My son was three weeks old that morning, and I had gotten zero sleep the night before. Every time he fell asleep, I'd try ever so carefully to lay him back down in the bassinet, only to have him wake right up and cry again. By 4am I was completely sleep deprived and finally took him to bed with me. We got four hours of solid sleep...until the phone rang at 8am.
I blearily answered the phone, and it was my best friend, Mark. "Merrie...Merrie...Oh my God, Merrie...can you believe this?!"
I told him I didn't know what he was talking about. "It looks like terrorists have attacked New York. The twin towers have collapsed!" I honestly asked him, what are the twin towers? He explained that was the World Trade Center, and told me planes had crashed into them, and they'd collapsed.
Just hearing about it didn't make it very real to me. After all, I was in newborn first baby bliss, and couldn't really appreciate anything happening outside of my little world. Especially in my tired state. I turned the television on, and saw the mess that was now New York city, but still nothing really sunk in. I had missed all the horrible live footage of people jumping out of windows, and the planes hitting the buildings. For me, it was all about replays and clouds of smoke and debris.
I then called my pediatrician's office to see about postponing my son's first doctor appointment due to my lack of sleep and the long drive, but they wouldn't budge. So I got us moving and made it out the door for the drive, just in time. As we drove, I heard the President address the nation from an "undisclosed location," which did make me emotional for a few minutes. But then I reached the appointment, during which I found out my son was actually under his birth weight at three weeks of age. HUH? WHA? After much shock and a meeting with the lactation consultant at the hospital, I was now fully entrenched in what was now a mission to breastfeed better, and get my baby's weight up!
Back home, I met the installers from DirecTV -- we were finally getting satellite television that day. Ironically, with over 200 channels to choose from, guess what was showing on every single one? Even Nick Jr! Still, being home with my newborn, and now focusing on my failure as a mother, I wasn't feeling the reality of the situation. When a former friend of mine called late in the afternoon, and greeted me with a heavy hearted "hello," I actually asked her what was wrong? She sounded disgusted until I realized the cause of her upset. Oops...apparently I have no compassion.
When I found out one of the planes, United 93, had flown out of New Jersey, the first thing I said was that I wondered if one of my co-workers was on that flight. The company I worked for had our headquarters in CA and another large office in NJ. Sure enough, it was discovered that my co-worker Ed Felt had been among the passengers that took down the plane in Pennsylvania. (Another co-worker was in the WTC.) I saw the movie they made last year, "United 93," and it broke my heart to think of what they all went through. I still can't watch any footage of everything that happened without crying. Apparently I have more compassion when I'm not sleep deprived.
Now you know where I was.
Where were you?