I posted this laying down at the beach with some friends while they were grilling dinner. I had a great Sunday: I took the kids to town in the morning, had some lunch, took awesome pictures with my new lenses, and we ended up the weekend grilling at the beach. I needed this chilling, I tell myself, when I started driving back home. It is some minutes over 7pm when I hear the cell phone.
- Are you home?
- Not yet, we will be there in some minutes… What´s wrong?
- I am bleeding- really bad, I think I need to go to the hospital right now.
It is no secret that I am not Mr. K, my ex-husband´s Nr. 1 fan, but Sandra, his new wife, I am really fond of. She is from Brazil, a kind, sweet and patient woman whom I feel absolutely comfortable leaving my children with. Sandra is pregnant for the second time, she is due in a week and her mom and sister are in town.
Sara, her sister, is supposed to go back to Brazil tomorrow. She is quite happy that the baby hasn’t given any problems, and she hopes that it stays that way until she leaves. She came to help mom across the ocean, but that is pretty much it. Now Her sister is bleeding bad.
- Get in the car right away, Sandra.
- I am bleeding so much…
I try to push away from my mind the pool of blood I have just seen and I squeeze her hand. It´s ok, I tell her. Is it? I ask myself silently.
I can see the hair on he arms raise when the nurse spread the contact gel on her belly. I squeeze her hand again. I think I smile. I hold my breath for endless seconds until we hear the baby´s heart. I squeeze again. I know I smile. She does also.
I listen in Norwegian, carefully and I know now what it is going to happen before they tell Sandra in English. The placenta has erupted, she has lost way too much blood and the baby must come out now. NOW! She cries when she hears cesarean, but she has to stop, because things are so bad there is no time for emotions.
- Do you want to be with her in the OR?
Sara is completely overwhelmed, scared and freaked out. I believe my help has to be put aside and bring forward the consideration that she is the sister and she is family and I am just the husband´s ex wife. And the ex wives are not supposed to be wearing scrubs in the OR comforting the new wife and wiping tears. Ex wives are not supposed to be the first person holding the new wife´s baby, taking pictures or memorizing the APGAR scored.
- She shouldn’t be alone, Sara.
- You go, you speak the language, if something happens…
So l am in, full scrubbed, and I am doing all those things ex wives are not supposed to do -and I feel honored I am sharing that moment with Sandra.
I move back and forth between the OR and the room where the baby is, information, passing information between doctors and Sandra, trying to reach Mr. K, taking pictures…
- Do you want to bring him to her?
I take the baby -my God, he looks so much like
my our son, and I bring him to her, and I hate for a moment that she can´t hold him, because her arms are spread full of catheters and she can´t hold him, and despite she can caress his face with her lips, I feel like an intruder and I hate that she can´t hold him…
- 10 fingers, 10 toes – he is a mini version of our son.
I tell Mr. K on the phone, and I feel for him, because he is unfortunately out of the country, and because despite I am not his Nr. 1 fan, he is the father of my children, and now he is the father of her children, and I like her, and I like her children also.
She has lost more than 2.2 liters of blood, so she remains in the intensive care unit. I drive to her house, take a bag with toiletries, bring it back to the hospital, do one more round between doctors to make sure she is ok, call Mr. K and update him, pick up her sister and bring her to their house. I get my children and bring them home.
Is past 11.30pm. Kids are finally in bed. I am still wearing my bathing suit and I have a pounding headache but this time Jim Bean will be more effective that Paracet. I feel tears in my eyes but I keep smiling. The whole thing has been completely like an Almodovar movie, moreover the conversation with the midwives:
- So you are the ex´s wife.
- And you are here with her.
- You have children also?
- Yes, 9 and 6
- And where are your children?
- Her mom is babysitting them…
It is nearly 1am and I cant sleep. I need to call the hospital and check with the doctor if Sandra is OK and if the baby is OK. Sandra and the baby are OK and resting now. Mr. K is coming soon to take over. Now I can rest.
So welcome to this world, Enzo Gabriel, you (we) made it! -I am so proud of you, of your mom and what the hell… I am so proud of myself.