“Aunt Sarah let’s race our cars now. Right now” said my three-year-old nephew beside me.
Everything was happening so quickly.
My Dad was rushing to put things into a backpack, my sister L was packing up food so my parents could eat something, my Mom was heading out the door to go to the hospital.
“Aunt Sarah. We need to play” said my nephew having absolutely no idea the emergency that was happening around us.
I pretended to race my car but what I really wanted to do was to run into a room and cry.
Minutes before, my Mom had told us that she had passed out the night before but didn’t know why. She could see that her heart rate was getting too high and had finally decided it was time to go to the hospital.
That was on Sunday and thus began events that nobody could have expected.
This week was A LOT for everyone. Because of her heart defibrillator, the team at Toronto General, and my Mom’s strength, she was able to get out of the hospital by Thursday evening.
My parents had come down to Toronto for a Jays game and my Mom was planning on attending two appointments with me this week – my 20-week anatomy ultrasound on Monday, and my OB appointment on Wednesday.
What was so odd was that she was so close by – just across the street at Toronto General. She explained how sad she was at missing the appointments and I just stated over and over again that I didn’t care. I just needed her to be healthy.
Because my Mom couldn’t make the appointment, my sister J came with me. Throughout the day, J had been to Toronto General to see Mom, went to my appointment at Sinai, worked an eight-hour shift, and went back to Toronto General in the evening. I told her that she didn’t need to come to my appointment but she was so kind and was there by my side.
Because I was so stressed, I had no idea how the anatomy scan would go. To be honest, all of my thoughts were on my Mom and it wasn’t really registering that I was having my ultrasound.
Throughout the ultrasound, I tried to talk to both the nurse as well as J. The nurse was too busy and didn’t want to chat. J would talk to me for a bit but I could tell she was also tired and stressed about Mom.
I wasn’t able to see the monitor either so I was just laying down, sitting in a dark room, and trying my best not to be too stressed out.
After about ten minutes I knew I had to ask a question.
“Is he there?” I asked the nurse.
“Yes” she said.
“Does he have a heartbeat?”
“Yes” she said.
That was pretty much all of the small talk I could get out of her.
I could feel my anxiety increasing as I sat there.
“Is he moving around a lot?”
“Yes” she said.
After that, I gave up. We weren’t going to be friends and I would just use this time to breathe deeply.
“You are done” she said. “But we need to look at your cervix.”
My sister was sitting at my feet and upon hearing that, jumped out of her seat.
“I am moving” she said.
The nurse left and I took off my pants, hiding so my sister couldn’t see anything.
“You know that you are going to have to get comfortable with me seeing things” said J. “I am going to be there at your labour so I’ll see a whole lot more of you. Be prepared.”
The nurse came back in and after about two minutes I was done. Overall, the anatomy ultrasound took about 1 hour and fifteen minutes.
“You will have to come back” said the nurse. “I couldn’t see much.”
From there, I was asked to sit in the waiting room until about 20-30 minutes later, when I was given a new date and time to come back.
On Wednesday I had my ultrasound for the research study that I am in at Mount Sinai.
“I’ll try and get what the nurse didn’t get in the anatomy ultrasound” said the physician.
This time I could see the monitor and watched as baby boy flipped around and kicked the entire time.
“I am trying but I just can’t get pictures of him. He is one of the most active babies I have seen.”
“What?” I asked. “I have no energy. Why does he have so much energy? Why can’t he be more like his Mama?” I laughed.
“When they are like this in the womb, they are like this when they come out of the womb” said the physician doing the study.
“What?” I asked.
After my research ultrasound, I was off to meet with Dr. Snelgrove.
While in the waiting room, I watched as a man spoke on his cell phone.
“It’s a girl Mom. She is in the washroom and I’m not sure if I am allowed to tell you. Actually, here she comes. She can tell you herself.”
I can’t even begin to express how excited I was at watching this all unfold.
“Congratulations on your girl” I said. Before long, we were chatting about a variety of things including how much we loved Mount Sinai Fertility Clinic and how much we loved Mount Sinai.
“Sarah?” asked the nurse.
I couldn’t believe how fast the two-hour wait went because of the kind couple I had met. I made a mental note to talk to everyone around me next time.
Dr. Snelgrove welcomed me, asked how I was doing and looked over my anatomy scan.
“Wow…thanks a lot guys” he laughed. “They were only able to measure the head” he said. “Your baby was moving around way too much.”
“He is a soccer player” I said.
After that, we discussed my health and how I am still not gaining any weight or keeping any food down. I asked if something was wrong with me because I was sleeping 12-16 hours a day. I also discussed other gross pregnancy symptoms that I won’t write about here. Every time I talk about it my Dad says “TMI.”
So through all of the events of the week, baby boy made it through this week with his mother being completely stressed out. It’s so hard going through such a stressful time knowing that you have to remain calm.
This week got a lot better because on Thursday night, Mom was released from the hospital.
I felt really bad because I wanted to be with my Mom 24/7 at the hospital, but my body wouldn’t let me. I would start getting sick and knew it was time to go home and to rest. It was really hard to find a balance.
Now that she is home, I am resting and have cancelled everything so I can just be in bed. This week took so much out of me emotionally and physically.
My Mom is everything and it was amazing watching her strength through all of this. The whole time I just kept thinking “you need to get healthy. You need to be with my son.”
So now if anyone ever asks me where I get my strength from, I’ll always be sure to say “I got it from my Mama.”
If I can be half the Mom, my Mom has been to me OR if I can be half as strong as my Mom, I know I will have made it as the most incredible Mom.
I love you Mama.