Wednesday, March 16, 2005

T-Bird (Part II)

* Scroll down for Part I* Six weeks to the day after Nate was born, T-Bird moved back to Michigan. She left Bob behind as he wasn’t certain he wanted to go. I watched as she packed and hugged her tight. The phone lines burned between WV and MI until she came to pick Bob up a few months later. OY, they burned a lot. We were both pretty strapped for cash though and honestly, I can’t remember if she came back to WV before August of 1997. She had called me a couple of months before and asked me to be in her wedding. Then she called a few weeks after that and said, "Oh, you’re going to be an aunt... and a godmother." Wow... a new little one and just 17 months younger than Nate!! I made my first trip to MI in August. It was a late trip and I got stuck behind one of the trains which delayed my arrival into the early morning hours. Didn’t matter! I met her then best friend and maid of honor (MOH) from MI. We stayed up and chatted until the late morning hours and got some shut eye. T-Bird was right at 20 weeks so I could actually tell she was pregnant. She was quite heavy anyway but a pregnant heavy is different. It would be my job to get her to the manicurist on Friday to prepare for the big day. That night we tried to turn in early but the MOH pissed her off over her sister, and tensions flared. We ended up on the curb at an ungodly hour when we should have been sleeping. T-Bird was having serious doubts about marriage. It had nothing to do with Bob, but rather her own insecurities and basic unwillingness to be tied down. I told her it wasn’t too late and then I just listened and hugged her and we made fun of everyone and cussed and cried a bit. She decided, yeah, it was worth it. I can’t say I talked her into, I just let her talk herself into it. Morning came early... and it was off to the hairstylist, make-up, getting dressed, photos, and the wedding, which was performed by her father, who came in from California. While at the reception, MOH and I had to help her use the bathroom. The bathroom was about the size of a port-a-potty and there we were, squeezed in with this big dress. Basically, we held the dress and T-Bird did the rest. Being in such close quarters, it was kind of hard not to notice what was going on below me. T-Bird, at that time, was severely addicted to Mountain Dew and with the stress of everything I was a little worried about her. I noticed her urine was really dark and made mention of it. I told her to drink some water and she scoffed and said it was always like that because she drank so much Mountain Dew. I let it drop. Damn... hindsight is 20/20. Her mother, brother, and I were the only ones who knew where she and Bob were spending their wedding night. Her brother and I went by and delivered some sparkling grape juice and a few other things they had forgotten. I was leaving after breakfast the following morning. I laid my hand on the top of her belly and the baby kicked my hand. Wow! I’ll never forget that. Fuck... hindsight is 20/20. On Tuesday morning, August 12th, the receptionist at my office told me as I walked through the door that T-Bird had called. She was in the hospital, could I wait on her phone call. While I was quizzing the receptionist she called back and I went into the conference room to take it. I picked the phone up and said, "Hey." T-Bird said, "Hey," with tears in her voice. I laid my head on the desk. Fuck. Devastated and heartbroken she told me that she hadn’t been feeling well since the wedding and by Monday evening was having contractions. The amniotic sac had developed, what they believed to be, a small tear which did not heal. Which, yes, may have accounted for the dark "urine" which I saw in the toilet. An infection had developed around her uterus, causing contractions, and premature opening of the cervix. No amount of antibiotics will cure this type of infection. Once it takes hold the only remedy is to deliver the baby and save the mother. So, my little goddaughter, Tori, was born at 20 weeks. Perfect in every way - blond headed, her little eyes fused shut, head barely the size of a lemon, weighing in at just under a pound. She was just ... too small. The doctor said had she been 22 or 23 weeks ... maybe. I desperately wanted to be back in Michigan. There was just no way I could make the trip though. I have to say, out of all the bare financial times of my life, that hurt the worst. Not being able to return to Michigan when T-Bird needed me was just plain, damned ass shitty. I had never experienced anything like this before and had no idea what to do or say. I just... listened. I worried more because T-Bird is bi-polar and only time would tell how she held up against the loss of her daughter.
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