27 years ago, The Infantryman, our oldest son, was born. It was a Saturday, too; a day like we had here at the farm today; warm, sunny, a first taste of spring. The only difference was that there was no snow that year!
On Friday, I worked my last day. I was a secretary/receptionist/teachers' aide at an alternative school. I was tired and uncomfortable and HUGE, and was actually quitting a week earlier than I had planned. I was hoping to spend that time cleaning and shopping and otherwise getting ready to have a baby.
The next morning, John left very early for Michigan, where our best man would be married that afternoon. I got up, had some tea and toast with him, kissed him goodbye and went back to bed. My plan was to sleep until I woke up, whenever that was.
About two hours later, I woke up. It soon became apparent that I was in labor. I called my doctor, and my mom. She came by and sat with me for most of the day. 27 years ago, mere mortals did not own cell phones, so there was no way to let John know he that he might want to come home. All we could do was call another friend, who was waiting for John to pick him up so they could attend the wedding together. Since the drive was close to 4 hours, I knew we wouldn't see John again until nearly suppertime. He would pass the hospital on the return trip before he would get home, so we told him to just go there. We headed that way about 4pm.
When I got to the hospital, I learned that we really hadn't needed to get there so soon. As is typical for first babies, Jay was taking his time making an appearance. We spent about 7 hours looking at each other, and at the nurses. Moaning, hollering and complaining were coming from several of the other labor rooms, and I was getting a little nervous. How much noise would I be making soon? When the nurse came in and offered me something to help me sleep, I was a little skeptical. Then she told me, "Honey, this baby isn't coming till early tomorrow morning, 6 or 7am. (This was 7pm) I'd really like you to get some rest." As she gave me the shot, she told me that occasionally she'd see women relax enough to deliver faster than she had predicted.
About 11:30, I woke up feeling some nasty pain. I got more nervous...Certainly I wasn't going to be feeling this until early morning? I woke up John, who had gallantly agreed to sleep on the hard floor after driving 8 hours, rather than leaving me alone and heading to the Fathers' Lounge. He began rubbing my back, which was where most of the pain seemed concentrated. (Childbirth educators don't like the word "pain;" they prefer "discomfort." It's PAIN.) Suddenly he said, "Did that hurt?" Duh. Then he said, "I'm calling the nurse. I think I felt a head come down your back." Sure enough, he had. In the 2 1/2 hours I had been asleep, I had become very ready to deliver. I was not waiting until 6 or 7am. In fact, I was not waiting until 2am. I was moved to a delivery room, pushed a blessedly short time, and, right after 1am, Jay was born.
And the rest, as they say, is history. Thanks so much for the trip down memory lane!!