Twenty-seven years ago this morning, our first son was born. I woke at 2:30 with distinct waves of labor that made me suck in my breath and hold it until each wave receded. How could I have slept through the beginning stage?
The contractions had actually started the night before ... but because I'd had so many Braxton-Hicks contractions over the past two weeks, I'd given up on ever having the "real thing." Exhausted, I went to bed about midnight and slept peacefully. What a gift that turned out to be!
At 2:30, however, the real thing woke me with a jolt. I had the distinct feeling we were going to deliver the baby at home if we didn't get in the car. Hubby jumped out of bed and dressed, called his parents to keep our two year old daughter and then rushed me to the hospital.
By the time we reached the main highway, my legs were bouncing up and down -- a sign I was in transition. The transition wasn't bad in itself, but I had an overwhelming sensation of being out of control.
And I was -- my body was basically taking over and sending my brain an S.O.S. that could not be ignored: All hands on deck -- delivery is imminent! When we came to a set of railroad tracks, I pleaded with the father-of-my-child to SLOW DOWN. As soon as we were across, I switched gears and entered another plea: HURRY UP!
We arrived at 5:00, and a young man whisked me upstairs in a wheel chair while hubby parked the car. By that time, I was shaking so hard the chair was bouncing up and down inside the elevator. I think that poor young man was scared to death. I'm quite sure he didn't want the elevator to get stuck between floors, leaving him stranded with a pregnant woman who was bouncing up and down like a first-time rider on a fast-trot horse.
When the door slid open, I was relieved to see Nurse Mize, the same wonderful lady who had helped when our daughter was born. What a joy to see a familiar face and hear her soothing voice. When Phillip arrived moments later, she told him to "get in that sterile gown!"
When she examined me and discovered the water sack was still intact, she called the doctor. By the time Dr. Bohannon got there 20 minutes later and scrubbed up, I was a candidate to star in "Shake, Rattle and Roll!" It was all the nurse and my loving husband could do to hold my legs down so I wouldn't bounce off the bed.
If nobody else had a clue, I certainly did. This baby was coming and coming fast. I wanted to holler, "Would somebody let me have this baby!" But I couldn't say anything, because my teeth were chattering like castanets.
Dr. Bohannon popped in and, just as suddenly, popped the water sack. With a deflated inner tube, I soon sprung a leak. That's when he patted my knee and told me on his way out the door, "Try to relax. It might be awhile yet before the baby crowns." I think I might have given him a dirty look about that time -- even though he was a really nice person and a great doctor.
Within 10 minutes, my son could wait no longer. As they wheeled me into delivery, I glanced at the clock and thought, Here we go! Four minutes later -- at 6:32 a.m. on June 1, 1982 -- our son Jason's lungs filled with air and his lusty cry split the silence. What a wonderful sound that was. Dr. Bohannon grinned and said, "He was on a greased slide and there was no stopping him..." Then he patted my arm and said, "You did a great job, Mom."
On the way back to my room, the doctor reached over and took baby Jason off my tummy and said, he wanted to stop in the nursery to weigh and measure him. When he came back and told us Jason weighed 88, I cocked one eyebrow. "Eight pounds, eight ounces -- right on the button," he grinned.
Jason was the fastest birth I had of our three children, and he was also our biggest baby. He also had the best lungs, according to the nursery staff. They said every time he woke up, all the others did too. "That boy has good lungs," Mrs. Polly, the head nurse told me more than once.
She'd been nursing there for 40 years and had seen thousands of babies come through her nursery. "Not many babies are that alert right after birth -- or that loud. He's got healthy lungs." So Jason made a name for himself right from the get-go.
I'll never forget that wonderful day. God was merciful to us in giving us a healthy firstborn son and a safe delivery. I know not every parent has a happy ending like we did, and we consider ourselves blessed beyond measure.
Happy birthday, Jason! I'm so glad you hung in there until we got across the railroad tracks! Guess what? In just sixteen weeks, you'll be having another birth-day ... the day you welcome your *own* son into the world. Love you bunches, Mom