August 14, 2012

Celebrating 13

Can you believe the little pisher is 13?…

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When my nephew was 18-months old, he fell down a flight of stairs. Landing with a thwack on the hard brown tiles, he knocked himself out cold. Hearing the awful sound, my brother-in-law ran to find his youngest son, Alec, unconscious at the base of the stairs. Imagine finding your child floppy and unresponsive. Thinking fast, my brother-in-law made one quick phone call, picked up Alec’s limp body, and grabbed his car keys.

“I’m taking your brother to the hospital,” he shouted to his older son, Max. “Grandma is on the way.”

Just 4-years-old at the time, Max paused the two-person video game he had been playing with his father and hurried to the mudroom door.

“Dad?” Max furrowed his brow with concern. “Can I play your guy?”

Standing in the hallway by the garage with Alec cradled in his arms, my brother-in-law conceded: “Yes, Max. You can play my guy.”

Then my brother-in-law drove to the hospital.

A radiologist, he knew exactly where he was going.

Because he drove to the hospital every single day.

I hadn’t thought about that story in years.

Until the other day.

One of my roomies from BlissDom, Greta Funk (aka: Gfunkified), posted a photo on Instagram.


Apparently, her little guy fell down and went boom.

We all know head wounds bleed a lot, yes?

As it turns out, Erv needed three stitches on his noggin.

And because it was their first trip to the emergency room, Greta had no idea where to go.


That got me thinking.

If something happened around these parts, what would I do?

Rochester is a small city; you’d think I’d know how to get around after living here for over a decade. However, I haven’t had to make a trip to the you-know-where.

*knock on wood.*

When I saw Greta’s photo, I tried to picture how to get to our nearest hospital, but I couldn’t visualize the best route.

It occurred to me that it would be a good idea to find out.

After consulting Google Maps, I now know I live 8.8 miles from the nearest hospital.


It will take me 18 minutes to get there if I take the Expressway.

Twenty-one minutes if I choose to take city streets.

When you’re in panic mode, that isn’t the best time to tap information into your navigational app.

If you are directionally challenged like I am, you might want to do what I did and print out a copy of the instructions and stick them in the glove compartment of your car. Or pre-program the address for your preferred hospital into your GPS or phone. Make it a favorite.

Just in case.

Fingers crossed, you’ll never need to drive anyone to the emergency room, but if you do, at least you’ll know where the heck you are heading.

Everything turned out fine with Greta’s son. His bandages were removed, and he’s down to bump and a Band-Aid.

Look at that face!

My nephew was fine, too.

No concussion. No repeat episodes. Alec is in college now.

And what of his older brother? Max is in medical school.

He still loves video games. But not more than his brother.

What kinds of mishaps have brought you to the ER? And did you know where you were going?

tweet me @rasjacobson

Tech’s 13th b’day cake • Yup, Kit-Kats & M&Ms & chocolate cake!

It should have been a day for parades and singing and whooping it up and flowers.

I was sure there would be balloons.

Instead there was a vacuum extractor.

It doesn’t surprise me that my son is as cautious as he is. His introduction to the world was of rough and tumble handling, of being ripped away, and I believe that it left its mark on him – though he knows none of the details.

In a hazy dream, I saw blood fill one of those pink plastic hospital basins and wondered: Whose blood could that be?

I am told that my son stopped breathing five times after he was born.

I think he innately senses that life is fragile, unpredictable and doesn’t always turn out as planned.

It was not in the birth plan for my uterus not to contract.

{Who knew I had a feisty uterus?}

It was not in the birth plan to lose so much blood. It was not in the birth plan to be rushed to away for an emergency hysterectomy.

Okay, so maybe I didn’t have a birth plan.

But I had plans.

I’d planned to go home with my newborn and revel in his newness. I’d planned to be up and around within 24 hours. I’d planned for people to marvel at us in the grocery store: “Up and around already?” they’d say.

I’d planned long, lazy, late summer walks with our fancy-schmancy new stroller. I’d planned to bring my son outside and show him the world, let him feel the August sun on his cheeks.

On my eighth day in the hospital, my OB-GYN stood beside my hospital bed.

And while a moyel read blessings and performed my son’s circumcision, my doctor sobbed.

What is it?” I asked. “You must have seen sixty-five bazillion of these.”

My doctor wiped her eyes and her mascara smeared over her nose.

I don’t know why I remember this, but I do.

“There was a point where I thought I was going to lose you both. I’m so happy you’re leaving the hospital as a family.”

And we did leave the hospital as a family.

{And we figured out how to get the $@%&! bucket in $@%&! carseat.}

And the sun went down and it came up again.

And thirteen years later, my husband and I have this fabulous son.

And I know it sounds all braggy and everything but he is incredibly smart, so we like to tease him how much smarter he might have been if he hadn’t lost all those brain cells in the NICU.

We are fortunate to be able to laugh about these things.

Because it could have ended in another, completely devastating way.

And now, as my ever-lengthening teenager heads out each morning, he still gives me a smooch — even in front of his friends.

He still thinks I’m cool.


He still twirls my hair and tells me I’m pretty and that he’s glad I’m his mom.

{Right before he falls asleep.}

Who could ask for more?

I believe we will keep him.

Tonight he will eat something sweet.

We will push him up against the measuring door to see how much he has grown.

You know, on the outside.

People say 13 is an unlucky number.

But I feel so dang lucky.

And balloons or not, we celebrate his life every day.

Because why wouldn’t we?

What was the last thing you celebrated? Anyone else have a feisty uterus? Or a tough delivery?

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