Monday, January 07, 2008

trouble (pt. 3)

I brought M to work with me late in the afternoon. We'd selected a Spanish book of hers to share as well as some snacks, we'll make this a playdate if it kills me. We walk in the door and it's crowded but through the mass of people I saw them sitting in the spot we reserve for families. I notice the little girl is fast asleep and then I see her mother. Something is wrong.

I pick M up and walk over fast, mom is sitting on the floor, she's crying and wrapped in a blanket. As I get closer the blanket falls down and I realize she's holding her stomach. I go to her and she motions to her belly, a man nearby says it's hurting her a lot but it's not the baby, it can't be, she's only seven months. Men, I think as I grab my phone because who knows what month it really is and what does that matter anyways. Ambulancia? I ask and she nods so I call 911 and within minutes they arrive. In the meantime we lay her down and put a pillow under her head. All the while her daughter is still sleeping and I am wondering how she'll wake, during or after her mom is already gone. Shortly paramedics flood the room and start peppering her with questions: how far apart, at how many weeks did you deliver last time, has your water broken? She's looking at me and I stop them. Spanish. They need to speak Spanish but none of them do so a client steps forward and translates. By this time they've loaded her on the stretcher, her husband has to stay behind because kids can't ride in the ambulance. Her daughter wakes up as she's being wheeled out of the building, I see her sleepily watching the tail end of the action and wonder if she'll cry.

I hand the paramedic my card and ask him to give it to the doctor. She won't know how to get back and her husband won't know how to find her. You must have them call us. They nod, eager to go.

The little girl is awake now, she sees M and gives her a shy smile. M looks at me and smiles and tugs me over. She sits on her mat and opens the bag she brought and brings out a book. She hands it to her and they start reading side by side. One of the staff brings them some chips and I want to interfere but I don't. M realizes immediately chips, she says and beams at me. Just one, I say, futilely and I know it. Three, she replies and turns back to her new friend, mouth already full. Her father is standing in the corner, two countries and an ambulance between him and everyone else. I realize then mom is the rock and without her there, I worry even more. He doesn't even know where the hospital is and he's not asking. I realize he's staying here and she's on her own.

We stayed for another hour and then came home, the girls giving each other shy hugs as we leave and M asking to come back tomorrow, this chips still fresh on her mind. There's been no word since, no word on if the baby's coming or if it's something worse but no matter what she's lying somewhere alone in a hospital while the rest of her family is on the floor. If there's no news this morning I'll go to the hospital, either way the story goes on.

Today's the last day to send your Just Posts to me at girlplustwoATyahooDOTcom. There's still time to join us at the Roundtable as we celebrate the first year of Just Posts.

42 comments:

nyjlm said...

I'm not sure I'll exhale till you report again. I hope that the universe has sent someone to sit with her at the hospital- a kind nurse perhaps.

Amy Y said...

Oh that poor, poor Mama. I hope her baby isn't coming so soon... :(

Jennifer said...

Jen, I read yesterday but I didn't comment. I couldn't comment. My words are so inadequate and I am so tired (tired in my bones) of so many people caring so much, and yet...not being able to do actually, really do something. And if it's hard for me from afar...well, girl, you are amazing.

I am commenting today to say that this family has not been far from my thoughts for the past few days. It's all I have to offer, right now, and it's not enough.

patches said...

At times I have thought I knew fear...I know nothing of fear.

I hope you receive news soon.

Oh, The Joys said...

Worrying right along with you...

xo,
J

cce said...

Gosh, I was awake last night worrying about things that suddenly seem so entirely insignificant. Please keep us posted. I'm so afraid for the little girl and her mother and maybe a new baby born into this sorrow.

Beck said...

I am praying for that mother right now.

Mad Hatter said...

Jen. I try very hard not to read blogs on the weekend. It's one of my rules for keeping my sanity. I had been thinking about you with the storms and I was very concerned for what this might mean for your clients. And now, today to read this and to read back from this, it's just too much really. Part of me wonders how you manage to come into work each day and an even bigger part of me wonders how you manage to go home at the end of the day. How does it not eat you and your family alive.

Jen M. said...

Please let us know as soon as you know anything.

Poor family.

Magpie said...

Oh wow - I hope she's okay.

Family Adventure said...

Let us know, Jen, please, what you find out. I hope everything is OK with mom. And in the midst of everything, I am glad the two little girls had a nice hour together.

Heidi

Her Grace said...

My heart is breaking for every single one of them. Warm thoughts and prayers coming their way. I know that words aren't enough. If there's more that we can do, please let us know.

Z said...

I've been cross with the useless father all along. He brings his family as illegal immigrants to a country where he has made no attempt to learn the language - and how much had they had to save to pay the leeches who arranged their passage? - and, not content with putting his wife and child into poverty, he gets her pregnant again. She is obviously the only one who has any capabilities at all, and what can she do? Poor her, poor little girl, poor baby.

Julie Pippert said...

Very rough. I hope it is okay, they are okay.

Jenty said...

Really hoping that the mom is OK, and that the dad will look after the other child. Can't wait for the next installment.

QT said...

I am putting as much positive energy out there for this woman as I can. I hope she emerges from this healthy, and if the baby is indeed on its way, I hope it is healthy too. That is the last thing she needs...please let us know what the outcome of this is.

wheelsonthebus said...

I'll be thinking of them.

mamatulip said...

Your posts stay with me long after I click away.

Please keep us posted.

Tabba said...

oh, holy hell. sorry. this is just not what i was expecting to read.
i can't even imagine...
thinking of everyone involved and holding them close to my heart.

painted maypole said...

crying...

your taking M for a playdate means even more to that family now... a distraction for a young child at a scary time.

and this makes me think of the mother you were in the room with for the birth

alejna said...

That poor woman. It all must be so overwhelming and scary for her. I hope that she finds more kindness. I'm glad that she found you. It can mean so much to be treated kindly.

I will be thinking of her and her family.

meno said...

What a mess, what a sad mess.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Please let us know what happens. And for what it's worth, I would definitely go to the hospital because she needs to see a somewhat familiar face. Also, you are probably the only one who can report back to her husband what is happening. It's too easy for people with no status in the community and who are further hampered linguistically to be overlooked, as you know too well.

flutter said...

oof, my heart.

kristen said...

thinking of you honey and hoping that everyone is ok, relatively speaking. xo

Kyla said...

Wow. Update us when you hear, whenever you hear.

Redneck Mommy said...

My thoughts and prayers to that woman and her family.

Redneck Mommy said...

My thoughts and prayers to that woman and her family.

carrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
carrie said...

I hope with my whole heart that everything is as alright as it can be with her and her children.

Please do let us know.

Mrs. Chicky said...

Here's hoping the baby didn't come too early.

cinnamon gurl said...

Oh I hope everyone's ok!

NotSoSage said...

God, Jen. I am hoping that mom and baby are okay...

hele said...

Ella Fitzgerald - I'm Glad There Is You

In this world of ordinary people
Extraordinary people
I'm glad there is you

In this world of over-rated pleasures
Of under-rated treasures
I'm so glad there is you

I live to love, I love to live with you beside me
This role so new, I'll muddle through with you to guide me


In this world where many, many play at love
And hardly any stay in love
I'm glad there is you

More than ever, I'm glad there is you

This post made me think of this song because you are there beside us and I am glad there is you.

So glad*

hele said...

And she knows you are there - caring about her and that you will make a plan to find her.

I hope you know how much it must mean to her that there is someone there who cares.

Bon said...

oy, Jen, oy. you must be all twisted up, friend.

a seven-month baby generally does VERY well with a few weeks NICU care - and most hospitals will allow the mother to room in. of course, i know nothing about American hospital practices or how insurance schemes work for those who have nothing...jesus.

how terrifying, going off alone like that. please bring her our love, for what it's worth.

Christine said...

god damn it.

as i sit here stuffing my face with my all too easily obtained breakfast this poor woman lies birthing her child in a strange, cold hospital.

shit, jen. this is so hard, so heart breaking.

i read all the parts of this story and it simply tears at my mother heart.

my human heart.

Running on empty

Janet said...

Bringing a new baby into the world is not supposed to be this way.

Suz said...

Oh no. Oh no oh no. Poor mom, husband, baby, and little girl. I'm so scared for all of them.

gumdropsandbubblethoughts said...

I hope she's fine...

bgirl said...

jen you amaze me. your spirit, amazes me.

Tis I. said...

What happened Jen?

I have to tell you... Day after Day you do this and your heart is not hardened. I love you for that, Jen. I love you for every child and mother and man that comes across you and your sweet, giving, caring, thoughtful heart.