The Pole that Got Away

Its been awhile since I’ve written. I blame it on a lot of things…I bit off more than I could chew in terms of projects. I live in a crazy house with a crazy dog and a crazy toddler and a crazy (and absent husband) and more than likely a crazy baby that will be joining us in July.

So there’s a lot of crazy up in here. You get the picture

Toliet Baby

“So I climb in the toilet? Then what?”

For those that know me well, I’m not the most coordinated person. In fact if there was a clumsy contest I would nail it and bring home whatever prize they give for those who cannot be trusted to look in the direction they are walking or not trip on thin air.

This time there was more than air I was up against. I had a particularly harrowing incident involving a pole. Was my car totaled you ask?

No. Because I was not in the car. I was on foot.

I was taking Olive to a hearing appointment at the Balboa Naval Hospital which involves parking in a super big structure and either packing Olive into her stroller or huffing it with her in tow. Frankly, I would rather give our feral cat a bath than try to coax Olive into staying in the stroller for the duration of the walk to the hospital. Although I refuse to admit it, I’ve become far too pregnant to carry Olive for the amount of time required to get her from the parking lot to the doctor’s office.  But when I let her walk, the old disabled vets are literally hobbling past us muttering at us for blocking all of the sidewalk. So on this particular occasion, I opted to carry her on my hip and carry my diaper bag across my shoulder. Which was fine, until it wasn’t.

As we were approaching the medical buildings, I realized that for this particular appointment I had no idea where I needed to go. All of my other appointments had been for her pediatrician and this one was with audiology. And on this fateful morning, I forgot my cell at home which meant I couldn’t call and find out where I needed to be. I decided I would just start scanning directional signage until I found it and if that failed I would just walk into one of the buildings and ask.

Just as I was trying to decide how long I would walk aimlessly, the decision was made for me when I catapulted into a median pole. You know, those pesky little guys that are meant to keep vehicles from driving up onto pedestrian walkways (that are also just low enough to not be visible over a baby bump? I mean lets be honest, I can’t see anything  below my naval, so that’s like half the horizon directly in front of me that is just a big ole fat blind spot).

Now had I not been seven months pregnant and carrying a toddler it wouldn’t have been a big deal (and probably wouldn’t have happened). It probably would’ve been a really embarrassing crotch shot, but I would’ve walked it off. But because my center of gravity is already a “smidgen” off and I had both my hands full, when I came into contact with said pole I not only took the brunt of it to the underside of my abdomen (don’t worry, your unborn child will cushion the blow), but I went up over the side of the pole arms and legs flailing like the most epic failed attempt at pole vaulting (apparently I was right to never try out for track and field in high school, I can only assume this would’ve ended much the same).

This was one of those moments where time just seems to slow down and I realized several things simultaneously:

1. I’m going to hit the pavement shortly.

2. If I’m not careful, I’m going to land on both my toddler and my unborn child at the same time.

3. This is going to hurt.

4. I hope no one is watching.

I didn’t have enough control over the situation to avoid falling, but I had just enough control over the situation to see that if I didn’t correct my positioning, Olive was going to land on her head (she was facing head first on the way down to my utter horror) and I would end up falling on top of her. I moved my body just enough so she landed on her back on the diaper bag and I landed on my knee (there goes my career in figure skating and pole vaulting all in the same day).

As I’m sitting on the pavement looking a lot like this:

Maybe no one noticed...

Maybe no one noticed…

My first thought was….Oh gosh, I hope no one saw that…

It turns out though if you somersault over a pole carrying what looks like a bowling ball and a small child in front of an emergency room, people tend to notice. The good thing is that most of them will be medical personnel that will insist that you sit in a wheel chair as they cart you off to labor and delivery. Because you are obviously pregnant. And obviously an idiot. Thus you need to be monitored.

Part of the problem with the digital age of cell phones and saved contacts is that no one bothers to memorize numbers anymore. And I didn’t have my cell phone thus the only person I could call was my husband’s cell which he doesn’t take into work with him. I figured it would be OK, they would monitor the baby for half an hour and barring any complications we would be released. That was when the nurse informed me that in cases of a fall (I suddenly felt like the star of a sad Lifetime movie, where the pregnant heroine is pushed down a flight of stairs, by some evil baby daddy who turns out to have a checkered past), they keep the patient for six hours for monitoring.

I’m sorry? Six human hours?

This was the news I received while strapped to a machine, during which my toddler ran around unplugging equipment and playing with all the buttons on my hospital bed (she managed to page the nurse, unplug the baby monitor, and move my bed up and down all in the span of ten minutes).

Also the tv in the room was broken and I still had no cell phone.

I was trapped in toddler hell.

Luckily, they eventually wheeled in a phone and I eventually used the last of my brain cells to mentally recover my husband’s work number. Unfortunately I had to relay the message to someone else at the office and not wanting to alarm anyone I told him,”Can you please find my husband. I had a fall. I’m in labor and delivery. I’m Ok, but they won’t release me for awhile and I need him to take Olive.”

Unfortunately, all that was relayed to my husband was, “Your wife is in the hospital. They are monitoring her.” So when my husband came rushing into the hospital room with reinforcements (cheetos, pretzels and toddler food – somehow he knew the situation would warrant these supplies) all I had to say was, “I hit a pole” and Matt nodded, stifled a grin and sat down in the hospital chair. He was not surprised by this revelation and knew better than to ask me if I was in the car.

The other thing that happens when you have to sit in labor and delivery for six hours is that there are turnovers. And not the yummy kind with a flaky crust and cherry filling. That means three doctors and three nurses replaced each other during the time I was there and each had to be filled in on why I was there. Which means having to relay my embarrassing story of how I ran into a pole (“Wait, in your car?”) over and over again. Silver lining is that once it became clear that we were all fine and would be released in a couple hours I got to take turns making fun of myself and entertaining the medical staff who tried hard (and failed) to maintain their professional demeanor during two ultrasounds and a cervical exam.

“So did you make it to your appointment at least?”

“I made it across the parking lot. I even got here early….for the appointment, not because of the pole.”

I even got to relay my story a couple weeks later to my OB who looked down at his paperwork and did the tight lipped grin that I’m used to when doctors are trying really hard not to laugh at you (I get this a lot because my defense mechanism is usually self deprecation, even when I’m on an operating table about to go under the knife).

“Wait, you hit the pole in your car?” he asked.

“No,” I replied. “That probably would’ve been less embarrassing.”


Good thing Daddy was there with Cheetos.

One thought on “The Pole that Got Away

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