It was February 8, 1969 - thirty-nine years ago today. I was pregnant with our first baby. The night before friends had dropped in and stayed until the wee hours. I had sat on the couch in agony because I had indigestion so bad. I wished they would leave and of course they didn't. All night, I tossed and turned and got up and down. Finally, about 5 AM, I feel into a deep sleep.
I bolted upright. I'd dreamed I'd wet the bed. Yeap, I was in the early stages of labor. My hubby at the time (this is the one that passed away at 31 years old) wanted me to go to the hospital. I laughed at him. There was no way. I didn't want to lie there for hours waiting for my baby to be born and I got cantakerous and downright refused to go.
Grandma had told me that when I went into labor to rock in the rocking chair. She said it would help the labor move along more quickly and make an easier delivery. So I rocked... and rocked... and rocked...
At 12:30 PM I told my husband I wanted to go to the doctor's office. Yes, he was open Saturday mornings back then and all you had to do was walk-in. He was an old fashioned country doctor and the only day he ever took off was Sunday.
We got to the office and the doctor examined me. He told me to go to the hospital or I would have my baby in a snowbank. We had received a couple feet of snow the previous day and the snowbanks at the side of the roads were high.
So me and my husband started out, but when we got near the hospital I told him I wasn't going in until I went home and got my suitcase. Those were the days when they kept mother and baby in the hospital for at least five days. At 3 PM we arrived at the hospital and they took me to labor while my husband admitted me. They told me it would be a long time before I had that baby.
At 5 PM I asked for something to eat and a cup of tea. They brought me black tea and a little bowl of green jello. They rolled me out into the hall by the elevator to eat it. What a place to put a woman who was in labor. LOL That's when baby decided that labor would get a little more intense. My water broke and some poor elderly man who was walking in the hall almost had a heart attack. He went running for a nurse. You would have thought the devil himself was after the old guy.
The nurses whisked me back into the labor room. They examined me and told me that it would be hours before my baby was born. Ha! By 6 PM, I was in really HARD labor. They gave me a shot to ease the pain. At 6:30 PM they decided they needed to call the doctor. He was 15 miles away and it would take a while for him to get there.
The labor pains weren't too bad. I didn't find labor pains that hard to cope with. Of course I had that shot to take the edge off and it was like all of this was happening to someone else. I was spaced out!
At 7:15, they took me to the delivery room. I asked where the doctor was and they told me he was on his way. I asked them what was taking him so long. LOL He was definitely in no hurry to get there and I suspect they told him it would be a while before my baby arrived.
He walked into delivery at 7:32 and pulled on a hospital gown over his clothes. Michelle was born at 7:48.
So, in case you were wondering what I was doing 39 years ago, I was having a baby. Those were the days when you didn't know the sex of the baby until it was born. Surprise. William Joseph was not going to work for the baby's name. It took us the entire five days I was in the hospital to agree on a name.
That is one day that I will never forget. Now Michelle is grown and has two boys of her own. This afternoon after school, the boys and I went and bought Mom a birthday gift. We took it home and the boys hid it so she couldn't find it until tomorrow morning. Happy Birthday, Michelle. I wish you many more.
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