Welcome to my blog! Please join me as I journey towards finding an agent for my first young adult novel. Between writing, endless snapping of photos, sleep deprivation, taking care of two adorable little girls, and oh yes, the laundry, I'm sure it's going to be a bit crazy on the way to the awaited publication.

I'm open to any tips, critique, or random musings about the things I write or the photos I take, so feel free to email me or comment below.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Winter Nightmare

This post is part of the January 2012 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month's challenge is "Winter Nightmare."

The rules are to write about a winter nightmare and go wherever the prompt takes you. It can be fiction or non-fiction, the nightmare can be Cthulhu or just a struggle with a troublesome New Year's resolution (or anything in between).

Each post should be less than 1000 words if possible.

Here are the participants for this month.  Please be sure to check out their Winter Nightmare's as well.

Alpha Echo
Suzanne Seese
Diana Rajchel
Ralph Pines
Alynza - You are here :)
Abielle Rose

Winter Nightmare

It was on a Tuesday that I found out I would finally get to be a mommy. By Friday, I was in the Emergency Room being told there was nothing they could do, shattering a beautiful dream and sucking the air from my lungs. The part of my body that was specifically designed to protect the baby was flawed and in fact was trying to destroy my precious cargo. My womb was aborting what it considered to be a foreign object in my tummy. I couldn't believe my own body was in the process of betraying me, trying to rid itself of the baby that had taken us two very long years to conceive.

I was mortified, enraged, confused and ultimately devastated. I was sent home to "wait it out" and to call when I had passed "it". I cried myself numb and the medical staff refused to call "it" a baby... my baby...the baby I had already fallen in love with just three days ago.

The first day passed, then the next and the telltale signs of miscarriage were temporarily halted. By Monday I was in the doctor's office for an ultrasound to check on the progress of my soon to be miscarriage. Instead of finding horrible silence, there on the screen was our little "bean" with a heartbeat full of determination. The doctor shook her head, amazed and intrigued that the little one seemed to be taking it all in stride. The heart was steady and strong and the baby seemed healthy for the time being.

I was put on bed rest and told to wait. To wait for the bleeding to begin again, to wait for the horrible cramping, to wait for "it" to pass. My little bean wasn't in the clear yet and I was told to prepare myself for what would happen and not get attached. But it was already way too late for that. From the moment I knew of her, I had fallen off the cliff of no return. She was mine and I was determined to keep her.

Hours grew into days, days into weeks and weeks into months...still she stayed steady through the tumultuous ride my womb was giving her. After weekly appointments and countless tests of sitting in a chair with monitors on my growing belly, I eventually grew accustomed to the feeling of my body contracting, trying to revolt and start something that it wasn't quite ready for. I knew my little bean could feel it to. If felt like she was fighting alongside me, refusing to go quietly.

By the time March rolled around, my little bean had endured nine months of hell through a difficult pregnancy filled with bed rest, countless doctors, tests, wires, needles, tubes and Emergency Room visits. The odds seemed stacked against us the whole time, never allowing us to let down our guard. So it didn't surprise me when two weeks before my due date, watching the evening news, a blizzard was on the forecast and headed straight for us. And when blizzards hit in the North, it's common for all roads to close and the electricity to go out. At nine months pregnant and knowing the hospital was an hour away, I was suffocated with panic. If I went into labor, I wouldn't make it to the hospital and I was already on track for a high risk delivery.

The next morning and before the hellish storm was supposed to begin that afternoon, my husband and I decided to drive to the city where the hospital was and to stay at my sister's house...just in case. Even though I technically still had two weeks to go, my contractions had become quite regular. My sister was in Florida on vacation so we would have the empty house to ourselves for a couple days before they were due to return. The plan was to stay warm, snuggle and relax and wait for them. We would be safe and near the hospital if I were to go into labor.

We only made it half way before it started to snow; it came earlier than expected. The big fat heavy flakes swirled down with a voracious appetite and quickly swallowed the highway we were driving on. By the time we arrived at my sister's house, the roads were treacherous. While relieved we had finally made it, we realized there was hardly any food in the refrigerator or basic necessities. At least not nearly enough to last a whole week or so. They hadn't stocked up on anything since they were planning on a two week vacation and had no idea of the upcoming blizzard. We were looking at being cooped up for at least a week if not more. There wasn't a choice, we had to go stock up before anymore snow fell.

The grocery store was right down the road and my husband refused to leave me at the house alone, afraid that he might not make it back through the thickening snow if something were to happen. It probably wasn't the smartest idea to go with him, but neither was being stranded in a house alone with no one to help if I went into labor. So I waited in the house for him to shovel the car out of the driveway. It had taken only twelve minutes for the snow to pack around it. But after pulling out of the drive, the car got stuck in the middle of the road. I moved over in the driver's seat while he shoveled and pushed the car out.

After getting the basic necessities and the grocery store closing to allow their employees to leave, we headed back to the house. By this time a level three winter advisory was in place and only emergency crews were legally allowed to be out on the roads. Somehow we made it back but again got stuck, this time in the entrance of the driveway. Once more my husband shoveled and pushed the car and made it only few feet into the drive. After that we gave up, it was snowing and blowing too much to see where the actual driveway was.

The wind whipped around us and lashed at our faces as if trying to rip the flesh from our bones. As I clung to my husband for support he half carried me to the house. The snow was up to our knees and I was over-exerting myself trying to step through it. Not good when I was supposed to be on bed rest.

My bones ached, my skin was on fire, and I was exhausted. A few hours later the furnace froze. As the wind howled and the coldness seeped in, the power was next to go. We lit candles and huddled under blankets and waited as darkness fell, the whole while my contractions growing stronger little by little.

Could we deliver the baby ourselves if need be? We didn't want to talk about it, we were both too scared to think we had come this far only to go into labor and not be able to save the baby. I tried calling my doctor to see if I should just go to the hospital but the lines were down. My cell phone wouldn't go through either.

So we waited, and waited for what seemed like an eternity for the sun to come up and the wind to stop howling.

Thankfully the next day, the power came back on and my cell phone worked. I called my sister about the furnace and she had to call an emergency HAV/AC company. They agreed to venture out in the deep snow to fix it. He made it with a snowplow on his truck and had to dig his way to us. My contractions had become less regular which eased some of the panic. I continued to rest as much as a nine month pregnant woman could when completely stressed and worried over the life of her unborn child.

A couple of days later when the main roads were somewhat cleared, my sister and her family finally made it home. Two days after that with a trip to the hospital and a complicated delivery, I was finally able to meet the wonderfully stubborn little girl who refused to give up. And I'm proud to be her mommy. My winter nightmare turned into a winter miracle.

Almost eight years later, my little girl is still just as stubborn. J And now she has a little sister who came into this world just as stubborn and determined as she was. But I'll save that story for another time.


©Alynza Smith 2011


  1. awww this is a lovely story, and one filled with miracles

    Snow can be a killer and it seems like you had your fair share that night. A winter nightmare indeed, but one you can look back fondly on

    Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

  2. Thanks Matt. So many nightmares take different paths and mine could have easily ended before it really began. It was a rough ride, but a very humbling experience. Life is precious and not to be taken for granted.

    1. Once again, Blogspot won't let me post a comment unless it's a reply for some reason...

      Anyway, it's good to have such a nice nonfiction story. We've had some really great ones so far, but happy endings are always good now and again :)

    2. Hmm, darn ol' blogspot! Sorry it's not working for you. But thanks for reading! I appreciate the comments. :)

  3. Beautifully written! I was on the edge of my seat, waiting to see how things turned out. I could feel the tension during the storm.

    So glad both your girls are stubborn. ;)

    1. Me too! It's amazing what a little stubbornness can do. Thanks for reading :)

  4. That's a really terrifying position to be in. The stress of it all! Glad you got that special girl after all you guys been through.

    What a miracle.

    1. It appears I have to reply also, blogspot pfft.
      I would have been so scared, especially with the phones not working, a lifeline so to speak.

  5. Love this line "The big fat heavy flakes swirled down with a voracious appetite and quickly swallowed the highway we were driving on"
    Snow seems so pretty and harmless but when it groups up, it is a horrifying beast.
    Can't think of a better ending though.

  6. Snow - a complicated relationship by itself, but added to the complication of growing life, yikes! I love the determination of all this.

  7. I was so ready to see a sad ending to this post, it was wonderful seeing that I was wrong. This was the first blog that had me on the edge of my seat.

  8. Wow, thank you for sharing this, Alynza. I had tears in my eyes at the beginning and was so happy to see your stubborn little girl is just as stubborn now as she was eight years ago -- and has a sister!

  9. Alynza, I am new to your blog and stumbled across this post. From the moment I started reading it, I was holding my breath and praying hard that everything would turn out okay. I even teared up when I read the ending. Beautiful, beautiful post! I now a follower...

    Take care and hug those two lovely "miracles".

    Donna Martin