Part five of a multi-part post. Click here for earlier parts. More to follow because we’re still here. Bonus if you get the song lyric allusion in the title.
We got to the ER, where a very nice man met us and brought us up to pediatrics. It is a sad statement on this baby’s life thus far that the nurses stopped and said, “I remember you.” Yes, folks, this is the same floor where we stayed when Lilah was a week old and was jaundiced. As opposed to the Medical Plaza, which is where we went to get an ultrasound of her sacral dimple and then later to get an upper GI series done to diagnose her reflux. For a perfectly healthy baby, she is sure costing our health insurance a bucket of money. She’s only two months old and she is already a veteran of the UCLA healthcare system.
As the nurses checked us in, the very nice ER man asked me if I needed something to eat. Seriously. He did. And I’ll be damned if the man didn’t go and get me a grilled chicken sandwich from the kitchen.
The rest of Friday afternoon was a flurry of activity. Lilah needed fluids and antibiotics, so off we went to insert her I.V., much to her chagrin. As I took off her top layer of clothing with the nurse, who is a mother of three, I noticed a distinct yellow smudge on the outfit. “Eh, there’s not enough poop there to change her,” I said to the nurse, who completely agreed. “That’s how you know she’s a third child.”
My daughter is a linebacker of a baby, so it took quite a bit of effort to hold her down and get the thing in. To calm her, I began reciting books. “In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines…” One of the nurses joined in: “Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.” I tried singing, despite my tone deafness. So, and you really need to try to picture this, there we were, me holding the baby, the nurses trying to insert the I.V., and all three women singing “I Will Survive.”
As they worked, I looked at the onesie she was wearing, the one I had thrust at Brad six hours and one ambulance ride earlier. It said very distinctly across the chest: “Tuesday.” “I guess that’s how you know she’s a third child,” I commented ruefully.
Suddenly, I realized that we had missed Zach’s occupational therapy appointment that afternoon. And that wasn’t my only worry. I was concerned that, given how I had snapped at him that morning, he might think he had landed his baby sister in the hospital. Especially since he had been telling me he wanted us to go back into the hospital so his Daddy would take care of him.
I called home and asked to talk to Zach that night. “Baby, do you know who was really cooperative at drop-off this morning so I could get Lilah to the doctor? And who went so nicely to his friend’s house so I could take care of Lilah?”
“Zachary,” he told me.
“That’s right, babe. Thank you so much. I couldn’t get Lilah the help she needs if it weren’t for you.” He seemed to accept his role as Hero of the Situation with humility and good grace, but he had some reading he needed to get back to.