The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave
To the night and the empty skies my love
To the night and the empty skies
I am waxing nostalgic today thinking back to the births of my children. My daughter’s birth especially since she has just brought a new life into my life. I’m to become a Grammy again if all goes well. My daughter is in the process of adopting an 8 month old baby girl.
Her mother still has time to change her mind although the state will pursue termination of parental rights if she does not volunteer to surrender the child for adoption. Her brother and sister have different fathers who want them.
I was almost 22 when my daughter was born in May of 1974. Her brother was three years old. She was overdue by one day, the day after Mother’s day on the 13th of May. We had a record high of 102* that day and as we were driving to Aurora, Nebraska where the hospital was her Dad and I saw two tornadoes touch down in distant fields. Luckily they small and they were moving away from us.
I was certainly ready to greet the little person who had been causing me so much discomfort for over a month. She had been in position to be born and I had been dilated 1 centimeter since April 7th. The doctor was going to induce labor on the 15th if she didn’t move out because he was afraid she had decided to take up permanent residence.
I wanted a little girl and Skip and I had a bet going on. Of course we didn’t know the genders of our babies back then. There were sonograms but they were very primitive and they were only done if absolutely necessary and telling the parent the gender of their child if you could tell from the blurry images was considered somewhat unethical. They might abort if it wasn’t the gender they wanted. :^\
We’d left for the hospital much earlier than we’d planned because of those darned tornados. It looked like it was going to be a repeat of our son’s birthing experience. He was born during a flash flood February 5th 1971 in Jackson, Michigan. Skip was not looking forward to a repeat of that and neither was I.
We’d arrived at the hospital at 8 pm at night the night before our son was born just to check if I was really in labor because we lived 35 miles out in the country and didn’t want to leave the city if I was, certain we would be iced in by the next morning. The car had stalled 5 times getting us to the hospital.
The nurses determined I was definitely in labor and further decided that because of the weather and the reports they were receiving from the state patrol, that I should not leave the hospital even though they would normally send me home because I was in the early stages of labor.
It was going to be a long night. My son was not born until 5 o’clock the next morning. I didn’t think-anything like that was going to happen with this baby but I was hoping that my water would at least break before we got to the hospital.
The first thing we did was go to a cafe so Skip could get something to eat. We’d rushed off so quickly he hadn’t had time to eat and neither had I. I knew I shouldn’t eat but I was so hungry I ordered a small bowl of chicken noodle soup easy on the noodles. We lingered at the cafe as long as we could stand it, smoking and talking, but we soon ran out of things to say and I felt the need to be up and moving.
We drove over to the city park and walked around timing my pains until they were at the 5 minute mark. It was now 7:30 and Skip was bored spitless. We got back in the truck and Skip started driving around aimlessly. Then he found it, only three blocks from the hospital. A used car lot.
We drove in and Skip started looking at cars, kicking tires. He’d pause in his perusal to time my pains but while he looked I could concentrate on pacing and riding out the waves of labor pain. We were both happy. Pretty soon a salesman joined us and Skip started dickering about the various merits of one car over another as “a present for my wife here, when she has this baby.” I snickered at that little bit of chatter.
An hour went by and somewhere along the line I had stopped pacing and had taken hold of Skip’s hand, standing there squeezing while a pain came and went and he timed them and calmly talked to the used car salesman about foreign cars versus domestic cars. He was looking at a Mazda.
Every once in awhile he would say something like “Wow! that was a doozy Honey! They ‘re 45 seconds long and a minute and a half apart! Good job! You let me know when you’re ready to go.” and I concentrated on the sound of his voice and the inner workings of my body.
Eventually they got to a minute and a half long and a minute and a half apart and I knew it was time to go. I think that poor salesman thought we were absolutely crazy and maybe we were a little bit. He was probably relieved to see our red pick-up truck driving down the highway towards the hospital.
My daughter was born ten minutes after I got to the hospital. The doctor was there delivering another woman’s baby and he came in to examine me and asked if he could break my water. I said yes and she practically fell out into his hands.
I got my car too! A little powder blue Volkswagen Beetle. But not from that poor salesman who went through the final stages of labor with us. I was totally surprised the day Skip came driving it home.
What I remember most of all about seeing her for the first time is her beautiful little hands. She still has beautiful hands. I love to look at them. They are so elegant. She has long elegant arms and legs too.
When she was a baby she was a skinny little thing and had a little potbelly, huge eyes, and no hair. My sisters-in-law all told me she was homely as hell. I thought she looked like a cute little spider monkey. She wasn’t going to win any pretty baby contests but she was a sweet little thing and you should see how gorgeous she turned out. I haven’t seen any of their daughters since they were pre-teens but I know damn good and well there isn’t one of them that can hold a candle to her in achievment and spirit. Besides she was my baby and it didn’t matter what she looked like, I loved her.
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