher, with John. They only let her hold one of the babies. That was so hard for her.
They took her back to her room, and we visited for a short time. She was so emotional, so tired, she needed to have her babies with her, she was shaking.
I kissed her and held her hand and told her I had to go to Kansas now. She and I cried.
I caught a little sleep while my husband drove us home to Kansas. I checked in frequently with my mom and brother, who were watching my sister’s kids. Mom and Greg were beyond exhausted, but took great care of the kids with Blondie’s help.
I am home. John is home with the kids. Mom is home watching Desperate Housewives. Greg is home with his puppy Tiny. The babies and Amy will be in the hospital until Thursday.
While I was reading a story to O’Baby, he said, “Bow Wow Wow!” at exactly the right spot. He also showed off his jumping and spinning skills for us. And he has a new haircut.
I looked through the mail from the past few days. There was a condolence card in there from the vet. I cried.
It has been a very long emotional weekend.