Thirty-three years ago today…I was 24 years old, and very pregnant with my first child. In fact, I was nine days overdue, and extremely miserable! I was more than ready to give birth! In fact, I was so anxious, I’d already made a trip to the hospital because of a “false alarm”.
The weather had turned cool, and we didn’t have any heat in the new addition that we’d recently built on to our mobile home. Ed and his daddy were scrambling around trying to hook up a gas space heater in the new part of our house. (Does anyone remember those days of space heaters?) Ed’s daddy, good ole’ grandpa, was always there to lend a helping hand!
I still didn’t have a driver’s license, and had to rely on someone else to take me everywhere. Ed or his mother were usually my designated drivers. I tell you, that Ed is one special man! It’s unbelievable the number of times he drove me to the grocery store, the beauty shop, and to K-mart, but on this particular day, Ed’s mother drove me to town.
We spent the afternoon shopping around in the tiny town of Claxton, Ga. The idea was to get me out and walking, in hopes that I’d go into labor. We didn’t want to go very far from home, so we settled for Claxton ( 7 miles away), even though its shopping places were very limited.
In one small department store, I finally dared to let myself look at little dresses and other pink stuff. Ed’s mom and I picked out a beautiful, long, lacy pink dress that we really liked. We decided that if, by some chance, the baby turned out to be a little girl, this would be her coming home outfit. Since Ed comes from a family of five boys, and the first grandchild was also a boy, we didn’t hold out much hope of getting to buy that pink outfit…In fact, I referred to the baby as “Bubba”.
Later in the afternoon, after the shopping trip was over, I began to wonder if I might be leaking amniotic fluid. I had been expecting a “gush”, not a slow leak, so I really hadn’t paid much attention. Eventually Ed and I decided maybe we should take another drive to the hospital just to see what was going on. The hospital was over an hour away, so I was worried about waiting too long, even though I wasn’t having any pains. It was about 6 pm when we got into our car.
Once we arrived at the hospital, I was admitted, because sure enough, I’d been leaking amniotic fluid all day. That’s when the “fun” began. You know…all that horrible prep stuff they used to do back then. I wonder if they still do all of that torture…I’d never been in the hospital before, never had an IV, enema, shave, or any of that other horrid stuff, but let me tell you, before they finished with me, I experienced it all–and more!
About 5 o’clock the next morning, after 8 hours of very active labor (two of those hours spent trying to push the baby down lower into the birth canal) the doctor on call decided that the baby needed to come on out. They rolled me into a delivery room, then the doctor proceeded to perform what’s called a “high forceps delivery”. This is not an experience that I recommend to anyone! It consisted of the doctor dragging the baby out with a pair of tongs–and it was just as horrible as it sounds. No medication for me, and no pushing on my part during a contraction–just the doctor reaching in and dragging the baby out–while I screamed bloody murder.
Fortunately, our baby arrived safely, and I survived the less-than-pleasant birthing experience. Our baby girl was perfect, except for a temporary mark on her cheek caused by the forceps. We felt blessed. Actually, I felt a lot of other things, in addition to being blessed, but my sore, aching body would heal–eventually.
Yes…the baby was a “she”. The chain of male babies in Ed’s family was finally broken, when we were blessed with our little girl on a Sunday morning, the first day of October, at 5:22 in the morning! Tomorrow that little baby, our Brandy, will celebrate her 33rd birthday. Where has the time flown?
The day after Brandy’s birth, Ed’s mom headed back to that little department store in Claxton, and bought that long lacy pink dress–and a bonnet to go with it! For the first time ever, she had the pleasure of buying a little girl’s dress. Ed and I dressed our little angel up in that beautiful dress, and brought her home the following day–all eight pounds of her! (We still have that little dress– in a shadow box.)
***Brandy, this little birthday video is for you. It was a labor of love, just like you were–33 years ago!
Enjoy your birthday weekend!