A Very Long Night

We’d been going around in a circle about how to handle the pain in her leg.  Several days of wondering what needed to be done, it wasn’t stopping our lives but it was concerning.  I don’t remember what her mother said to her but it got her to go to the doctor.  The ex’s mother was a nurse and knew the signs of what she thought to be a blood clot.  With the other issues surrounding her health, specifically the Lyme she picked up in college, this was just something neither of us needed.  But it was another one of those phone calls saying “I’m at the doctor’s office, could you get over here?”  Grab the car keys and out the door.

I didn’t know much about blood clots, and the one in her leg was a concern since it was actually visible to the naked eye.  More bruise than anything else, but after a minute the doctor said “Get her to the hospital now.  I’ll call ahead and let them know your on the way.”  Few things can send a wave of panic like a statement saying you need better medical attention, go now!

The all to my parent’s was simple, we’re going to the hospital.  I’ll let you know what going on when we figure it out.  Hours of moving between tests and lab rooms.  Sitting in the Emergency Room sitting in a chair that had long since put my legs to sleep, my back into spasms; my phone going off every hour with my mother asking if they should come or at least what could they do.  It was nice, but when you don’t know the answers it can bring as much stress as the situation we found ourselves in.

It was about 4 in the morning, basically 9 hours since we had checked in when the doctor ducks her head in the room and announces “The pregnancy test results came back, congratulations!”  The combination of panic and elation hit both of us like a brick wall.  This is great news, but what about the clot?  We sat there staring at each other for a few minutes and than I jumped up on the bed and looked her right in the face “We’ve got this!  You’re going to be a great mother!”

The fear was still there, the instructions and medications that were going to be involved would scare anyone.  Twice daily shots in the stomach to deal with the clots and we were only a few weeks into this pregnancy.  It felt like waves crashing on the shore, great hopes pulled back by lingering fears of the future.

Eventually we left and headed back to get her car from the doctor.  It’s 7 in the morning on October 1st, the sun was just coming over the horizon as we pulled into the parking lot.  I just sat there holding her in my arms since we both were going to get cleaned up and head to our offices.  My absolutely tired body needing the medication I left at home, but adrenaline had taken over and my brain was only thinking about how lucky we both were.  My emotions just let lose as I pulled into my garage, resting my head on the steering wheel just letting it all out.  That combination of emotions had taken a toll for the last few hours.

A few days later I went to a picnic thrown by some friends.  I asked a friend to watch the ex because I didn’t want her pushing herself too hard while she got accustomed to the new daily routine.  Blood thinners are one thing, add in the little girl growing inside; even walking to grab a few minutes playing ping-pong with people in the yard had me watching her like a hawk.  Later people told me they knew something was up, I was walking on clouds and nothing bothered me that day.  Nothing anyone said meant anything because I was planning for something I had no idea how to plan for!

That night I felt the worst feelings.  Every time she was sick it was hard, even the flu sometimes had lingering effects.  I had considered so many possibilities that evening that short of them needing to operate on her I wouldn’t have left her side.  Even then I would have sat outside the O.R.  As the sun rose over my house as I pulled in I felt hope, I felt love, I felt every possibility in the world had presented itself.

We all know it ended later.  The life of my daughter and her mother leaving.  But as yet another anniversary of that night approaches, I know my mind is going to continue to cling to the memory of hearing those words “You’re going to be a father” for the first time.  Every thing I have accomplished in my life, that one simple thing means the most to me.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Mountaintops and Valleys.”

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