Check- in was at 9pm. This was a ‘courtesy’ given to us so we didn’t need to be admitted through the Emergency Room, which is necessary after 10.
Of course we’re running late. I’m not sure if it’s due to my scattered brain, or subconscious stalling.
I can’t remember what floor Labor and Delivery is- so we make our best guess.
We begrudgingly ask the closest nurse what level we should be on- I don’t really want to know, I’m not ready yet.
We make it to the correct floor, where we were greeted by the sign-in sheet. I write my name, date of birth, estimated due date, then come to a full and tearful stop.
“Reason for visit:_”
This is it. This is where it gets real. We’re here…no escaping. With a trembling hand I write,
Once the Charge Nurse takes my form, she tells another to take us to our room. I can tell by the look on her face she knows. It’s that room. That other room- only reserved for times like these. Oddly enough, this is our second time in this small musty closet. I suppose I wouldn’t really know the difference had we not delivered Charlie at this hospital as well.
He was brought in to this world in what may as well have been a palace. The room was huge, we had a closet area, and a nice comfy pull out bed for Josh to sleep on. Windows lined one entire wall, bringing infinitely more warmth and light to our stay there- it was a suite indeed.
This room however, is the other room. Given to us for both Addie and Viola.
Outside the door are the typical photographs of happy, healthy babies. We both know putting those in this back hall is just to keep up appearances. Behind that door lies the coldest room. So small, so empty. I look around and note the lack of equipment. It hits me- not only is there too little space in here for that, but we don’t need it. We’re only here for delivery. No bassinet needed. Again. This room is as empty as my arms will be when I leave here tomorrow.
Morning comes and Josh pulls up the curtains…air conditioning units. What a view. Even the windows hide the still spinning world from her halted heart. Not one ounce of normalcy is allowed here.
Viola arrived silently, in much more of a dungeon than her brother’s palace- just like Addie before them. As if somehow the absence of life makes meeting them for the first time any less precious. Especially being that our first ‘Hello’ must also be the start of our swift ‘Goodbye’.
This is that other room, after all.