My First Helicopter Ride

I first started writing the story about my pregnancy with the twins here, the first day of the beginning of when things started to get very complicated. I was planning on doing several posts throughout the next six weeks about the things that I went through. But for some reason I just couldn’t get moving on it. I had it all written down in “bits & pieces” and lots of snippets in a purple notebook that I kept in my purse. I even organized the handwritten mess and torn out pages into seperate pieces to post.

Every time I sat down to type up the story on my computer I would get listless and zone out in memories from a year ago.  I would go into my shell. I thought alot about all that happened. I got lost in the memories. I got busy with the babies and kids. I worried that maybe I was sharing too much. I procrastinated and time flew by.

The twins’ first birthday came and I started to think about all of the trips back and forth to the hospital while they were in the NICU. These tiny little babies in isolettes connected to tubes and wires and monitors and nurses. They were still my babies and I couldn’t wait to take them home.

I would go to the hospital three seperate times a day to stay with my babies, to hold them, feed them, and give them baths. I was home the other part of the time to be with my other two children. After I would put the boys to bed I would make my last trip of the day to the hospital to feed Elsie and Mallie and rock them to sleep. It was a busy schedule, but we made it through. I can’t believe the year has flown by so fast. I can’t help but thinking back about everything.

Each night when I walked through the hospital parking lot I would look up at the lit up hospital sign, the blue letters watching over me as I trudged around snowbanks and made my way to the entrance. Each time I saw that sign, I would think, pretty soon I will not have to see this sign every night. Pretty soon I will take a different path. I will not have to walk through the ER, down an empty hall with artificial light flickering above me, and down to where the babies were. Pretty soon I would have a different route. Pretty soon I would be able to take my babies home. Pretty soon I would rock them on my couch and put them in their cribs. My route would be stairs and bedrooms instead of hospital rooms.

But before all of that there was the beginning. The story I intended to write. The sequel to “The Beginning of Complicated.”   It happened September 13, 2010. I’ve been meaning to finish it for a while. But better late than never.


The doctor sat in the chair by my bedside, legs crossed and hands clasped around his knee. I wasn’t used to seeing him on this end of the bed. Ususally he was at the other end in green scrubs delivering my babies. He was not my regular doctor, but he was on call. He was also the doctor that delivered Bradley and Collin. I knew him. I could understand his accent. I liked him. I trusted him.

But this time it was the worst conversation I have ever had with him. I sobbed. I bawled. I shook uncontrollably with tears. I wanted to hate him, but I couldnt. He was giving me the facts. He was trying to save me and my babies.

“We have mostly stopped the bleeding. As long as the bleeding is under control we can send you to Peoria. The helicopter is on it’s way,” he said. “If the bleeding doesn’t stop there is a 75% (I can’t remember the exact statistics that he said. I just remember it was horrible. They were not in my favor.) chance the babies will not make it.” The rest of that conversation was a blur. That last sentence stopped me in my tracks and hung over my head. I prayed. I pleaded. I sobbed.

Soon a young guy sauntered into my hospital room in a green flight jumpsuit with a cocky air,  “My name is Tom.” (I don’t remember his name. We will just call him that because he reminded me of an annoying blonde version of Tom Cruise in Top Gun). “We are going to get you ready.” He asked me some basic questions. The flight nurse came in with a thick file under her arm, I assumed it was my file.

They messed with the tube and wires. They strapped me onto a small board. I worried about my bare butt falling out of my hospital gown and my belly rolling off the other side. They covered me with a sheet, my arms across my chest Hannibal Lecter style. They wheeled me out to the flight pad; oxygen, IV, and monitors. I felt so helpless. I tried to breath. I had no way of doing anything. I watched.

They put large head phones on my head to block the noise. “It’s a tight cramped space,” he said. “It is loud, so you will wear these. We can talk to each other,” he said, motioning to him and the nurse, “and will be monitoring you and the babies. If you need somthing this is the signal,” he gestured a thumbs up or down.

The smell of the spearmint gum he was chewing was really annoying me. The blonde nurse’s pink lipstick irritated me. Everything irritated me because I just didn’t want to be there. I was still in shock that all this was happening and there was nothing I could do.  They monitored my contractions. They chatted nonchalantly back and forth. It seemed like they were flriting. I watched them out of the corner of my eye because I couldn’t turn my head, I couldn’t get comfortable with this big belly or these big headphones. They were pissing me off, probably because they were so normal at the time and I was not.

I tried to guess what they were saying and got bored with this after a while. The pain was too much and it was hard to concentrate. I was afraid to sleep. I watched the cornfield pass in a patchwork blanket beneath me. It was a thirty to forty-five minute ride on a tiny little board and the vibrations of the helicopter were killing my hips. It felt like an eternity.

Somewhere after the helicopter ride but in a hospital bed – I opened my eyes to a darkened room. TV. IV. Tray net to the bed. Monitors beside that. This was becoming all too familiar. I searched for a face, any face. I peered through blurry eyes. I tried to lift my head, it was too heavy. I tried to find the call button, my arms wouldn’t move. I tried to roll to my side, my body didn’t respond. I craned my neck to the left. I was relieved to see Brad. He was on the couch sitting next to his mom. The daylight was shining through the cracks of the shades, framing the pair as they were both texting on their phones. “What time is it?” I tried to speak, but it was hard to talk. My throat was so dry and scratchy. “I’m thirsty.”

“They won’t let you have anything to eat or drink yet, hun,” Brad’s mom said, coming to my bed side.

“Please!” I begged. “I’m so thirsty. Ask the nurse for ice.”

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

They wouldn’t let me have anything! I’m not used to not getting what I want. I tried to stay calm. I was hormonal, pegnant, and in shock from doctors, nurses, operating people with masked faces, helicopter rides…

But that is the good thing about Brad’s mom and why I like her. She gave in. She gave me a little sip of her orange juice when nobody was looking. It was so good. Probably the best sip I’ve ever had. Relief.

Eventually they took me to a normal room. A room that I would be staring at for many long weeks. I still remember the Norman Rockwell calendar on the bulletin board, the top of the tree out of my window. I could also see a parking garage in the distance. Plain curtains. White sheets and blankets. An extra large plastic mug of ice water on the tray next to my bed which the nurses always filled.

I was so sad when everybody left me and went home. I was staying there. I was stuck. I was there for the long haul. Bed rest! Really? Guess it’s for the best. I buried my head under the covers and cried myself to sleep.

Those were lonely weeks to follow.


I Know Accidents Happen…But I Still Feel Horrible

I’m not the kind of mom who freaks out over every little scrape and bruise my kids get. At least not anymore. Maybe I was with my first one. But after number two, three, and four…you loosen up a little. “Get up. You’re okay. Brush it off. Quit crying.” And we go on. There’s no time for excessive whining. Get up and get over it. Unless it needs bandaged, then you get a few more extra hugs and kisses before we go on with it.

But what happened the Monday before last was terrible. I have never seen anything like it and don’t ever want to again. I’m still in a little bit of shock from the accident. Especially since it was my fault. It was an accident, though. And I know accidents happen…but I still feel horrible.

We were just going out the back door to let the dogs in and I shut the door behind me to wipe off muddy dog paws. Collin screamed. Everything happened so fast. Instinctively I flew the door open. Holy crap, it was shut all the way with his fingers in it! I grabbed him up and put him on the counter to look at it. That’s when I about passed out. The tip of his little pinky finger was hanging off, like the top of a flip top box of Crayola crayons. It was so unnatural looking. It looked dead It was purple and black and bloody. It looked like something from a horror movie. It was just hanging there by a tiny piece of skin. Blood was gushing out of a gaping hole and he was screaming. Tears ran down my face and I was freaking out. It was chaos, adrenaline, screaming, panic, frantic phone calls, and a million things all at once.

There were so many thoughts rushing and zinging through my head as I was trying to calm down (which I wasn’t doing a very good job at) and comfort my severely hurt child. And with each scream the blood gushed out of his finger even faster, obliterating a hand towel, and I was having a hard time not breaking down with him. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I called Brad immediately. I don’t even remember what I said. I was screaming at him because I was trying to yell over Collin’s screaming. I made sure he got the basics. Come home. Leave now. Emergency room. It’s bad. Hurry. Collin’s finger is practically falling off. It got shut in the door. Or something like that.

And you know, adrenaline does crazy things. All the while I am holding onto him and trying to comfort him, “Hold on, baby. Daddy’s coming. We’re going to go to the doctor and fix it,” and these crazy thoughts just kept screaming in my head each time I looked at his severed finger or the blood drops on the floor. What have I done? Holy crap! His fingers going to fall off! I’m a horrible mother. Don’t let that finger fall off. BREATH. If it does keep track of it so they can sew it back on. BREATH. I’m a horrible mother. I can’t even be left alone with my kids. I ruined my perfect child. What have I done? I can’t believe it is practically falling off. BREATH. Hurry up, Brad, and get here. Dammit, Mom answer your phone. Call Brandi. Call Mom. Somebody has to be here with the twins. I can’t leave the babies.BREATH.  I’m so glad the babies are sleeping. Thankfully the dogs are outside. I was so afraid the finger would fall off and the dogs would eat it. This is terrible. This is really bad. BREATH. I need to get someone over here to watch the babies so I can ride with to the ER and make sure that finger doesn’t fall off on the way there. Holy, crap! I can’t believe it is hanging off like that. ANSWER your phone Mom! Call Connie. Get someone over here. I’m going with to the ER. Try to stay calm. Steady the room. BREATH. Don’t keep looking at it. Holy, crap. His finger is barely attached. Holy, shit! I’m a horrible mother. Stay calm. BREATH. Hold your baby close. I can’t believe it is hanging there! BREATH.

And the rest was a blur. A dash out to the car. I rode in the back seat with Collin. Brad told me to stay calm. I tried not to cry even more. “I feel so horrible. I didn’t mean to. I didn’t even see his hand,” I said, holding back bawling sobs. I sucked it in and tried to distract Collin with a game on Brad’s phone. He was crying and screaming the whole time. I can’t even imagine the pain my poor baby was in. Ugh!

They got us right in at the hospital. They called it a partial amputation. Holy crap! They gave him a shot…a nerve block…so he wouldn’t feel it. I went outside to get air. I couldn’t see the shot. His dad was there. I needed a breather and to collect myself. I needed to get it together for him.  Which I’m usually pretty calm in situations, but this was just something else. I have never seen anything like it. And I felt so horrible!

They stitched it all the way around. Frankenstein finger. They bandaged it up and gave us prescriptions. You could tell the shot helped. Gotta love pain meds. Phew!

I went home and crashed.

I thought Collin would nap after all that. But he was running around. No bandaged finger was going to slow him down.

And I am so happy that he says the door did it….not Mommy. He points to the door and says, “Broke. Broke. Ow!”  (Even though his finger did not get smashed way at the top.)

Cute video below of Collin comforting Mallie and then he showed her his owie and she kissed it. Awww…they can be so cute.

I know accidents happen….but I still feel horrible.