Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What a Day

I went in for a regular pre-natal check-up on Thursday and proceeded to spill protein in my urine, which is an indicator of pre-eclampsia or eclampsia. My blood pressure was "perfect" though, so they had me come back yesterday to recheck it in case it was a fluke. It was not. So they did a blood test to ensure I am not a toxemia victim, and luckily I am not. (Other than an iron deficiency I am just fine.) My main concern and all I could think about was, I CAN NOT BE ON BED REST WHILE PARENTING A TODDLER! Luckily I was spared.

Two weeks ago we flew to California for a wedding and as my dad said, you can't MAKE UP a story like we had. I was sans-husband which added to the stress of the whole thing, but Annalise did well on the flight to Long Beach. Upon arrival though, I had to carry her carseat, my purse, my large carry-on diaper bag, and the giant suitcase, not to mention my whale-sized uterus which I'm just lucky they didn't make me count as a carry-on. This left no arms available to carry Annalise's highly desirous-to-be-carried self. She screamed and cried and stumbled along behind me in the airport howling, "Hold you, Bubby?" which is how she asks to be held. (Stemming from me always asking her, "Do you want me to hold you, Bubby?"). I gritted my teeth and slowly made my way through the airport out to the street we had to cross to get to the car rental place. I saw no carts to rent on my way and the idea of searching for one seemed ridiculous. So a police officer helped us across the street to avoid Annalise being squished by a car, and once on the other side, a kindly woman asked me if she could carry Annalise for me. Knowing Annalise would rather have her arms chomped off by a rabid dog, I nearly shouted, "YES!" So she carried the now out-of-her-mind hysterically crying little lady (Annalise is not a fan of strangers that want to touch her in any way) and I hauled all the crap and we made it inside the car rental agency. As our reservation was with Budget, I walked up to the Budget desk and they said they needed my license to begin. I searched my carry-on. I searched my purse. I searched them again. I searched them two more times each, emptying them completely, yet still somehow imagining that I just needed to search them again. After about fifteen minutes the truth became clear. My license was gone. I'd had it in Portland to get through security, but I had it no longer. I called the airline but it wasn't found on the plane, which was incidentally about to leave for San Francicso so I couldn't go back to check for myself. I called the airport who checked with the lost and found and it wasn't there. They gave me the number of the airport police where it could have been, but was not, turned in. Finally there was no one left to call. That's when the tears came. Gasping and choking incomprehensibly I asked the people behind the desk if I had any options at all for getting the car when I didn't have my actual license with me. The answer was no. I went outside to the shuttle service and asked what it would cost to be driven to San Diego, where the wedding was in a few hours. For one person it was $250, which was before taxes, tip, and Annalise. I called Dave, crying my brains out, who called the Portland airport, and they reported they'd found my license. I cried my brains out some more. At some point Annalise looked up at me in terror, exclaimed, "Mommy sad!" and burst into tears herself. The logical part of my brain that hadn't been weeping and hormonally unusable for over an hour now started thinking, Why am I crying? Spend the money or don't. Go to the wedding or don't. This was a logical decision. There really was nothing to cry about. Yet the shuddering hysterical sobs would not quit (to say nothing of the constant stress-induced Braxton Hicks that were nearly taking me out). After some more phone calls, some decisions to just call my parents and have them take me home, and the mopping of my eyes for the hundreth time, a lady behind the counter looked at me kindly.

"$300 is too much to spend for the shuttle to drive you," she sympathized. "Yes," I agreed, sniffling and hiccupping and still trying to formulate my POA. "I get off in ten minutes," she said. "And I don't have any plans this afternoon. I will drive you."

I can't really describe my reaction. I'm sure you can imagine. The trip would be at least an hour and a half each way. She would be renting a car under her own name and if I would just pay for that ($36) and gas she would do it. I fell all over myself thanking her and my lucky stars that perhaps I wouldn't miss the wedding. Then she told me in a whisper that she didn't have the $36 in her account right now, but it was payday and so she had to go deposit her check and then she could come back and rent the car. On the way she would pick up her kids and we could all go together and she would tell them, ROAD TRIP!

This presented another fun hiccup though. Because of the scandal that happened at Michaels Crafts where loads of people got their card numbers stolen if they shopped there in the last 6 months, my bank shut down any and every card of their customers' that was used there just to be safe and so I didn't have my debit card because a new one was coming in the mail. So I couldn't go to an ATM to get money out to pay the nice lady (Nikki). I called the credit card company and they said to get a cash advance, all I would need to do was go into a bank with my card and i.d. and it would be no problem. Of course, if I had my i.d. to begin with, none of this would be a problem! SO. I called my lovely friends the Hillyards, down in San Diego already for the wedding, and requested that they lend me $100 in cash and meet us with it at their hotel so I could give it to Nikki. It felt like I was at everybody in the world's mercy.

While I waited for Nikki to return from depositing her paycheck, Dave called to inform me of some more fun ridiculousness. The airport would not allow him to pick up my license for me(for purposes of Fed-exing it to me so I would be allowed to fly home in four days) without proof that he was my husband, which had to be in the form of joint-checking paperwork, since my last name is still technically Raychek. So he had to drive all the way home from where he was chaperoning an event for his boys at church and then drive the 45 minutes to the airport where they had told him exactly where it was and what desk to go to with his paperwork because it would be waiting for him. When he showed up they said, "Whoops, we just mailed it out twenty minutes ago!" And to top it off, they mailed it to the address on it, which was my old CA address. (As a side-note, my father drove me to my old apartment building and I left a note explaining everything with a self-addressed stamped envelope so they could mail it back to me when it arrived but they never did and instead probably made a lot of money selling it.)

Also while I was sitting there, an extremely attractive couple walked in. You couldn't help but notice them- they were dressed to the nines and the guy was frankly gorgeous. As I sat there in my weakened, vulnerable, and constantly-contracting state, the man began hissing at his girlfriend (wife?) out of the blue. "You better wipe that f*%$-ing look off your face!" I glanced at her in shock. She was staring straight ahead with no expression. "I SAID YOU BETTER F%$#-ING WIPE THAT F&#%-ING LOOK OFF YOUR FACE!" He roared in a hissing whisper no less than ten more times approximately two centimeters from the face that, indeed, was doing its best to have absolutely no look on it at all. I glared flatly and openly at him to let him know people were listening but he didn't notice. Without meeting his eyes, she responded that she was not making any faces. "DO YOU KNOW WHAT I'M GOING TO DO TO YOU WHEN WE GET HOME IF YOU DON'T WIPE THAT bleepity bleepity bleep bleep LOOK OFF YOUR bleepity bleeping bleep face?" It went on and on. I've never heard anyone talk that way, in real life or even in a movie because no actor could realistically convey this kind of evil. It was actually terrifying to hear and he wasn't even talking to me. Genuinely frightened he might attack me if I kept glaring, I did so anyway, because he was so crazy and abusive and I have no doubt exactly what he did when they got home to the lady with no expression on her face.

Then on the way down to San Diego I bought everyone some McDonald's and as we were all chatting, I asked how long Nikki had worked at her job.

"Do you like working at Budget?" I asked her, since she really seemed to. She looked very confused.

"I don't work for Budget!" she exclaimed. "I work for Alamo! Your reservation was with Budget?" We all screamed and laughed and nearly wet our pants for ten minutes when we realized that a misplaced sign had led me to her desk and here she was helping a customer that wouldn't have even been hers! (She really was the most selfless, angelic person I may have ever met.)

Then I got to the hotel and as we got ready I discovered my beloved camera had gotten broken- the battery cover had snapped off. An extra cherry on top of the day.

In the end, I missed the ceremony but made the reception and the whole entire day was filled with beyond-charitable people who helped me and I was blessed beyond measure. It reminded me clearly to always be on the lookout to "pay it forward."

Because I had to smush and hold the battery in with my hand while I snapped the pictures, I only took a couple at the very end of our trip, of Annalise and Grandma L.


Nicole said...

You're back! You're back! YOU'RE BACK!
I am so happy to see your blog popping up on my Google reader again! And what a story to come back with... holy monkey poo (as Sam would say).
You survived and you brightened my day with your crazy travel tale. So, thanks... and welcome back!

Cassidy said...

Welcome back. I've missed you. And I'm glad you found so many wonderful people -- I'm sure it's the universe paying you back for your wonderfulness. Good luck with baby #2. It makes life interesting!

SassyMama said...

Wow! What an adventure the two of you had:).

And ever-so-glad you aren't preeclamptic...

Valerie and Mercado Family said...

WOW! That's the most horrible thing to happen, but so nice that so many people could help you. I'm glad it didn't put you into labor!