Then MB started wailing and needed her diaper changed. And LMC wanted Dah-dee to open her fruit snacks. And the phone rang. MB needed to nurse. LMC's wheels fell off.
He had not been home 20 minutes and the only conversation we had involved a "hello" and a question about the other's day.
We needed some peace and quiet. Just 15 minutes to sit down and talk to each other without a baby wailing or a toddler desperately needing attention. 15 minutes to look each other in the eye and speak on an adult level about decisions that needed to be made.
I wished for a moment of quiet.
Days later, LMC got a cold. Runny nose and coughing kind of cold. It was pathetically nothing. We didn't keep her out of school- she felt fine. She didn't even have a fever. LMC passed the gift to her mother, who in turn passed it to her father.... who passed it to our 8 week old MB.
It was a nothing cold. A few weeks ago when LMC yakked and had the flu made us more concerned than LMC's runny nose.
MB coughed. Those sad baby coughs when she got done, she looked around- dizzy- with the turmoil of the coughs. MB sneezed. Repetitious sneezes with goobers coming and going from her nose. No fever. Just the same symptoms we all had of this nothing cold- in an eight week old body.
She struggled. We snuggled. She slept. We nursed. The diapers flew off the changing table and the cooing grew quiet as she wrapped herself in extended periods of deep sleep.
Husband kept the babies yesterday while I was at the Basilica- an excellent place to be when your pediatric ICU trained husband calls you and says it is time to come home. Your daughter had an episode. It was time to go to the doctor. He said "doctor." I knew he meant "emergency room." We have never made a trip to the ER for our children before.
I have said many times that my husband is always calm in the face of chaos, and he is. But, for Husband to say it's time to go to the doctor... It's Time. I walk out the front door, round the corner in the rain and hop in my car, cursing DC traffic. LMC and MB in the backseat a wicked 10 minutes later and Husband at the wheel we approach the ER. Husband lets me out with the baby swaddled in a pink blanket.
The ER at Children's National is blocked by a security desk and you have to be cleared to enter the waiting room. God Bless a post 9/11 life and Jihad for all. The security guard sat at the desk and was carrying a conversation with another employee. There were three people in front of me. And I held my raspy baby.
In my mind, I will count to ten and then say something... eight... nine... TEN.
"EXCUSE ME, MY BABY IS HAVING TROUBLE BREATHING. WILL YOU PLEASE LET ME INTO THE EMERGENCY ROOM?"
click... click... I'm in.
A Thank you was tossed over my shoulder to the expert conversationalist as I crossed the threshold from normal parent to emergent parent. A nurse triaged MB, Husband walked through the door moments later and we were in rapid progression getting moved to a room in the back.
Our last name on the board called for more than one friend and comrade to come through our door to check in on our little family. One of LMC's school buddies has a mom who is a doctor. When she walked through the door, LMC said, "HEY! How Miss Joan get to be Doctor Joan?" Later, Husband would buy our daughter some crayons in a princess case from the gift shop and she would say that it was her Princess Doctor bag.
"I bet Miss Joan carries one, too."
Even at 3.5, when she can beat the patience right out of me- she is a constant reminder of life from her height is a good life, as long as she gets to pick out her socks. And shoes. And clothes. Hooray for yesterday being a day where I held no limits on what she could wear.
Pink leggings under a pink skirt matched with a pink shirt with a bright pink and obnoxiously large pink flower pinned to the front. Blue winter boots and no tame to her mane. She was a pink disaster and so proud of her choosing.
I kept my mouth shut.
A friend, a saint really, was a phone call away and didn't hesitate to pick up LMC for a slumber party with her equally wild and crazy 3.5 year old. Thankful, eternally thankful for friends in the metropolis. How will I survive without them when we move in a few short months?
We kiss LMC good night. We check into our room. Husband runs home for a toothbrush and change of clothes and we get settled in for a long night, feeding her every hour- on the hour- for five hours.
My boobies hurt.
She screamed until after midnight before finally admitting defeat and went off into peaceful slumber, giving us a few hours to rub together with our eyes closed.
Today, we are sitting in the hospital- both at the wheel- one with a computer and one with an iPad, taking turns holding our newest in quiet love with each other. We should be going home today, but they need to keep us for a full 24 hour period since MB stopped breathing and turned blue.
Babies shouldn't change colors. Rule of thumb.
We got the peace and quiet I wished for last night.
I will take crazy chaos in our laundry ridden home any day. Husband and I will make our decisions with toddlers at our feet running and screaming the whole time until they are no longer small. A moment that will come with both love and sadness.
MB is back to her pink self again this morning, after a good night of sleep and minimal monitor alarms. It was a good night. And we'll take a pink baby home any day.