deluge

The windshield looked like it was melting.

The rain wasn’t coming down in individual drops; it was a steady stream washing out everything in its path.

Including roads.

I shifted the weight of my distended middle so that I was leaning on the center counsel armrest.

I fruitlessly attempted to pull the black maternity dress back down over my lap where it belonged, and my red wedges had been cast off long before we had gotten into the truck so that I could wade through the rushing water to get into our vehicle.

Because we couldn’t stay at the restaurant.  There was no power.

We had been in the truck for over an hour and had only gone about 3 miles.

The normally easy 20-minute route home around the lake had turned into rivers of detours.

Each time we tried to turn we were faced with more streets acting as reservoirs for the deluge we were experiencing.

We were on the Southside trying to weave our way to our Northside home, but the land in between was low, and the safe paths were few.

Each time we were forced to take a water-logged road, I held the door handle tightly, peering out my passenger-side window as the waves lapped the door and almost covered the tires.

I had to use the bathroom, but I wasn’t about to say anything.  There was nothing he could do about it and whining would just make the situation worse.

I tried to quietly massage Eddie into a different position–one that didn’t involve his foot in my bladder.

I started breathing calmly through my mouth to avoid thinking about the liquid jostling under my son.

Cort gave me a worried sideways glance.

“No, I am not in labor.  Just have to pee.”

“Do you want me to pull over?”

“Where?  No, just keep driving.  It can’t be too much longer.  The rain is letting up.  I am sure we will be home soon.”

I had no idea it would be another hour before we got to our subdivision, only to find the entrance completely flooded forcing us on yet another detour to find dry land.

We had no idea what was ahead, but we were trying to have a good outlook, stay calm, and not have an accident before it was all over.

This post was nonfiction.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl…wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Wow Katie, you sure know how to leave us hanging! Great post…felt like I was there.

  2. I must say this was an intense situation… “I had to use the bathroom, but I wasn’t about to say anything. ” my fave line from this piece… it tells us so much about the situation and the emotions that people in that situation would have felt.

    • He was so stressed as he drove through that storm! I knew he just wanted to get me home, so I didn’t dare add to his worry!

  3. I hated being stuck in the car when pregnant. Sounds like you were much less crabby than I was… my poor husband.

    • Normally, totally would have made him pull over, but it was such a scary, tense situation! I knew he was concentrating so hard and I didn’t want to add to his stress! Any other time? I would have whined the whole time!

  4. Oiy vey! I think I would have peed in the dress. Lol. I like how you named the baby. Gives the baby a face.

  5. Wow that must have been uncomfortable, scary, and then frustrating!!

    • I won’t lie. I did have a total pregnant meltdown when I found out we couldn’t get into our subdivision and we didn’t know if we could get anywhere for me to pee!

  6. I’m not sure I would have been so calm!

    • normally? I would not be. And quite honestly? I was a WRECK by the time we finally got home!

  7. Oh yeah… that was one wild night. I hope I never need to live though that again. Too much rain in too little a time… and the whole preggers thing… it was, how do you say? Oh yeah, “not good”

    • too bad we had no idea that it would be so symbolic of our first year of parenthood. You calmly driving us through the storm while I almost exploded 🙂

  8. Sounds like our house every time it rains which luckily is not often.

    Stopping by from TRDC

  9. Goodness you had quite an eventful last few days of pregnancy. Slipping and sliding in a car is so scary, so much can go wrong.

    I love this,

    “Cort gave me a worried sideways glance.

    “No, I am not in labor. Just have to pee.”

    Because it was both funny and said showed us so much about you and him.

  10. Loved this! Such a great post. Your description of moments and surroundings was wonderful. I felt like I was rididng right there with you guys! Great job!

  11. You place your readers right in the thick of it. Flawless time and time again. All that water!

  12. I have been the husband in that situation. Can’t speak for yours, but it always made me a little squirmy when the wife was pregnant because the faces you make always have me wondering if everything is ok.

  13. I love that you are flexing your writing skills my dear. The words you chose to describe this drive are brilliant.
    Love!

  14. Whoa, being that close to delivery, I would have been a wreck with all the detours to get home safely.

    • I had a MAJOR meltdown once we got all the way to our subdivision and we realized we couldn’t get in. My parents live about 3 miles away…maybe even less…but between us and them was a creek that was in sort of a “valley”, so to figure out how to get there took 45 more minutes. I was crying by the time we got there…at around 11:00pm (we left the restaurant around 8pm–should have been a 20 minute drive).

  15. That is terrifying. And even more so in light of recent events. I hope everybody was ok!

  16. Ack! Insult to injury that what’s keeping you from being able to pee is rushing, pouring, flowing water.

    Nicely done!

  17. I have had that grip on the door handle. Though usually not due to weather, but my husband’s impatient driving.

    I was sitting in that car with you. Well done!

    And now I have to pee!

  18. This is exactly the kind of thing I always wonder about, when people are in these situations how do they pee? And you just answered my question, they don’t. If it was me I would have peed in a cup, I would have!

  19. I HATE driving in the rain. HATE it. I almost couldn’t make it through your piece it felt so real. Cheers both for making it and for a great post.

  20. Oh my word.. another HOUR? How did your bladder not explode?!

    I think I could actually HEAR the rain throughout this post. I HATE driving in rain, especially after dark.

  21. I’m so glad your water didn’t break on your endless detour!

    Nicely written.

    • although that WOULD have added nicely to the water imagery…

      but no, the doc actually had to break my water for me at the hospital 3 days later when I went into labor 🙂

  22. My bladder was with you the whole way! Having lived through two ‘hundred year’ floods, they are scary because we feel so helpless in the face of them! Great story!

  23. beautiful writing. pregnant or not, raining or not.. my mom and i may be known for pulling to the side to pee hahahah.

  24. Oh man! My pregnant bladder feels your pain. I assume you made it home ok. There is absolutely nothing worse than having a full bladder, a bumpy road and a baby rolling around on top of it all!

  25. I’ve been in a storm like that, more than once. And desperately needing a bathroom.

    You captured the feeling perfectly!

  26. Oh my – I love this. I totally couldn’t have held it that long. Now I pee when I sneeze – or think about sneezing.

  27. This is lovely, Katie…such a perfect metaphor for all that your life was soon to hold.
    I love the way you wrote with such subtleness…