I am in the market for a pink “MILD CONCERN” button. It seems I am hard wired to reach for the bright red PANIC button.
Two situations came to a resolution this morning. Both of which have had me near tears for the last twelve hours.
Two weeks ago at my midwife’s visit they told me that I seemed to be “measuring big” and that I “might have excess fluid” but not to be concerned yet. They’d check in two more weeks and then maybe schedule an additional ultrasound. As much as I’d love to see this baby one more time before I hold it in my arms my poor little third trimester/moving/daughter starting new school heart can’t take the worry that scheduling an extra ultrasound would cause.
They told me I had no cause for concern. Yet. Knowing full well it was a terrible idea - I googled. And I found that nearly all of the time it is nothing. But when it’s something? Well, then it could be an increased risk for still birth or a zillion other equally rare and horrific somethings. So I did my best to try not to worry. We had the closing on the house to worry about. And packing and unpacking. (“Town to town, up and down the dial…” I can not say that, packing and unpacking, without hearing the WKRP theme song.)
But when I did think about it… the red PANIC button was right there. Whispering sweet nothings and saying “push me, push me, you know you wanna…”
Predictably I seem to be measuring just fine as of this morning’s appointment. Baby D is good. Mom is good. Last night’s meeting of the doula was fantastic and I can breathe a big sigh of “holy shit we might actually have a healthy baby and everything will be just fine” relief.
The last week has been a whirlwind of moving and unpacking. MQD and I are so lucky to have had a bunch of help from our parents. It’s funny, but the moments in our lives that are the most “grown up” – pregnancy, the wedding, a home purchase, are the moments when we need a parent the most. So we can take off the grown up hat for a second and shrug our shoulders and say “I don’t know?” We have been in our house for seven days and last night was the first time we have been there without parental supervision.
I was meeting MQD at the doula interview so it was just me and Em when we got home. Quick dinner, shower and we’d be back out the door. Or so I thought. I got home and tried to turn on the heat. Nothing. No problem. We can deal with that. Maybe it is just the thermostat? I’ll turn on the gas fireplace. No. I won’t. Pilot is out. Suddenly 58 degrees inside is starting to feel like an icy tundra. I really didn’t want to ruin this evening. Em can jump in the shower. I’ll make dinner. We will make it to the doula appointment. And I might just be flakey, MQD can look at the thermostat when he gets home.
Em skipped a shower on Halloween. It was a late night. So last night’s shower was lengthy. And steamy evidently. I no sooner had the water boiling for pasta when the smoke alarm outside the upstairs bath started beeping. Not a problem. Run up the steps and pull down the smoke detector. But as I get to the top of the steps I discover the smoke alarms are wired in to the alarm system and soon the whole house is beeping like a bomb in Die Hard. I can feel the pregnancy rage building. I am freezing, the house is beeping. Loudly. And like clock work Em starts to cry. “Is there a fire?!” She is standing in the hallway, wet and soapy. And cold. “NO! Get off the carpet, get back in the shower!!”
I run back down the stairs to turn the water down before my pot boils over. Fish has jumped on the back of the new couch and begun to bark. Now I am cold. And my water is boiling. And the alarms are beeping. And so help me we are not eating fast food again tonight.
The alarms stopped beeping. 45 minutes later. And we ate spaghetti. And we got to the doula interview a few minutes early. And I made Emily sleep in bed with me because that kid is like a heater box.
And this morning I reached for the PANIC button again. I called a project manager at work and got the number for the HVAC guy. He was going to come out this afternoon. And then I called my mother. She asked me “Are you sure you don’t have gas heat?” Duh. Yes, of course I am sure.
While I was on the phone with her my friend, the project manager called me back. “I am sure you’ve thought of this, Kelly… but are you sure you don’t have gas heat?”
So I took my hand off the PANIC button and I called the natural gas company that services our area. “Yes, m’aam, we service that address. Gas heat, gas fireplace and gas for your water heater.”
Great. While I was freaking out last night, Em was using the vast majority of the hot water. And our “god damn heat pump, what the fuck else can go wrong in our new house on 0ur first night here just as a family” well we just need to call and get our gas turned back on.
It sounds perverse to say that I should probably spend the evening looking for my pink button. And even more profane if I mention I should do it in my daughter’s room that resembles a bordello in the evening. But really, I should.
I need to learn to go from calm, cool and collected to a state of pink, one of mild concern. Calm and cool right in to red, hot PANIC is no good for me or anyone around me.
This morning I saw a terrific bumper sticker. “I wish Morgan Freeman narrated my life.” I laughed all the way to work. If he did he’d be doing a rendition of the old Time Life “Mysteries of the Unknown” commercials that ask the questions about whether or not something is a coincidence or a strange and inexplicable phenomenon. “A woman burns herself on a hot pan and 600 miles away her twin sister’s hand begins to blister.”
Only instead of the Time Life guy it was Morgan Freeman. “As she drives on toward work with a smile on her face she can’t help but chuckle. Her baby is healthy. And her heat? Well, it was no coincidence she had lost gas to her fireplace and heat on the same day. On the first of the month, no less. Well, how about that? I do believe the world’s not gotten the best of her yet.” And the scene would fade to black. Me, laughing at my tendency to overreact. Fisher’s head out the car window, smiling.