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Catch-up Part 2: A Long December

April 24, 2019

When we last met, I had recounted our goings-on up til Thanksgiving. Now we’re moving into December, where things go all sorts of sideways. What fun!…? Let’s get started!

The first handful of days of December were pretty uneventful. I was nearly done with classes, we were done with all of our Thanksgiving leftovers (RIP delicious pie), and I was working on making the house clean and festive for Christmas. Ben was way more interested in presents this year than last, so I was having fun figuring out what to get him and how to keep the wrapped stuff out of his itchy little fingers. I had been dealing with some pretty intense, constant burping (it was so bad, folks, seriously), but I didn’t think too much of it. I mean, I did… but I kinda figured it was a consequence of my recently increased thyroid medication or an excess of pie or I had too much dairy and not something more exciting. Keep in mind that by this point Peter and I had been trying for a second baby since around October of 2017 and nothing had happened yet.

And then December 15th happened. I had my statistics final exam that morning (passed with 95%!), and when I was done Peter went to get his car checked out for some repairs. While he was gone I decided to play some Red Dead Redemption 2, and not long after I started I got a call from my mom.

Now, Mom doesn’t usually call me unless it’s something really important. Typically we chat on Facebook messenger, so her calling me meant something was up. She told me to take a deep breath, and then dropped some bad news: my dad had suffered a stroke and was on his way to the hospital.

To say this floored me is a bit of an understatement. I got pretty choked up and immediately started worrying about how I was going to get cross-country in the next several days to see Dad and help work out his care and finances. I immediately texted Peter to come home because I needed some support. He, of course, immediately jumps to the conclusion that I’m pregnant.

He gets home, and asks me if I need a glass of wine to try and calm my nerves a little. I desperately want one, but I also know that it’s only a day or two until I’m due to start my period, so I jokingly mention that I should go pee on a stick first, just to be safe. I have zero expectation that I’m pregnant and am looking forward to that cold glass of Moscato to help chill out.

Well…I never got that glass of wine. Not even an hour after I learned my father had been rushed to the hospital and could potentially face brain surgery, I learned we were expecting baby #2. REALLY, UNIVERSE?!

Cut to four days later, and I’m on an airplane headed to California, thanks to reward points from our credit card and my aunt generously donating some of her miles. Once I landed, I set out to get a bunch of stuff done: get a handle on Dad’s bills so he wouldn’t have to worry about them, take care of any valuables left at his house, talk to my sister Miranda about how the heck we’re gonna handle all of this, figure out how to set up a revocable trust in less than 48 hours…and somehow I managed to get it all done! I’ve never felt more like an adult! I’ve also never been more tired or talked on the phone so much!

After taking care of the important stuff up in Auburn, I made my way down to Vallejo. Dad had not gotten to the hospital in time for them to give him a thrombolytic (aka “clot-buster”), and he was not a candidate for any endovascular or surgical procedures, so his brain was going to have to heal itself. Thankfully, he was accepted into the Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center, which is one of the best rehab facilities in California for those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Post-stroke update: Dad’s fine. It was a pretty severe event that left him unable to speak and paralyzed his right arm and leg, but thanks to his stay at the rehab facility and in-home therapy, he’s made significant progress in regaining his strength and cognition.

After a couple of days hanging out with Dad and Miranda and making sure all of the necessary paperwork and whatnot had been handled, I flew home. On Christmas. That was fun. Insert eye roll here. I was barely six weeks pregnant, but already suffering from random bouts of queasiness and cramping. Flying during late pregnancy is no fun, but flying during early pregnancy is almost as bad. I was very happy to get home and get all of the Ben snuggles I had missed during the past week.

We decided to wait until Isaac came back to our house to open our gifts, so come New Year’s Day we all gathered ’round the tree and celebrated with Alton Brown’s overnight cinnamon rolls and the enthusiastic shredding of wrapping paper.

And that’s December! A new year deserves a new post, so meet me back here next week to continue our stroll down memory lane.

-A


Missed the first entry to this update? Find Part I here, and continue the story with Part III here.

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