Me: “huhllo?” sounding like Lauren BacallCaller: “My water broke!”
Me: “who is this?”
Caller: “ It's ERIKA!”
Caller: “I’m having the baby!”
It was a peaceful Sunday morning, November 3rd, just 11 days ago. I had turned the clocks back before I went to bed, therefore, I had no idea what time it really was. Hell, I didn’t even know what room I was in. Really. All I remember is that my heart was beating as though I’d been in a race, and I think I could smell Fancy Feast for Gravy Lovers in my pillow.
After getting my bearings, I stumbled out of bed, somehow navigated the flight of stairs, went into the den to tell Chuck about Erika, and almost jumped out of my skin! There was Chuck sitting on the couch with his back to me next to someone with a big headful of thick black hair! Turned out to be Lenny! Geez Louise! Where was I???
And now, Erika and Brian’s baby boy was coming nearly 5 weeks early! That was lucky for Erika, since he turned out to be 7 pounds, 13 ounces! Good for you, kid!
Erika and Brady Luke McMahon
She looks good, right? Erika likes to hit the big drugs, push the kid out, and then call for a manicure! I luv ya, kid!
Although I wanted to fly to Chicago immediately for the big event, I had a CAT scan scheduled for… (uh oh. Do you get it? cat scan? Now there’s some symbolism for all you dream analyzers out there!)... for the following day, and I couldn’t reschedule because, well, you all know by now how cancer patients are about scheduling and timing and waiting and all that jazz. We do not handle it well!Because I am allergic to the contrast dye used for, ahem, a CAT scan, I have to be pre-medicated with three doses of prednisone taken 13, 7, and 1 hour before the scan. Then, along with that third dose, I take 50 mg of Benadryl to further prevent any reaction and 10 mg of Ativan to combat the violent restless legs I get from the damn Benadryl. On that particular day, I had to be at the hospital at 7:30 a.m. in order to have enough time to drink three cups of refreshing barium sulfate before the 9:00 test.
Cheers!So, here’s how it went: I set an alarm to wake up at 2 a.m. to choke down my second dose of prednisone. Then I tried to go back to sleep with baby's breath on my mind. No luck. I got up at 6, showered, packed my bag for Chicago, took two Benedryl capsules plus the Ativan and went to the hospital. Everything was running on time that day, and we were home at 10:30. Just in time for my drug-induced three hour coma.
I dragged my ever-expanding ass out of bed at 2:30 and Chuck took me to the airport. At 4:30 I was off to the Windy City! Yippee! A whole week of baby time.
And a whole week of one-on-one time with Sean. What's cuter or funnier than a two-and-a-half year old?
A seriously cute kid!He was especially lovable (to his grandmother, anyway) on Thursday evening when he erupted from both ends! His mom and dad had just returned from their first trip to the pediatrician with both children. That must have been a hoot, since each kid crapped twice while there. When Erika came through the door, she looked liked she'd been through a haunted house. "How do people do this with two kids?" Because, unlike 'the rest of us,' you're young! You can do it!
Sean was given his dinner of plain pasta noodles, yogurt, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for good measure.
In short order, his gut took over the universe. With the first attack of diarrhea, Erika tells Brian, "Don't change him on the changing table - we can't contaminate it for Brady." I proudly spent years being a mommy to babies and toddlers and I believe I used a changing table exactly four times. She, on the other hand, ALWAYS uses one, even for Sean at this point! Admirable.
So Brian gets the kid in the tub, scrubs him down, cozies him up in his PJs and all is well. For about 30 minutes.
Suddenly Sean cries that his tummy hurts and Erika makes the colossal mistake of saying, "Let's get in mommy's bed and snuggle." oops. According to witnesses, it was a tsunami of vomit. No warning. No time for a bucket. Puke one, parents zero.
Now here's another good thing about being on chemo: You are rightfully isolated from any sick people. My job was to hide in my room with Baby Cakes! Somebody had to protect the little nugget.
Not to humiliate the McMahons, but I so wished they had a nanny cam in their house. The next 3 hours were INSANE! As soon as he barfed all over their bed and Erika, the atmosphere turned into the car chase scene from The French Connection. I don't know what happened faster, the kid in the tub or the entire master bedroom being carried to the basement! I did not know a person could don a hazmat suit as quickly as Erika did! Luckily, I had a surgical mask in my purse, which I donated to the cause. Brian wanted to put the entire set of bedding into a trash bag and throw it out! At one point he said to me, "I'll never be able to eat Pad Thai noodles again - it's all I can smell." Oh my God, it's hard to see with these tears of laughter pouring from my eyes!
With Sean on the couch/sick bed, I suggested a bowl be at the ready. In my day, I would hear that odd little cough from down the hall and have a stainless steel bowl out before the puke hit the air. After Sean's third or fourth expulsion, I yelled out from the safety of my quarters, "Don't you wish you had a garbage disposal?"
Erika went over that house like a mold abatement expert. I swear you could lick the walls in the bathrooms. "How am I going to feed the baby, Sean barfed all over my chest?"
I can't type any more, I'm on the floor. This was another long story, but so worth reliving! Laughter truly is the best medicine. I gotta go to bed.