For the record, I'm very good a panicking. I can freak with the best of them. If I could figure out a way to get paid for overreacting, I would be all set. Which is my way of attempting to explain how I wound up at the Lenox Hill emergency room on Friday.
(No fears - everything is absolutely fine. Baby's great, I'm great... albeit a touch humiliated. Nothing new there.)
Friday afternoon I was hanging out with my little three-year-old friend, having lunch, shooting the shit, when I noticed that Possum wasn't doing his usual afternoon squirm. When I thought about it, I hadn't felt him move all morning. Or at all.
Now Possum is known for many things (his charm, his wealth, his way with the ladies) but one thing he is not known for is being still. He's a very, VERY active baby with a fairly predictable time clock, so something was definitely weird. I tried shaking him - no response. I grabbed some orange juice - a sure-fire baby waker-upper - and chilled on the couch for a half an hour. Nothing. I grabbed a sugar packet and downed that, Pixie-stick style.
Not even a flutter.
At this point I was starting to get a little twitchy. I called the doctor and asked if I could come in, just to make sure things were cool - at which point I was instructed, in no uncertain terms, to get my ass to the emergency room.
A doctor with fear in his voice - that shit will motivate you quick.
I dropped everything, called the parents, grabbed the kid (his mom met us there) and got my ass to Lenox Hill. I would love to say that I was a bastion of calm but c'mon, we know me. I'm not saying I went apeshit on the staff at one point but I might've gone apeshit on them. (Rule #1: When a pregnant woman thinks her baby is dying, don't ask her to fill out insurance forms.) Needless to say, they hooked me up to the monitor and thankfully, wonderfully, blessedly, we heard the heartbeat.
Turns out, I've got a cold. And because I've got a cold, I took two Benedryl. And although Benedryl is perfectly safe for pregnant women, it tends to make their babies a little groggy. Or in my case, REALLY groggy. Even when the doctor tried prodding him with the sonogram wand Possum played possum, but after a few minutes he started to squirm - much to his mother's relief.
So what did I learn from all this?
- Ix-nay the Benedryl-ay. (Being able to breathe is not worth the panic.)
- Don't call your poor mother weeping that you've killed your baby with antihistamines. (Sorry mom.)
- Three-year-olds really like wheelchairs.
But I've saved the best for last. As the doctor was looking at Possum's readout he goes, "How far along is this baby?"
"Really? I would have guessed he was much further along than that. We don't normally see babies this advanced."
"Yes. He's very advanced, both physically and neurologically."
Of course Matt is convinced that we're giving birth to a mutant genius, ala Professor X from the X-Men. But hopefully with more hair.