Today is Collin's thirty-eighth birthday. Boy, am I feeling old!
Funny, I can't always remember what I had for breakfast or what day it is or whether or not I took my meds...but I remember every detail of the birth of my only child. I guess it's a mom thing.
I thought I was prepared for childbirth. I didn't take the classes, but I read every book I could find. I had a lot of friends with children who told me their stories. But when I went into labor, I was clueless.
My due date was Saturday, March 3, 1979. That Friday, I was feeling great, full of energy. That night, when I went to bed, I didn't feel anything out of the ordinary--but I woke around 1:30 a.m., feeling what I thought was cramps. I went to the bathroom. Back in bed, everything seemed fine again. A while later, the cramps returned. Another trip to the bathroom. I tried to go back to sleep, but the pain returned soon after. I couldn't get comfortable in bed, so I went into the living room and tried to sleep in the recliner. It didn't help. Slowly, reality started to sink it. I got my LED watch and started timing the contractions. Seven minutes apart.
I went to wake Mom, but Dad had already taken care of that, telling her, "I think it's time to go to the hospital."
It was raining when we left, a cold rain. My feet were swollen. I couldn't put my shoes on, so I went barefoot. I must have looked pretty silly in a coat I could no longer button and no shoes. Fortunately, St. Anthony's Medical Center wasn't very far away. It was a fairly new hospital back in 1979, not nearly as big as it is now and had no valet parking at that time. Mom drove up to the emergency entrance, helped a nurse get me into a wheelchair, then went to park the car.
"Left in a hurry?" the nurse asked as she wheeled me to the labor room. "You forgot something."
She was talking about my shoes. "I didn't forget," I told her. "I couldn't get them on."
Mom caught up with us in the labor room. We were told my obstetrician would be called when I was closer to delivering. It seemed to take an eternity, bur was in fact only a couple of hours. I wanted Mom in the delivery room, and she wanted to be there, but we were told that wouldn't be possible because we hadn't taken the classes. They didn't want the new grandmother freaking out during the delivery.
"You don't have to worry about her," I insisted. "She's delivered a lot of puppies and pigs."
For some inexplicable reason that didn't seem to impress the nurse.
She asked Mom how much I weighed at birth. "Six pounds, one half ounce," Mom told her.
"This baby is going to be quite a bit bigger than that," the nurse predicted.
I was two weeks premature. Of course I was little.
My doctor finally arrived. As he started to examine me, the nurse told him she'd just examined me and I wasn't ready yet. He looked up at her. "She is now," he said. "Get her to delivery."
You hear stories about women in labor behaving like angry wild animals. I can tell you it must be true, because after I took a swing at a nurse in the delivery room, I was knocked out. The next thing I remember was waking in recovery. Mom was on the phone, telling Dad the baby had arrived. She was crying. Was something wrong?
"And he has hair!" Mom wailed into the phone.
Hair? She was crying because my baby had hair? I wanted to choke her! Her crying had scared me. Thankfully, it was at that moment the nurse placed my beautiful baby boy on my chest.
Most first babies are born either before or after the due date. Collin was born on the date at 7:56 in the morning after just over six hours of labor.
Best day ever.