The cicadas buzzed and whirred in a heady late June cacophony. I grinned from atop my perch, the roof of Robert's silver Elantra. Ana scampered up beside me like a sassy brown chipmunk. Just like her mamma, she thought the forbidden heights of the car top a grand adventure. I was just thankful that I could climb up a car at 31 weeks. And I was thankful that Ana was safe beside me. The guys were making me nervous.
It was a classic male bonding moment. A grandfather, a dad and
Three Stooges three young
men coming together to achieve the ultimate test of manhood . . . loading
a long dead, rusty red pickup onto a flatbed trailer. I will spare you
the gory details that led up to this moment. Suffice it to say, I was
more than a little nervous to watch my 11 year old wrangle the battered Chevy
into submission as his father towed him across the yard with an equally
antiquated Suburban. Yes, Ana should definitely stay with me, up out of
the reach of danger.
Eventually, 'Ol Red was winched up the shaky ramps and lay panting on the bed of the trailer. He didn't look quite conquered to me. There seemed to be a sinister glint in those cracked headlights that I just didn't trust. Ana and I hopped down for a closer look. Dee had been feeling left out of the action, being relegated to shotgun whilst Cy got the glory of the pilot's seat. Now was his chance. He asked for permission to push the ramps back up into the well beneath the trailer.
He crawled underneath the truck to set about the task. As I sat feet away on the grass, with my chipmunk companion in my lap, a terrible thought crossed my mind. What if that treacherous truck started to roll backwards?! I pushed the thought away with a shudder. It was just those pregnancy hormones at work. I refused to be held captive by fear. What were the odds of something like that happening anyways? The truck was secured by the winching chains. But still, those back tires were awfully close to the edge. And Dee's head was right there, below the overhanging truck bed . . .
IT MOVED! THAT BLASTED TRUCK WAS ROLLING TOWARDS MY BABY'S HEAD!!!
I didn't take the time to plan or execute a graceful ascent from my grassy tuffet. No sir! I hurled my heavily pregnant self from a leisurely lounge to a sprinting lunge in less than a second.
"MOVE! MOVE! THE TRUCK IS ROLLING!!!"
And that really was the end of it. Dee scooted out, Cy jammed the parking brake and the men tightened up the chains. Crisis averted.
Except I suddenly couldn't stand up straight.
I knew immediately what had happened. The medical name is a little awkward, but it's basically a wrenching separation of bone and cartilage. It had been the bane of the later months of pregnancy with my last three children. I had dreaded and feared this moment would come and that it would keep me from my beloved karate. And here it was, on steroids. The sassy girl that had glibly clambered up a car and sat comfortably in the grass, hobbled back into the house, gripping the walls for support.
Things haven't been the same since.
It's true, I no longer have to hold on to the walls to be able to ambulate. So that has improved. But every step hurts. Getting dressed hurts. Getting out of the car hurts. Getting out of bed hurts! And yes, karate is absolutely out of the question. I did fudge for a week. I came and sat on a punching bag and timed sparring. I had no idea that would be my last night at class. I'm really glad I didn't know, because I would have been sad and maybe cried. And let's face it, karate dudes aren't into crying quite so much. It was better this way.
I have to admit, I was relieved that at least I was benched due to injury, rather than sheer exhaustion. Because I was almost to that point. It would have helped if I had acted like I was pregnant. But nope! I kept trying to keep the pace I had set the year before. To be honest, I was still in utter denial. This injury changed everything.
I had to slow down. Way down. Okay, life didn't slow down, just me. I walked like a sloth. It took forever to get anything done. I was suddenly much more aware of the tiny person that I was carrying around. I started counting down the weeks instead of up. Miss Beth was going to be here soon and I needed to get ready!
But I now know that God was getting me prepared for the next step. He was keeping me from doing anything that could harm the baby. It turns out hobbling around because of separated cartilage is very effective at keeping one out of trouble. For instance, I wasn't tempted to climb the Tower of Doom at Bounce U. Couldn't say that during my last pregnancy . . . I didn't even want to swim, much less jump off the diving board or give water taxi rides. No more nature hikes. I was benched in every sense of the word. It would still be several weeks before I could appreciate how truly gracious God was in forcing me to slow down. I absolutely believe God injured me, on purpose! And praise Him for it.
July 5th was my next routine appointment with my OB. Dr Silver and I go way back. I tried to escape his practice by going to a midwife, he saved my life. I sent him about 15 new patients. We have kind of a cool relationship now. I suspect his excitement at finding out I was with child was second only to Robert's. One thing I really like about him is his relaxed demeanor. I know that he will tell me the truth, let me do pretty much anything I feel like and not get too excited unless there is really cause to be. Hence me feeling perfectly comfortable in being as active as I could get away with. He usually backed me up. I have always said that if Dr. Silver acted concerned, I would take him seriously.
That's why his comment that Wednesday morning really got my attention.
"I don't know what this spot here in the brain is. I'm really not sure what I'm looking at. It looks like fluid."