Secret Subject Swap - Matt vs Humphrey

Welcome to September's Secret Subject Swap. Again 8 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  

Sit back, grab a cool drink and check them all out:

Photo Credit
Baking In A Tornado
The Lieber Family
The Bergham Chronicles
The Blogging 911 
Cognitive Script 
Never Ever Give Up Hope

Part-Time Working Hockey Mom

My subject is

Matt Damon is the greatest actor ever. Discuss.

Needless to say it was submitted by: The Bergham Chronicles  - thank you, Jules!

Previously on The Miller family:

David's liver surgery went well, and he was released from the hospital last month. His family spent a few days at Disney World, picked him up in Connecticut, and the four of them went "home" to Zurich, Switzerland.

I put together a glossary and a collection of links to help you (and myself) keeping track of characters and happenings.

Marietta Howard's pregnancy has progressed dramatically. She is in her 9th month, with about 3 more weeks to go, and as a precaution due to her elevated blood pressure, the doctor ordered bed rest. 

As soon as school is out in the afternoons, her younger sister Kyra and her friend Victoria Miller are spending a lot of time beside her couch, keeping Marietta company. 

Today they're excitedly browsing a container filled with old classic DVDs the Howard family got from the Johansson's farewell yard sale.

"Here's something I've been wanting to watch" Kyra exclaimed. "Ocean's Eleven - I don't care too much about the storyline, but look at this cast! All the good looking guys are starring!" 

"Let's see." Marietta grabbed the cover from her sister. "George Clooney, Andy Garcia, Bratt Pitt, yum, indeed! Who's Matt Damon, though? And why isn't Ben Affleck part of the gang? He's certainly of the same caliber as the other gentlemen."

"You don't know Matt Damon, what is wrong with you? Are you serious? According to a blogger I follow, he's the greatest actor ever!" Victoria shrieked.

"Nah, he's like a cute boy from next door, sort of like Leo di Caprio, I wouldn't even know any other movie he's played in." Marietta seemed to have given this some thought. "If you want to talk greatest actors ever, let's consider Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford, Jack Nicholson, Robert de Niro, Sean Connery, Humphrey Bogart, classics, you know..." she trailed off.

"So I guess if your baby is a boy, you won't be naming him Matt?" 

The girls giggled. "Pretty sure the other kids at the playground are going to make fun of him if he's called Humphrey, though! No, don't eat the sand, Humphrey! We don't shove the other kids, Humphrey! Humphrey, three more times down the slide, then we go home for your nap. Haahaha!"

As they were being silly, half watching the movie, half listing good looking guys and talented male actors, Marietta seemed to be feeling increasingly uncomfortable. 

"Are you OK, sweetie?" 

Marietta slowly exhaled and rubbed her enormous belly.

"You guys, I know I'm new at this, but if I had to guess what contractions feel like, I'd say this is the beginning of baby Humphrey's journey!"

"You're supposed to time how long it hurts, and then the minutes in-between the contractions! If they're five minutes or less apart, you need to call the hospital. Also we should probably get some towels in case your water breaks."

The others looked at her, jaws dropped.

"What? I have been reading about it." 

Clearly, Kyra, aunt-to-be, had done her homework. "I also googled the relevant vocabulary in German so we'll be able to communicate with the doctor and the midwife:

Amniotic fluid = Fruchtwasser
Birth = Geburt
Caesarean = Kaiserschnitt
Contractions = Wehen
Drugs = Medikamente
Epidural = PDA
Forceps = Zange
Push = pressen
Stretch marks = Schwangerschaftsstreifen
Umbilical cord = Nabelschnur

"Ladies, this is serious stuff. I need you to support me all the way, OK? I'm scared..." 

Gone was the silliness. If they were being honest, they were all scared, but Kyra and Victoria felt they had to keep their heads up and spread some confidence.

"Does your source say anything about how long it'll take till the contractions are five mintues apart?" Marietta wanted to know. "Cause I don't think I can do this for hours and hours. It hurts."

In the meantime Jessica, her Mom, had come home, a bit annoyed and worried because her daughters didn't call her right away. On the other hand she was impressed about how the two 11 year olds cared for Marietta as if they actually knew what they were doing.

They ran a bath so Marietta could get some relief through the weightlessness of being in the water. It felt like a great idea at the time. Until contractions started to occur closer together, actually the intervals kind of seamlessly progressed from 6 to 4 minutes, and Marietta was in agony. 

It was hard for her to get out of the tub. It took all of her Mom's and friends' efforts, and as she was finally out, she was just laying on the bathroom floor, a towel covering her, and she claimed she wanted to take a nap right then and there. 

Until the next contraction hit.

Marietta cried out loudly. 

"I need for this pain to go away! Knock me out, will you?"

Slowly they helped her throw on a sweatsuit and walk to the car. Every 3 minutes or so they took a break and let her focus on her breath. They were all breathing, as a matter of fact. 

Jessica and the girls just pulled onto the Main Street as the rain set it. It had been hot and dry for many days, and nature was grateful for the downpour, however it made driving difficult and slowed them down considerably. 

What was going on, why were all the drivers hitting the brakes?

Photo Credit

"Honey, would you like to call Brian and ask him to join us?"

"Hell, no!!!"

Brian was her long-term (as far as you can call a teenage love that) on/off boyfriend. Their relationship wasn't expected to last, but still. 

Visibility was poor, and traffic news reported that two or more cars had collided, this was the reason they were stuck until further notice.

Marietta was whimpering on the passenger seat that was lowered as far as possible. There didn't seem to be any breaks between contractions anymore. One painful wave was followed by the next.

"Mommy, I don't want to have my baby in the car, please do something!" Marietta was crying and panting hard.

It had become dark, and a thunderstorm was approaching. 

Jessica felt helpless. If she could have swapped places with her teenage daughter she would have, and God knew her own two births were no picnics either.

Suddenly all the cars started to make way for rescue vehicles. 

"We're kind of an emergency, too" she thought. She switched off the engine and jumped out of the car. As the police car was approaching she started to make desperate gestures.

The police car stopped. "Lady, what's wrong, get back into your vehicle, we need to get through - there has been an accident about a kilometer out."

"My daughter is in the car and she's THIS close to giving birth. She's a child herself, and we need to get her to a hospital NOW!" she managed to explain in her best German. She was praying that she didn't come across as a lady who flew over the cuckoo's nest or something.

The two officers looked at each other and nodded. 

"OK, where's your car?" the younger one asked.

She used her chin to show him the direction and wondered why he needed to know this.

The policeman grabbed his backpack and got out of his vehicle.

"Take me to it" he demanded, and they ran through the rain.

The other policeman took off to get to the accident site.

"I'm Patrick" he seemed to have an idea on how to help "we're getting your daughter to the hospital, don't you worry."


From his backpack he took an emergency blue light and a siren device and attached it to Jessica's car. 

"You're gonna have to let me drive, otherwise I'll get in trouble" he smirked. 

Her eyes widened, but she liked it.

Using the ally the stuck cars formed, they sped all the way to where the collision had happened and beyond.

"How's it going, Marietta?" he asked every two minutes. "Hang in there, we're almost there!"

And in fact as they turned around the corner they could spot a sign saying "Notfall" = Emergency, and that's where Patrick came to a screeching halt. 

"Are you ladies OK to get out alone? I'll just park the car and catch up with you, alright?"

Kyra and Victoria ran to the admissions' desk to ask for help, and the nurse didn't ask a lot of questions, instead she grabbed a stretcher and ran back out with the girls. 

Jessica and Marietta were huddling up against the wall.

"She can't walk" Jessica cried. "I think she needs to push!"

"Welcome to Spital Zollikerberg, I'm Evelyne, I understand you're Marietta and you're about to have a baby?" She spoke English, hallelujah! 

"Now, let's get you onto this gurney, and please, I'm not trained, so whatever you do, don't push until I have a chance to hand you over to OB, agreed?"

"No promises, oooooouuuchhh, I'm in pain!" 

It seemed like as long as they were in the car, Marietta somehow managed to hold it, but now, with medical staff rushing past her, she just let go.

"I think it's coming!"

Evelyne had called the closest resident available, squeezed Marietta's hand and said "there you go, this is Dr Hofer, he has delivered twins just the other night, you're in good hands!"

"I have enough with one, believe me!"

Dr Hofer quickly gloved up and examined her underneath a sterile blanket as they were still wheeling her to an available treatment area. 

"She's in fact crowning" he confirmed. "I can feel the head pushing through. Won't be long now. You're doing great, Marietta. Who are your friends, what do you say, will we let them join us, so they can cheer you on?"

Henk, Marietta's Dad, had spent the day attending a seminar in London, could finally be reached as he landed at Zurich airport. 

He arrived about half an hour later, just in time to cut the cord.

The tiny baby was peacefully asleep on Marietta's chest. The new Mom was very close to falling asleep as well. Talk about a hard day's work!

"We'll let you get some rest, honey" Jessica said. 

"Not until we know what you're gonna do about the name, though" the girls grinned. "Considering..."

Photo Credit

"I think I wanna name her Stella", Marietta said. "May she spread sparkle wherever she goes in life!"

"One of Matt Damon's kids is called Stella" Victoria wanted to tease her.

"Duh, I know. Isabella, Gia and Alexia would have bee great names, too."

Turned out Marietta did know everything about Matt Damon!