My oldest son called me as I was on my way home. He was living in Vermont at the time.
“Mom, you need to have a conversation with her”.
“I am always having conversations with her”.
“Maybe just tell her that if there is something she is struggling with, she can come to you – no matter what.”
My first thought?
Doesn’t she already know that? After everything…doesn’t she know this?
My second thought – Drugs.
Oh bloody hell. Seriously??
I recently attended a funeral of a friend who lost their daughter from heroin addiction.
It was unimaginable from a parent perspective.
“Just tell me what is going on. I don’t want to play private detective. I hate playing detective”.
My son’s final words: “Mom, if she doesn’t tell you in three days, I’ll tell you. But ya gotta tell her what I said first”.
Turns out I played detective.
I never gave three days.
I searched her car instead, looking for clues.
I found nothing inside the car, but in the trunk, I found my camping book bag.
I wondered why that is in her trunk.
I peeked inside and saw a Walmart bag. I never looked in the bag, but instead flung the book bag over my shoulder, closed the trunk, and headed in the house.
I set the book bag down on the kitchen floor, unloaded my school book bag, and my purse. I glanced over at the camping book bag.
I looked inside.
My heart sank.
A million dreams I had for her shattered in an instant.
I put the bag back down, grabbed a wine glass, and poured a glass.
I grabbed the Walmart bag out of the book bag and my glass of wine and headed to the couch.
I sat there for a minute just processing.
I slowly sipped my wine. I didn’t want this moment to be happening. I didn’t want to be processing this. I didn’t want her to hide this from me. I didn’t want any of this.
I slowly sipped my wine.
I searched for wisdom in that moment.
I took some long, deep breaths and I drank my wine slowly contemplating my words, processing my feelings, and trying to make sense of all of it.
When I finished my glass of wine, I called her downstairs.
“How long have you been pregnant?”
“About six weeks”.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Because I thought you’d kick me out of the house.”
“Duh. Have I ever kicked anyone out yet?”
In her defense, I have kicked one out – not my own child.
“I’m sorry. I was scared Mom. I’m still processing.”
That was the first answer that made sense to me. I understood her in that moment.
From then it was a whirlwind of information being thrown at me.
I stopped her when she said “…emergency room last weekend…some word that started with ‘a’…a cyst…”
“What word that started with ‘a’?”
“I don’t remember”.
It was this moment that my stomach began to hurt. My baby is having a baby.
I explained to her what to say and why it was important.
She called the emergency room that she visited the weekend before.
After numerous transfers and three phone calls later I finally got on the phone with radiology.
“We cannot rule out ectopic pregnancy”.
It was the first thing I thought of when I heard “some word that started with an ‘a’”.
I admit, I silently prayed for an ectopic.
She wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready. None of us were ready.
I poured another glass of wine.
I called my best friend. She was an expert on ectopic pregnancies.
She walked me through what tests would be needed. She gave me all the info. She ended with, “You have to take her now”.
I had Sadie drive.
I called another friend, she asked me, “Mom, do you have to?”
I needed a person to ground me. I explained this and she understood.
My girlfriend met us at the hospital.
My husband met us when he got out of work at nearly 1:30 am.
Around 2 am, the staff came in and explained that it wasn’t ectopic, but the ultrasound from last weekend did not pick up a heartbeat.
More tests needed to be run.
I sat there thinking for hours that my 18 ½ year old daughter would either be having a D&C due to a baby with no heartbeat or an operation removing her fallopian tube because of an ectopic pregnancy.
I thought – Okay, this is will all be over shortly. It won’t be pretty, but it will be a lesson.
I was wrong.
Around 3 am, the nurse came in and told our small clan that they found the heartbeat, it was in utero, and she was about 12 weeks.
My heart sank and a million scared thoughts ran through my mind.
This was really happening. It didn’t matter if she or anyone else was ready. It was happening.
The second question I had asked her in the living room was, “What’s your game plan?”
“I’m having the baby Mom”
To be continued…
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