Different Floors of the House

Sunday, February 21, 2010

It's a Jeep Baby!

It’s a Jeep! Baby.

The Lostaglia family had all their bases covered that Saturday morning. Brendan, the oldest was away for the weekend. Two year old Sara, had just ran into the house, thrown her coat on the floor as usual and had just sat down for her daily regimen of ‘tea-time with dolly’. Karey, the mother—and expecting mother—had just gone in to deal with the normal after-breakfast mess. Chris, the father, had just sat down at his computer with a cup of coffee. An uneventful, lazy weekend morning was about to creep by without notice.
But, as is the case in stories about babies...and Jeeps, the serenity turned to chaos and bewilderment in split second.
Chris heard an expletive from the kitchen. Karey was in trouble, he knew that, but he paused for a second—he wasn’t used to hearing his wife swear. He motioned to his daughter to stay where she was--she had heard the shout too--and ran toward the kitchen.
Upon entering the kitchen he saw Karey standing in a pool of water. The sink was filling up with water, but it was nowhere near full. Karey’s look said it all. It was a look that said, all in one swift transference: get the keys, grab Sara, call parents, pull the car up, turn off the sink, help me to a chair and don’t forget the insurance papers. It was up to Chris to figure out the proper order.
This certainly wasn’t expected. Karey’s due date was close, but this was early. When Sara was born they had to walk around the hospital for ten hours before labor was finally induced. This new baby wanted out, and it wanted out quick.
Chris ran to the table, grabbed the keys, barked an order at Sara, took two swift strides to the door, remembered his wife was still standing, ran to the kitchen, apologized, helped her as slowly as he could to a chair, barked another order (this one to himself), hurried out the door, started up the Jeep Cherokee, pulled it up to the kitchen door, sprinted inside, scooped up his daughter…
It was like a fire drill. Under two minutes. Not bad. Needs improvement. But, Chris thought he had remembered just about everything. And hey, he consoled himself, this only seems weird because it’s a rare occasion, it is actually quite normal. People have babies every day. Everything's normal. Normal, it turns out, has a profane sense of humor.

A Little Irony

The Lostaglia’s lived right next door to a hospital. Providence Milwaukie was a thirty second drive from their house on Llewellyn Street. But the doctor Karey had been seeing was at OHSU, a good fifteen minute drive if the traffic was good. Chris said he didn’t expect traffic on Saturday morning, and Karey thought she could make it, so they tried.
It was probably a combination of an over anxious baby and speed bumps that did it. Whatever the reason, at the end of 32nd street, right before they got onto McGloughlin blvd. Karey insisted they turn around and immediately head back for Providence.
She was squirming on the floor of the Cherokee. She eventually got herself turned around in a praying position in front of the seat. She was breathing, heavy and hard. She put her hand out, toward the back seat, to calm little Sara down, who was quiet, but most obviously concerned.
“Are you having a baby, mommy?”
“Yes honey, mommy’s having a baby.” Chris replied for Karey who was now punching the seat in pain.
“In the car?”
“No!” Karey yelled.
The car went over a speed bump. Karey sucked in air and probably every swear word she ever heard came back out in the exhale.
Chris kept asking her if she was ok. Habit. But she hadn’t answered the last few times. She was a little busy.
Another speed bump.
“I’m gonna sue somebody!” She finally mustered enough wind to manage a sentence. Well, that was good.
They were only three or four blocks from the emergency room now. Chris looked down the road. “Two speed bumps left.”
Karey wriggled and squirmed as the car was meticulously navigated over the remaining obstacles. No matter how cautious the driver, it was like having a baby in a motor derby.
But they made it to the Hospital parking lot; only a couple hundred feet from the emergency room exit.
Unfortunately, there was one speed bump they hadn’t anticipated: the one in the parking lot.
He saw it—but not in time enough to swerve around it entirely. The driver’s side of the Jeep leaped up and over the bump. Chris stretched out his arm to act as a seat belt for Karey who was now chanting: “Hurry. Hurry. Hurry.”
The Cherokee came to a halt at the emergency room door. Chris jumped out and did a Starsky and Hutch over the hood to the passenger side of the car. He thought about running in for help, but he knew it was too late.
He pulled opened the door just in time to catch Emily before she hit the floor.

All’s well…

The automatic doors flew open briskly, as if they knew someone was coming who needed help. Chris ran down the well-lit, yet seemingly empty hall.
“I need a doctor!” he yelled at a woman, “Are you a doctor?”
She wasn’t a doctor. She was a nurse. Perfect.
He started leading her out into the parking lot.
“My wife had a baby!” He informed her.
The woman was walking at first but when she heard the word ‘baby’, she ran past him and bolted for the forest-green Jeep Cherokee.
The door was open and Karey had her new baby wrapped up in her own coat. The nurse called for more help. Other nurses came. And doctors. And soon other people, patients and visitors were gathered around side of the Jeep.

The world's youngest celebrity and most relieved mother were both going to be just fine.

Emily Rachel Lostaglia was born on Saturday, February 20, 1999. She came into the world at light speed and if you ask anyone that knows the eleven year-old today, they’ll say she has never slowed down. The place of birth on her certificate reads: “Milwaukie Providence Hospital”. But that’s not entirely true.

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