If you had been following me for the last 24 hours – which, you know, you might have been, who knows? – this is what you would have seen and heard:
April 1, 12:35pm: Had you been at the Starbucks where I hunkered down to get some work done in between prenatal appointments, you would have heard me curse at my computer repeatedly – and, I fear, loudly – as I tried to deal with what seemed like all variety of Internet headf*ckage while my decaf Americano went cold and colder.
1:35pm: Had you been at that same Starbucks an hour later, you would have heard me try to negotiate – publicly – a should-be-very-f*cking-private telephone conversation with my psychiatrist’s nurse, sicced on me by my doctor’s temporary substitute on the basis of comments I had made that morning about recurring anxiety attacks – about whether I mightn’t be careening toward PPD again and whether I needn’t come in the very next day – which, no, am getting on airplane – and if not whether I mightn’t tell her – while trying to deal with aforementioned Internet headf*ckage in a VERY PUBLIC SPACE – about the precise character of my anxiety attacks and whether I might be having quote-unquote intrusive thoughts. (Answer: yes, VERY intrusive thoughts about impatient psychiatric nurses who won’t take ‘no ‘for an answer.)
6:55pm: Had you then followed me to a speaking event that I was participating in, you would have heard me struggle, haltingly, to get through my remarks on the politics of mommyblogging while suffering from extreme heartburn. You would have heard, too, one of the participants telling me that nobody would mind if I belched, for relief. You would have then heard me laugh out loud and say something to the effect that if I could belch or get some relief from any other expression of bodily gasses, I would just do it, and I wouldn’t ask their permission, either, so there.
8:05pm: If you had not had enough of me after that, you would have seen me rush out of the building to get catch – miss, actually – the cab that I’d pre-ordered to get me to the train station to get me home to relief HBF from childcare so that he could go to the airport to pick my mother, who flew out to take care of Wonderbaby while HBF works and I fly off to the paradise that is New Jersey.
8:06pm: Then you would have seen me flag another cab and ask – a little too shrilly – that he get me to the train station in fifteen minutes or less.
8:22pm: Then you would have seen me arrive at the train station with about 60 seconds to spare.
8:22pm, plus fifteen seconds: Then you would have seen me bolt from the cab and promptly crash my 33-week pregnant self to the pavement.
8:22pm, plus eighteen seconds: Then you would have heard me whimper.
8:23pm: Then you would have seen me drag my limping, bleeding down the steps to the ticket counter and up the steps to the train platform and hoist myself – limping, bleeding and, oh yeah, with badly torn pants – onto the train at the very last split-second and deposit myself inelegantly alongside a row of suits, who proceeded to ignore me entirely.
8:26pm: Then you would have heard me call my husband and inform him, breathlessly and no doubt alarmingly, that I had taken a fall and was bleeding but oh, hai, don’t worry, I MADE THE TRAIN and oh yeah I’m going to call the hospital to make sure that, you know, I haven’t maybe put the pregnancy in danger. You would have also seen the suits continue to energetically ignore me.
8:27pm: Then you would seen my freak out a little, quietly.
8:28pm: Then you would have heard me call the hospital and say things like no my belly didn’t hit the concrete yes I’m bleeding no I haven’t washed the wounds why? because I’m on a train yes I fell trying to catch the train yes I know that’s stupid WHAT OF IT?
8:38pm: Then you would have heard me hang up that call and take a much more pleasant call from a very lovely person and you would have heard my voice go from breathy and distressed to high-pitched Valley Girl (OMGhiwhereareyouhowareyouseeyoutomorrowomg?!) in less than ten seconds.
8:38pm: You would also have seen the men in suits continue to ignore me.
9:05pm – 2:12am: If you were still hanging around by the time the train got to my stop, you would have seen me limp off, bedraggled and still bleeding, to be greeted by my very alarmed and very tense husband and proceed home, where I would try to pack and talk to doctors and try not to panic, all at the same time, because, goddammit, I was getting on that plane in the morning no matter what and then finally go to bed at two in a dither but confident that I was fine and could get on said plane in the morning and full steam ahead!
April 2, 7:03am: Then you would have seen me wake up in the morning to a phone call alerting me to the fact that my flight had been cancelled.
7:05am: Then you wouldn’t have needed to be anywhere near me to hear my screams.
I’m now at the airport – bruised and scratched and stressed but with a very active fetus in my belly and a confirmed seat on another flight. I fear that the events of the last 24 hours have amply demonstrated that the gods do not want me to go to New Jersey or New York and that they may have more thunderbolts to hurl at me, but I am determined that they just go suck it.
I’ll let you know if I arrive, in one piece. Or at all.
(Fingers crossed for me, please.)
UPDATE: You did not cross enough fingers. It got worse. WAY worse. I made it to my destination – finally – but only just. Too mind-smashed tired to provide narrative, but trust me. WORSE.
(Am fine. Just exhausted. SO EXHAUSTED.)
(Okay, that thing about not enough fingers being crossed? Unfair. Unfair because the gods clearly have it in for me and no amount of finger-crossing can sway them.)