Yesterday morning, I woke up to a text from my mom that my grandfather had fallen and was in the ICU in critical condition. It wasn’t unexpected but it wasn’t great timing. The Baby has been sick this week. It started last Sunday and since then, we’ve visited two different emergency rooms. Yesterday, Alex was off work so the Kid and I got to escape from the house to see the new Star Wars movie. He was coughing and kept complaining that it was hot (when I was cold).
Do you see where this is going?
At 6:45 last night, I was trying to get a screaming, feverish baby to sleep when I realized that his breathing was really irregular. While I was trying to untangle the many wires of the pulse-ox machine to measure what his blood oxygen levels are, I missed a call from my mom. When Alex was finished putting a coughing pre-teen to bed, he came in and we decided that The Baby needed to go to the hospital. My words were, “I am not a doctor and I am not a nurse. I don’t know what’s okay or what’s not okay here and I’m tired of guessing. It’s time for a real doctor and a real nurse to take care of this.” In the midst of running around the house throwing things in bags, I checked my phone and saw a text that my grandfather had died. We loaded up the car with our go-bags and Alex, who had been up with The Baby the night before, whisked the Baby off to the ER for the third time.
I did the dishes and took deep breaths.
This morning, I woke up. The Kid slept in but I could hear him coughing. When he finally rolled out of bed, he said he was feeling fine so I dropped him off with Alex’s parents and then headed up to trade places with Alex.
The hospital is doing what we had hoped, which is helping get this baby better. It’s slow and he’s miserable but we have seen improvements already.
Alex was MIA, passed out in bed, for most of the day. I missed a call from his mom while I was talking to my sister but when I called back, she told me that she thought the Kid had the flu.
When it rains it pours.
Likely, The Baby will be in the hospital on Christmas day. My plans to have Christmas at the hospital have been foiled by The Kid’s flu so we’ll probably celebrate Christmas with each other in passing- a quick high five as we pass like ships in the night to trade places.
I can’t help but connect my current feelings about Christmas with Mary on that first Christmas. She was probably disappointed that things weren’t like they were supposed to be. She might have been grieving the loss of her childhood. She was probably tired of eating food out of the vending machines like a rat. She might have had sensory overload from all of the animals braying and/or machines beeping. She was worried about her kid. She probably hadn’t changed her underwear on the road. She stank like a trashcan. Maybe she was making inappropriate jokes to make the situation not seem so bad.
But I also like to think that Mary was a trooper. She looked around that dusty, smelly manger, down at her babe crying at her breast and she found things to be thankful for. Jesus was here. Might not have been the prettiest birth, but he made it. She had Joseph and some dudes from afar to keep her company. They were out of the elements.
This Christmas with my boys (only the fourth Christmas with The Kid and the second with The Baby) will not look like I pictured. No one will wear the Christmas pajamas that I bought used. The Baby will have to open his gifts in his hospital bed. Our movie night for our friends who are far from family has been canceled.
I’m thankful for modern medicine because without it, my baby never would have made it out of the womb. I’m thankful that I got to do some yoga yesterday before the poop-nado hit the Wise home. I’m thankful that I got to watch “Say Yes to the Dress” today while holding a feverish boy. I’m thankful that we have families nearby to help us when literally everything that could go wrong, goes wrong. I’m thankful for the salad that I ate for lunch before eating out of the vending machines like a rat because, in stress, my body craves sugar and fat. I’m thankful for friends who text us and say, “WHAT CAN WE DO?” I’m thankful this hospital has wi-fi so I can blog. I’m thankful that I have another opportunity to prove to myself that Alex and I are badasses who can handle just about anything.
So, tonight, while I sit in a dark hospital room watching the much-anticipated regular rise and fall of my baby’s chest, I’m raising my waterbottle and saying, “Here, here” to Mary, the original badass, to leading by example when things don’t go as planned.
Also, I’m telling Christmas 2017, “Go home. You’re drunk.”