I once had a friend who celebrated her birthday for the entire month each year. Every day, she gave herself some sort of present. That’s how I feel about Mother’s Day..it’s Mother’s Day Month. Sincere apologies to my middle children, but I need to skip ahead to child #4 because it’s his birthday today. In 1979, May 13th was Mother’s Day. So, Nick was a true Mother’s Day present.
By this time, we had moved back to Northwest Indiana and were living in Highland, Indiana. Again, pregnancy was blah, blah, blah, but a notable difference was that I was POOPED. With three other children at home, the fatigue was overpowering. It was all I could do to get the 6, 4, and 2 year olds back and forth to school, activities, baths, etc. In addition, Child #3 was impersonating the Energizer Bunny. His capacity and stamina were remarkable. His parents’ capacity, however, was not. But more on that later. The two older girls were very helpful, but the prospect of having one more kid in the house, and a baby at that, was pretty daunting.
Despite the fatigue and apprehension, things were advancing to their inevitable conclusion. It’s May, now, and as with the other kids, my due date had long passed with no baby in sight. At the last doctor’s visit, the doctor said it would be “this weekend.” So, on Friday, I prepped my father and stepmother and told them we would need them on call to stay with the older three kids.
On Saturday, May 12th, I had been having contractions all day, but so what? I’d been having them for weeks! Since they were very strong, I called my dad and said it MIGHT be tonight. A couple of hours later, the contractions are gone. So, dad and stepmom get into their jammies and settle in for the night.–at their house. An hour later, I took a shower and yes, the fun had begun. Another call and the folks were on their way (still in their jammies). Contractions were fast and furious, but I tried not to alarm Gene, so I just sat patiently until the folks arrived. They raced in, we raced out. I decided to get into the back seat just in case. (In case of what?)
As we turned the corner past our house, I told Gene how fast the contractions were coming. He remained calm. When we got to the ER, I was beyond coherent, but the nurses were able to whisk me away into the labor unit (which of course was sans the horrors of the hospital for baby #1.) By now, birthing had advanced, dads were in the delivery room, and baby monitors had made the scene. The monitor revealed that baby was in some distress, and of course I panicked. The doctor, however, did not, and after a couple of hours of careful monitoring, we moved to the delivery room. Shortly after midnight, Nick was born–on Mother’s Day. I insisted that since he was the first baby born in that hospital on Mother’s Day that we should be receiving a prize package similar to the ones people received for the New Year’s Baby. (I do find it ironic that Nick married a woman who was the first baby born on New Year’s Day in her hospital!) The doctor scoffed at my greediness, but she did tell me that all the moms would have a surprise on Mother’s Day. We did receive a rose on our lunch trays, and steak and wine for dinner! Although he had inhaled some meconium, all turned out well, and we were able to come home to his sisters and brother in just a few days. Happy Birthday, Nick!
Next–Back to the Future in Texas