Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Picture it. I'm ten years old, in gym class, dreading the next 30 minutes of my life. The game we all played - the one that has since been banned from elementary schools around the country - is about to begin. I'm standing on the shellacked wood floor, crouched in ready position, as the biggest and meanest kid in the class grabs hold of the bouncy, red, rubber ball. He looks around evilly, quickly takes aim and hurls the round, air-filled weapon in my direction. I jump out of the way, just in time but, before I can take a breath, the ball whips back at my head from behind. "Watch out!" calls an ally, as I turn and duck before the flying sphere knocks me to the floor. But it's not over yet. Each time I dodge one bullet another comes in, faster than the next, until, finally, the gym teacher blows the whistle signaling an end to the torture.

Where's the teacher to blow the whistle now?

Over the last three years I've had so many balls thrown at my head I'm surprised I can still see straight. But, each time, I manage to lunge out of the way and continue playing the game without anyone screaming, "You're out!" I sometimes feel there's a higher power who loves my writing and hates when I have nothing to blog about. "Hmmm, things are too calm in Suzanne's world," he says. "Let's give her triplets! Now let's take two of the babies away. How about some inexplicable pain in her pelvis that makes the doctors think her cancer is back? I know! Let's make her dog choke then send him to the hospital with pneumonia. Better yet, we can give Jimmi a random staph infection, knee surgery and two serious drug reactions, all in a matter of one month!" But, apparently, that being hasn't had enough fun with me. Now, in what should be the last three weeks of our pregnancy, I'm sitting on eggshells, waiting to see if Jimmi is going to miss the birth of our baby.

Yes, you read that correctly. After everything we've been through and as far as we've come to get to this point, Jimmi may not be in the delivery room to watch Aria take her first breath or hear her first cry or cut the cord that will symbolize her disconnection from Lyndsay and entrance into our arms forever.

I don't even know where to begin with my explanation.

I'm not sure exactly when we first heard the news that shot a pang of excitement with a side of devastation through my body. I believe it was back in December, though. Jimmi got the call that his band had secured a spot performing at Rocklahoma, a three-day long rock n roll festival in Oklahoma that, not only have we always wanted to attend, but he's always wanted to play. So, what could possibly be bad about that? Other than the dates…

If you still haven't caught on, let me help you.

Our baby is due on May 18th. Ok, so, that's not so bad, right? It might not be if Lyndsay didn't have a history of giving birth at least a week late each time. I chose not to worry too much about the situation until it was absolutely necessary.

I'm pretty sure I'm allowed to freak out now.

Jimmi's band was confirmed for a 4:20 PM time slot on May 25th, which, as far as I was concerned, was the best possible day of all the bad choices. After all, it was the furthest day from our due date, allowing the best chance for delivery sometime before showtime. There had been some talk of a short tour from New York City to Oklahoma and back, but nothing had been booked and we thought it was safe to assume all dates before the big show on the 25th were open. That made me feel tiny bit better. At least Jimmi would be able to fly out to Minnesota with me on May 12th to wait impatiently for Aria to make her appearance and, if worse came to worse, he could just fly right from the hospital to Oklahoma the night before the show and meet the band there.  I booked our flights last Monday and a huge weight was lifted. One less thing to worry about.

That's when the big, red, rubber ball came flying at my head again.

In a casual conversation with Jimmi's band's manager, I learned that three shows, the first on May 20th, had been booked on the way out to Oklahoma and four had been booked on the way back. A tentative return date of May 30th was mentioned, with Jimmi leaving again on May 31st, his birthday, for a three-day tour with his other band. "But we're leaving for Minnesota on the 12th" I typed through my hyperventilation. "They also have a show in NYC on the 17th," he replied.

No. No, that can't happen!

"But our baby is due on the 18th!" I typed frantically.

I called Jimmi in hysterics. "You're gonna miss her birth!" I cried. "You can't be in New York the night before our due date!" Jimmi gave me a virtual slap in the face and I calmed down just enough to explain exactly what I was taking about. "Relax!" he soothed. "It'll all work out!" I didn't believe him. "How?" I asked. "How is it gonna work out?"

He couldn't answer me.

I ran through all the scenarios in my head and none of them had the ending I was hoping for. Chances are Lyndsay will not go into labor before May 18th. If she goes any later than the 16th, Jimmi won't be in Minnesota anymore. Sure, we could attempt to fly him out from wherever he may be, but let's be realistic. He'd never make it in time. I took out a calendar and just stared at the month of May for awhile. If we were home, the show on the 17th would be local so it wouldn't matter much. Everything from the 18th through the 30th was blocked out for the Rocklahoma tour, which includes both travel and performance days. Then a quick overnight at home sends him back out to Arkansas on the 31st with a return on June 2nd. No matter how it works out, Jimmi will miss the first precious weeks of his first, and probably only, child's life. As much as that sucks, I decided I could deal with all of it as long as he makes it to her birth and can spend a day or two with her before he heads out. Then I remembered what Dr. C had told me on more than one occasion.

"Because of your unique situation, we could think about inducing at around thirty-nine weeks to help you with planning."

I hadn't taken that option into consideration until that moment but, right then, it seemed as if the miracle answer was staring me in the eyes. I grabbed the calendar again and scanned down to the 39-week mark. May 11th. Mother's Day. While that would be a perfect present for me, I wanted to be home, in New Jersey, to celebrate with my boys. Since we already booked a flight out to Minnesota on the 12th, the 13th or 14th seemed like the best options for induction, as Jimmi would not only make it to the birth but, all being well, he'd be able to fly back home with us and spend a day or two before journeying out. But I had one more person to convince that my idea was best for everyone.

I e-mailed Lyndsay and desperately pleaded our case. Her response had some obvious concerns about what's best for her and Aria's health but she decided, if the doctor was on board with safely inducing labor, she would be, too. Well, since the Dr. C had already mentioned induction more than once, it should be a no brainer, right?


In case you've forgotten, Dr. C, our OB since the 9th week of pregnancy, after our triplets reduced themselves to a singleton, was deployed to Kuwait last week. We were left in the hands of Dr. H, chief resident, who none of us had even met yet; unless you count the quick e-mail I sent introducing myself that wasn't answered for a full week. But, really, if Dr. C told us 39 weeks would be acceptable, why would Dr. H disagree?

I typed a very detailed and emotional note to Dr. H explaining our situation, trying to keep the desperation out of my writing. I told her about Jimmi's recent illness that forced him to cancel more than a month's worth of gigs. I told her how difficult it's been for me, knowing Jimmi wasn't able to experience this pregnancy. I almost begged her to assure us that Jimmi would be present for his baby's arrival. I figured, as a woman, she'd understand. She wouldn't deny us this experience. She couldn't!

"Hi Suzanne!"

Her reply began.

"Thanks for your e-mail. I certainly do understand the uniqueness of your situation. The decision to proceed with induction will need to be reviewed by the maternal fetal medicine team and the OB team on that week. I will certainly advocate of your behalf, but will not be able to be the final decision maker.

Thanks for understanding and have a great weekend!"

Thanks for understanding? Have a great weekend? Seriously? So, basically, what I just learned is that, if we want to induce on the 13th or 14th, we'll need to wait until the 12th and have two different teams, who don't know anything about us, review our case? Does she realize we're only talking about four or five days before our due date at 40 weeks? Does she understand that women are technically considered "full-term" at 38 weeks pregnant? I don't get it. I convinced the doctor to induce me when I was pregnant with Justin because I knew he was getting too big. The doctor didn't think he was too large but, after a bit of begging, he agreed. The kid popped out of my 5 ft. 2 in. frame at 8 lbs 11 oz. Can you imagine if the doctor hadn't agreed? OUCH! It's not like I'm asking for anything I haven't been through myself. And, since this is Lyndsay's fourth pregnancy, her body should know how to open up and shoot my kid right outta there. She just might need a little help getting started.

Unsatisfied with my non-answer that didn't bring me any closer to a solution, I decided to e-mail Dr. C in Kuwait. He told me he would be reachable if I had any questions and I shouldn't hesitate to write. I just figured, since he's higher up on the totem pole, maybe he could let Dr. H know that it was his idea to induce at 39 weeks in the first place.

I waited a week for a reply that contradicted his early suggestions. Dr. C backed Dr. H's statements about waiting until the week we're hoping to induce to make any decisions. Apparently it'll all depend on Lyndsay's cervix and whether or not it's started to dilate and efface on its own. If it has, we can probably help speed it up. If not, we'll need to wait…up to ten days past her due date.


I don't understand! Why did he even bother bringing up induction at every appointment for the last four months? Why had he never mentioned the contingencies before now, when we actually NEED to get our baby out by a certain date? Based on her past history, Lyndsay's body likes to keep babies very cozy, with no sign of anything going on until she's actually in labor. That doesn't bode well for our plan.

And that's that. If I had to make a bet I'd say Jimmi will probably miss Aria's birth. It's devastating to even think that way but the odds are not in our favor. I'm just hoping for a miracle.

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