by Melanie Bettinelli on November 11, 2012
This week Leila’s Master Bedroom Challenge didn’t grab me. My bedroom definitely needs a little something; but the first step is moving a bunch of stuff out to the shed and I wasn’t up for that. So I decided to sit it out. Plus trying to do anything at all just seemed too overwhelming.
Then Dom decided that on Saturday he wanted to move the television out of the living room and into the office. It wasn’t a spur of the moment decision. We’d talked about it a few times. When we watch shows after the kids in bed we’ve had to wear headphones or watch on the computer screen in the office because the sound of the tv wakes Anthony, whose bedroom abuts the living room. On Sunday afternoons when Dom wants to watch the football game it drives me crazy because the game just sounds too loud, lasts too long, and in our small house there is nowhere I can go to hide from the sound. But with the television in the office, the sound is much more muffled and the office is at the other side of the house from the bedrooms.
The only reason this solution didn’t occur to us before is because there was no room in the office for the television. Until we moved a bunch of the book shelves to the living room. Then we could push the desk against one wall of the office and put the television in the corner.
The bookcases, now in the living room, where the children are so excited to have more room for playing. Don’t you know that bookcases make excellent doll houses? Though here it’s a museum and the board books and picture books that are facing out are the paintings which the animals have come to view.
So we spent all Saturday afternoon taking dusty books off shelves, moving bookcases—two went into the living room, one moved to a different wall in the office, where a couple of small filing cabinets were holding a bunch of old papers that I decided I could get rid of or move. Goodbye filing cabinets.
It was hard work; but of course when you move furniture you end up dusting and vacuuming—or at least I do—once I had started doing all that, and arranging the books and tidying the shelves, then suddenly I found myself motivated to clean off my sewing table, which hasn’t been used in almost two years. I started that job on Saturday after the books were all moved and while Dom was hooking up the electronics. I finished it this afternoon.
And then today after Mass I cleaned off the shelf between the kitchen and the living room, dusting it, removing junk that had accumulated, throwing away some old candles that were just gathering dust. I cleaned off the shelf where the printer sits. I finished cleaning off my sewing table and while Anthony napped and Dom and the big kids watched the Patriots game in the office, I actually did a bit of sewing on the quilt I started for Ben almost three years ago.
The shelf between the kitchen and living room. Dusted and decluttered. Now that the tv isn’t in front of this space, I can actually reach the shelf without crawling through a jungle of cords and cables.
The printer shelf. I removed a huge pile of papers and other junk, put the printer paper and ink cartridges into the basket to keep them organized. The legos are up there to keep Anthony from throwing them around the living room. They are a “by request only” toy.
It’s funny how once you accomplish one big task and see one space open up and put in good order suddenly you want to do more and more and more. All those tasks which before seemed too big to even start now seem possible. Vacuuming always gives me a sense of profound accomplishment, of having restored order from chaos. Rearranging the furniture makes me feel like I’ve gained a new home. I would never have started this project had it not been for Dom, who wanted to give me the gift of a quiet Sunday afternoon while he watched the game. He gave me so much more, though. Now I think maybe it’s possible I can squeeze out the time between now and the end of the year to finish a few sewing projects. Maybe I can finish the quilts in progress for Ben and for Anthony. Who knows, maybe I can start one for Lucia too. And a couple of other small projects. Now that the work area is clean and not a big messy pile, I feel like I can sit down and sew for fifteen minutes, half an hour. What seemed impossible a few days ago now seems not only possible but imperative. And maybe that’s what I need, a way to accomplish something tangible, a work that doesn’t need to be done over again the next day like cleaning, laundry, cooking, and child care. A blanket that a little boy can wrap around himself and feel his mama’s love. (Sophie says that about the quilt I made for her, her “Flower Blankie:—it feels like getting a hug from me.)
by Melanie Bettinelli on May 15, 2012
Bella turns six on Friday and she requested for her birthday the special treat of going to the Public Garden in Boston to see the Make Way for Duckling statues and the swan boats. We were most happy to oblige.
Riding the train is an adventure in itself, of course. The children think the subway is the greatest ride ever. And you know, I agree with them. Riding the subway with them makes me feel just as giddy and excited as the first time I rode it. Actually, if I’m honest it just gives me permission to acknowledge that I feel the excitement at the same fever pitch because for me riding the train or subway has always felt like a grand adventure. Even if it’s a route I’ve taken dozens of times, there is still something wonderful about it. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a city that doesn’t have a subway. Anyway, having children definitely makes me feel younger at heart.
We took the Red Line train from Quincy Adams station to Park Street and then strolled across Boston Common, being sure to point out the golden dome of the State House. We stopped and looked at the murky waters of the frog pond and admired the horses and other creatures on the carousel nearby.
Once we’d transversed the Common, we crossed the street and Oh! we were in the Public Garden at last! First we crossed the bridge, looking down at the swan boats and the splashing ducks. Then we went to find the famous statues of the Mallard family.
I was the first to spy them but soon the children all were racing to climb on the ducks. It seems to be a universal reaction that children wanted to sit on the ducks. We saw a group of school children on field trip. We saw a bunch of families with little ones. My favorite though were the two boys who were older—maybe ten or eleven—who stopped and sat down near Quack, the last duck in the line. The one boy pulled out his phone and with one arm draped around the duck, flipped through the settings for the camera and then handed it to his friend so he could get a photo. Meanwhile the dad stood at a distance urging them to come on. I loved the childishness, the lack of that kind of awkward self-consciousness that too often cripples children that age, making them try to act older than they are. Instead, the boys just enjoyed the moment and delighted in the statues.
We had a little snack there, banana bread for everyone and Cheerios, string cheese, raisins, and peanut butter tortillas, for those who were still a bit hungry. Then we went back to see about riding on the swan boats. At first it seemed we might be disappointed. The man said they needed about ten adults and there was not yet anyone else waiting to ride the boat. We decided to wait for just a bit but it was almost noon and we needed to go get lunch and the prospects did not look good. Just as we were getting ready to give up and leave a mother with a couple of children came up and then a trio of tourists and the man said it would be enough to run the boat and so we got on, leaving Grandma with the stroller and bags and at the last minute with Anthony too because I began to doubt my ability to keep a grip on the thirty pound toddler if he really wanted to get down and I could tell he was not going to sit quietly on my lap during the ride.
Bella and Sophie and Ben absolutely loved it. It only cost $2.75 for adults and $1.50 for children over 2, so this was a totally affordable experience. And the smooth, gentle ride on the pedal-powered paddle boat made for a very peaceful trip. The most exciting part was seeing a lot of real live ducklings paddling around our boat. And one of them, which had been splashing on the shore as we passed, jumped into the pond and then swam in front of our boat. For a minute it looked like he wasn’t going to make it and we were going to run him over but he put on an amazing burst of super paddle speed and flashed across our bow. I couldn’t help but think of Ping: paddle paddle, paddle paddle.
After our swan boat ride we headed to Arlington station and then rode the green train to Government Center and then to Faneuil Hall where we got lunch. (No pictures of lunch because we were all tired and hungry and too busy eating.) The kids shared a big bowl of mac-n-cheese. Really good mac-n-cheese. The adults each had a lobster roll and a bowl of chowder. Really, really, really good lobster rolls. Then on to Haymarket and the green line to Park Street and then the red line back home. Ben, Bella, and Anthony all slept on the train; but Sophie didn’t fall asleep until she was in the car.
A very long day; but oh such a grand adventure! It’s not often you get to step into the pages of one of your favorite books. How perfect that even Ben was able to get into it for Make Way for Ducklings has been one of his favorite bedtime books in the last few weeks. Most of all, this was the perfect birthday adventure for my soon to be six Bella-girl!
by Melanie Bettinelli on April 29, 2012
Last Sunday since Dom was in the hospital and we were all going stir-crazy, the kids and I took a drive to the park and fed the ducks, geese, and a swan. It was cold and wet; but at least they were out of the house.
Praying about rain
On Monday Bella and I had a dental appointment. As I was asking her to get her shoes on, I looked up and noticed that the light rain had turned into a torrential downpour. I pointed it out to Bella and she grew distressed about the idea of having to go out in the rain. She even started to say something about maybe not going to the dentist at all. I hate to see her distressed and so I told her to pray about it. Jesus calmed the storm, I reminded her, he can make the rain go away if you ask him. I don’t know why I suggested that but somehow the words were coming out of my mouth. Not my usual style. So we prayed and continued to get ready. Sure enough, right before we went out the door I looked up and the rain had abated. When we went out to the car the rain was a light drizzle. Bella and I got into the car and as I was putting the address into the GPS the rain grew heavier. As we pulled out of the driveway the downpour returned. It rained most of the way to the dentist but again when we pulled into the drive there the rain had slowed to a drizzle. I pointed it out to Bella and she was thrilled that Jesus had answered her prayers.
Parting the Red Sea
Bella was stumped, trying to figure out what game she would play. Then she perked up, declaring she would do something from the Old Testament. Later I came in and found her playing the parting of the Red Sea. She had two orange scarves spread out side by side on the floor. There were two bunches of animals and figures. The Israelites were in the middle of crossing the sea. Some of them were perched on the trailer of Ben’s flatbed truck. They has a bunch of plastic shapes piled up with them, representing their luggage. There was a family and a single woman and I think a few other people. The other group clustered together behind her were the Egyptians. Unfortunately, I had to interrupt her game to take her to the dentist.
Anthony’s first driving lesson. Actually, I just needed him out from underfoot (I think it was while I made dinner). Since Theresa was outside cleaning her car, I asked if he could keep her company. Both of them were delighted with the solution.
Words with Sophie
At dinner Sophie was asking for words to be defined. “What’s ‘devour’ mean?” she asked. So we defined it for her. Then she stumped us, “What does ‘go-ap’ mean?” What? we asked. Over and over again Dom and I tried to mimic back the word she was saying and every time she looked at us as if we were crazy and then repeated it again, slowly and loudly. Over and over and over and over and over. We tried throwing in an ‘r’ on the theory that she’s from Massachusetts and maybe was dropping that little-pronounced letter. Nope. We started to think it was supremely funny and laughed and laughed as we tried to mimic our four-year-old’s pronunciation. She alternated between frustration with our incomprehension and taking offense at our laughter and joining in with the giggling.
Dom kept trying to get her to use it in a sentence. Finally she understood what he was asking. “You go-ap your food.” It still took me a minute or two and then suddenly it clicked: “Gulp”. It pairs nicely with ‘devour’. It wasn’t so much a Massachusetts accent she was sporting as a Texan drawl. Later I texted an account of the conversation to my mom and siblings. I didn’t tell them what the solution was but left them to guess. My sister threw out a few of the same things we’d guessed. But my little brother with the Texan drawl got it in one. Unfortunately after that she started to ask us about another word she kept repeating it and we never did get it. Poor Sophie.
A New Game
I’ve noticed that sometime in the past few weeks Ben has made a jump from playing mostly by himself near his sisters to being a frequent partner in Sophie’s games. To the point that Bella has had a few moments of feeling left out when she wandered in from whatever she’d been doing on her own (wandering in the yard, lost in a book, eating a snack, etc) and found that Sophie and Ben were deep into a game and didn’t want to include her. I think Sophie likes playing with Ben because he’s content to follow her lead and doesn’t try to control things as Bella does. (In the past I’ve often heard Sophie telling Bella that she’s playing “a one person game.”) Ben loves the attention from his big sister. Both Ben and Sophie are united in fending off Anthony, the pesky little brother who is constantly, “ruining our game!”
Last Saturday we spent the morning going to Home Depot for mulch and then weeding the front beds, trimming the bushes, and laying down mulch. Very satisfying to get this done after a couple of years of meaning to get around to it. Yes years. Last year we had Anthony so my participation in yard work was practically non-existent. There is still more trimming I’d like to do. My only window of opportunity is while Anthony is napping because if he’s up I have to keep an eagle eye on him to keep him out of the street.
by Melanie Bettinelli on April 17, 2012
Please notice the sweet boys and ignore the goofy hat. I much prefer my broad brimmed sunhat but with Anthony in the Ergo, I figured he wouldn’t want the brim poking into his face. So the floppy hat it was, which has since lost whatever semblance of shape it once had.
Dom had Monday off and when I learned that the weather would be warm and sunny I had a yearning to go to one of my favorite places: World’s End. So we packed up the kids and some snacks and headed out. A half hour drive and we were there. The name is magic and so is the place: a great big hill on a promontory overlooking the ocean. Trees and wild places. A high grassy meadow. Birds and flowers and butterflies. And in the distance the Boston skyline. So many of my favorite things. There is another part of the park, you cross a causeway and there is a little island with another hill. We’ve never made it that far with our small gang. But someday…. someday when they are a bit older and have more endurance….
Still, there was magic enough. We spotted a red-wing blackbird. And swallows. We identified a few trees. We saw violets and dandelions and picked up pinecones and acorns. Bella collected a branch from a birch tree and one from a larch. We saw a red-tailed hawk on the ground and got so close before it flew off to the top of a nearby tree.
Poor Sophie wasn’t feeling so good and neither was Anthony. By the end of the day it was apparent that all the kids have colds. Sophie and Ben were both up coughing last night. But we soldiered on and even though Sophie rode in the stroller and insisted it was too hot, I think even she enjoyed the beauty once we were at the top of the hill. She sat on the bench while the others ran around. But once she had some peanut butter crackers in her belly she perked up a bit.
I carried Anthony on my back. The Ergo is well balanced enough I didn’t feel it on my shoulders or back but, oh, my legs! He got cranky at one point and started pulling on my hair and clawing at my hat. Then fell asleep. Then woke up when we stopped, ate massive quantities of crackers, bread and pizza crusts. Then fell asleep almost immediately. Ben ran and ran and ran. And walked all the way back to the car, sometimes holding my hand. Oh how sweet it was to be walking with my boys, one on my back and the other by my side!
by Melanie Bettinelli on April 09, 2012
Bella decided to decorate for Holy Week. She cut out this cross and hung it in her bedroom window. Then she cut out pictures of Holy Mary and St Mary Magdalene and others and hung them around the house: on the front door, in the living room window, above the fireplace.
On Good Friday when we went up to venerate the cross Ben and Sophie didn’t stop to kiss it. And I was a bit too worried about herding them and the huge line of people behind me to try to coax them. And I knew that it would be easier after the service. So in the quiet after I’d put on their coats I asked Sophie, “Would you like to go kiss the cross now?” Her eyes lit up in that way they have, huge and sparkling, and she nodded with a huge smile as if to say, Oh thank you for understanding! She held my hand and we approached the huge cross, at least seven feet tall, that lay at the foot of the altar, flanked by four flickering candles. She bent and kissed it and I looked up to see Ben watching. I approached him, “Do you want to kiss the cross too?” He did. He held my hand and we went up slowly and when we reached the cross he bent and gave it a big solemn smooch. Then he looked up at me and declared, “The cross is happy.” Oh? Why is that? “Because it’s laying down.” Later he was to tell me that it was because they were holding it. And even later he was to elaborate that it was because everyone was hugging and kissing it. In any case, the cross is happy, my friends. The cross is happy.
On Saturday night when the lights went out in the church Ben was a bit afraid until my sister comforted him and then lifted him up where he could see as she explained about how Christ was going to come into the darkness. Meanwhile Anthony kept looking over my shoulder at the altar, wondering when something was going to happen. I pointed to the back of the church where the Easter candle was being held aloft. “Look, Anthony!” He did turn and look and then pointed, “Oh! Oh! Oh!” his voice full of wonder and he reached and I think everyone in the church heard his voice.
As I lit Sophie’s candle her eyes were gleaming and her face aglow from within. I usually think this part of the Mass is far too short and hate the moment where we all extinguish our candles to sit in the darkness and hear the words proclaimed. Last night it couldn’t come soon enough as I watched my four year old’s candle wavering in her unsteady hand, swaying this way and that and then wandering behind me to sit on the other side. My right hand held my own candle and my left held Anthony, all thirty-some pounds of him, so I could hardly keep watch over her. Dom had Bella, herself a handful, and my sister had Ben. On reflection, I should have just blown my own candle out and taken hers away. But oh it was as beautiful as always in that church with everything aglow in the wonderful light, divided but undimmed as the Exsultet rang out (oh the glorious new translation!) and I knew it was really true: Christ is risen.
On Easter Sunday morning Ben and Anthony were up at six. I was nursing Anthony in bed when I heard Ben fussing in the hall. I called out to him and he opened the door and stood there still crying, “I want to go trick-or-treating!” When we tried to explain that is a different holiday, he threw himself onto the floor and wailed. Finally I convinced him to go into the dining room to look at the Easter baskets. He was overjoyed that Santa had brought him a new dump truck and some candy. He immediately began playing with the truck and the duckies. (The stuffed animals were gifts from family in previous years. They get boxed up and brought out each Easter for new fun.) Sophie declared that Easter is Lambie’s birthday. Lambie was one of the animals I overlooked when I was boxing up last year’s Easter goodies.
Even though Bella specifically asked for jelly beans, it turned out she’d confused them and M&Ms. So the girls gave all the jelly beans to Dom. The girls were both very good at helping Ben to find eggs, making sure he had more than his fair share of the haul. It was very sweet.
For Easter dinner we had a quiet meal here. Dom grilled a butterflied leg of lamb. I made mashed turnips and carrots, a lemony-cheesy spinach and artichoke dish, and at Bella’s request roasted beets and peas and corn with lots of butter. We went over to Dom’s brother’s house for dessert with all the Bettinelli clan.
I made two dozen boiled eggs for the kids to dye (Fortunately Bella reminded me at the grocery store to buy white eggs for dying! I would have forgotten.) It still wasn’t enough. I want more deviled eggs. Mental note: make three dozen eggs next year.
I have more pictures of kids eating chocolate but I’ll have to put them up tomorrow. Now it is time for this tired mama to get to bed. I’m still recovering from the Easter Vigil and the subsequent kids who are all off their schedules and not sleeping well.
by Melanie Bettinelli on February 16, 2012
1. So our Valentines Day was very nice, though low key. Dom brought me flowers and chocolates and a card…. and BBQ take-out because I totally lost it over figuring out what to do for dinner. The kids and I made Valentines cards. Or I tried to make one. When Dom came home mine was still unfinished. Not that he minded at all.
2. After a while though Bella got bored with pasting hearts on paper and began to make her own creations. She brought me an “outfit” that she had made.
A tall yellow dress form with arms and blue shoes. She told me it was a wedding dress. Later she added a blue head and a blue veil that was longer than the dress. Then she drew a face on it and added a heart sticker.
She also made a black bridesmaid with green high heels. And a family, mom, dad, and children that never got heads.
Sophie made some people too, figures cobbled together with little scraps of red paper.
3. Have I mentioned that Anthony is walking now? He’s been making strides for weeks and now he’s probably at about 75-80% walking to about 25-20% crawling. He’s slimmed down considerably, just as everyone said he would, though he’s still a pretty chubby guy. And he’s going to be one on Monday!
4. Today Ben had me reading Curious George backward. He likes to open books to the back. This time he was turning the pages for me while I nursed Anthony. I think he knew it was funny to read it backward. When we got to the title page he made me read it to him twice. And he laughed. At least reading backwards is a nice change of pace.
5. Bella doesn’t just play with beads, she becomes a jeweler making fine jewelry and selling it to support her family. I just love her imagination.
Yet another reason to homeschool. I would be so sad to miss all the Bella stories if she weren’t here all day. I’d be sad not to see her playing so sweetly with her sister. Oh of course they fight; but they really are the best of friends and I love the way they work together.
6. This weekend we went to Ikea and bought some more shelves to deal with the overflowing clutter of the school books and art supplies in the dining room and the mess of the pantry. Then on Sunday we moved the furniture. The futon went from the living room to the office and two bookcases went from the office to the living room. How is it possible that both rooms feel bigger and more open? The kids all seem to be enjoying the change. We should probably rearrange the furniture every February.
7. Today the weather was lovely and after naps we all went to play outside. I pulled Anthony around in the wagon, first with Ben and then with Sophie. Then Ben pulled Anthony. The weather has been so very mild this winter, a nice change from last winter when we were buried for months under feet of snow.
This week’s Quick Takes are being hosted by the lovely Betty Beguiles.
by Melanie Bettinelli on April 13, 2007
I woke up at five this morning from a very restless sleep and an anxiety dream about waking up more than an hour after the time we were supposed to be at the hospital. Tossed and turned until the alarm went off at 5:30.
Dom went and woke up Bella—we really hated waking up a sleeping baby!!! Wouldn’t it figure this was one of the rare mornings she didn’t wake up howling at five-five-thirty?!? I nursed her for a half hour or so while Dom took his shower and dressed.
Then we left Bella with my mom while we went to the hospital. She cried for a bit, of course, but was then fine until right before Dom came home. (I told him there was no sense in him sitting in the hospital waiting room while I was in the OR. We live not five minutes from the hospital.) Bad enough for Bella to have a morning without mommy. No daddy, I figured, would be really hard for a little girl.
As for my part, it went very smoothly. Thanks in large, I’m sure, to all those prayers everyone’s been saying. They didn’t use a general anesthesia, just a sedative and a local. I thus expected to be awake and aware during the procedure as I was during my c-section, a thought which actually distressed me a bit, even though I knew the sedative should keep me calm.
But I recall going into the OR and chatting with the nurses and anesthesiologist as they put warm blankets around me and set up the “Cadillac” stirrups, as one of the nurses called them. Then, the next thing I knew I was waking up from a very peaceful dreamy sleep and they were telling me the procedure was done and they were moving me to the recovery room. Once there, I was tucked in under warm blankets again, had a very welcome glass of ice water, and then fell back to sleep. Then I woke up and had some juice and hot buttered toast and drifted back to sleep. When I woke again, I had more water and then began praying the psalms and canticles I know by heart. Then, I said a rosary, the sorrowful mysteries, on my fingers. I was very calm, relaxed and prayerful.
Finally, I woke up all the way and read my book (Eifelheim) for a while. I was so glad the nurse had agreed to carry it into the OR for me so I could have it with me when I woke. I hate staring at the wall with nothing to read. Eventually I was ready to go home. Dom came up and chatted with me, then went back to the waiting room to be with Bella and my mom as I got dressed and was discharged.
When I got to the waiting room, I saw Bella in my mom’s lap with her back to me. I called her name and she looked about, joyfully, and finally spotted me. I sat down and they put her in my lap and she just clung to me, a very sleepy, very happy baby. (She wasn’t able to go down for her morning nap without me to nurse her to sleep. As I knew she wouldn’t.) Bella fell sound asleep just as soon as the car had pulled out of the parking lot. Poor tired little girl.
We stopped by McDonald’s to get some food. Dom hadn’t eaten yet today both because he was too busy and too anxious to think about eating and, he said, because he knew I’d not been able to eat and he felt so helpless with nothing to do. It was the least he could do to feel some solidarity with me. So sweet. We wanted to eke out Bella’s nap as long as possible so we drove to my favorite little park in neighboring Marblehead and sat in the car looking out over the Atlantic as we ate our burgers and fries. Bella finally woke as we pulled up to the house, about a half hour after we left the hospital.
She had lunch, played for a while and then had her regular afternoon nap. (I slept too.) So she seems back on schedule.
My doctor called Dom when I got out of OR, while I was still in recovery. He said everything went well and looked fine. Of course, we won’t get the pathology report until next week, probably Wednesday or Thursday; but it’s good preliminary news, at least.
I’m taking it easy this afternoon; but I feel fine. Minimal cramping. Much less than I expected. More like the biopsy than the miscarriage and easier than most of my menstrual cramps.
Thanks again to everyone who has been praying for me. I’ve really felt all those prayers sustaining me and am sure that today went so smoothly because of your prayers and support. (I’ve been praying for all of you as well.) Just a little longer and this will hopefully all be behind us and we can get on with our lives.
Though in some ways, I’ll never be the same. This experience has changed the way I look at so many things, especially intercessory prayer. I will never look at a prayer request in my inbox or on a blog in the same way again. I have been so blessed, I know I am called to pray that others will receive some of the same blessings and consolations that have been given to me.
by Melanie Bettinelli on February 26, 2007
I had a miscarriage yesterday.
If you don’t want to read about it, then don’t. But I need to write about it.
Spotting began Saturday night. I noticed it right before we left to go out to dinner for my sister-in-law’s birthday. I didn’t mention it to the family at dinner because it might be nothing and because I didn’t want to disturb the happy occasion.
Spotting and cramping after dinner and I called my OB’s office. She said as long as the spotting was light, I could probably hold off and go into the office on Monday for an ultrasound. But if it got worse, to go to the ER. Cramps got worse overnight and by morning we decided to go to the ER after mass. But as we were getting ready to leave I changed my mind and so instead of going to church, we went straight to the hospital.
And a good thing too because after they had checked me in, while I was still in the waiting room, waiting for them to find a place for me, I guess, I started bleeding very heavily. Scared, I sent Dom to try to get them to hurry up. They weren’t fast enough, though. A very heavy gush of blood scared me. I panicked and started screaming. Mostly because I was scared, though also a bit because I knew it would get me the attention I needed. It sure did. The admitting nurse was on the radio telling some guy that she didn’t care, she needed to bring me back NOW. I feel bad for the people in the waiting room. It was pretty scary. I left a pool of blood behind in the chair and on the floor.
But once I was actually in the ER the nurses were great. They told Dom and Bella to come on back with me. He did, leaving our coats in the waiting room as he pushed the stroller. They started to put me in a curtained area in a larger room with three other beds, but then a nurse found an empty room where I could have more privacy. It wasn’t an exam room at all, but they made do.
Time passes funny in a hospital. You wait, wait, wait, wait wait. Sometimes it drags and sometimes it flies. The longest wait was for the ultrasound. There was a backup there. Usual, I was told. But they had waited until my bladder was full to even begin the process. So I had to wait with a full bladder. And wait and wait.
The hardest thing was not being able to take care of my poor distressed Bella. I did nurse her briefly during one of the long waits in the morning. Then fortunately Dom’s mother and sister came and helped out with her. They took her home to get her lunch and changer her diaper, the snacks and diapers in the diaper bag having run out. Then Dom came back to the hospital in time to take me home, around 3:00. I was so glad I didn’t have to stay overnight. As it was, when we got home, poor Bella had cried herself to sleep in her auntie’s arms. She was so glad to wake up to find herself in my lap instead. It was so hard to know my little girl needed me and I couldn’t be there for her.
Now I’m home. Taking it easy today. Tomorrow a follow-up doctor visit in the office. So glad Dom is here, taking care of us.
Like I said, all the staff at the hospital were wonderful. But there was one nurse, a motherly woman named Mary. I guess she’s actually grandmotherly. My mom’s age. She took care of me the whole time and was very comforting, friendly and reassuring. Very solicitous of my feelings, telling me it was ok to cry, to grieve. I hope she’s there for all women in such situations. Our society just doesn’t know how to deal with death, especially the deaths of babies. So it is very good that she was there and knew what to say and how to say it.
Anyway, I don’t want to write about the emotions now. I can’t. Maybe later. Or maybe not.
I’ll just say this: God has a funny way of preparing us. Thanks especially to Karen E., whose been writing about her own miscarriages recently on her blog. And then there was last Monday, at the Carmelite bookstore in the mall. Dom and I browsing through the children’s books and he picked up one for children about a child dealing with the baby being in heaven instead of having a younger brother or sister to play with. I shed a tear or two as we leafed through the pages. Little did I know, I’d be crying more just a week later.
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