Monday, February 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Sarah Lynn!

Sarah posted this lovely birthday lunch on FB. Could be a picture from a museum. In this digital age, everyone can be an artist. Remember this glass table, I said to Scott, and that fluffy white rug?

Nice flowers, he said.

Guess who bought them?

He didn't say anything.

I did! I got them at LeRoy's in Hatboro.

Not Kremp's? he said.

No, I was in Hatboro at the time.

Diane waited on me, a woman who had been - ready for the refrain? - downsized from Corporate America, gotten a job in the flower shop and liked it better than anywhere she'd ever worked.

Blue-eyed LeRoy LaBold, the retired owner, was in that day. I told them both about my impending kidney operation - o fraught with guilt that I am - be quiet already - and now tis the day of Sarah's birth.

Her dad, the late Millard G Deming, "Mike" for short, and I lived in a two-story apartment in Giddings, TX. I'd gone to library school for one semester at University of TX at Austin, driving 75 minutes one way in our unairconditioned green Datsun station wagon.

I loved library school but never graduated. Never planned to get pregnant either but was happy I did.

On February 6, the day before Sarah was born, I went to see the doctor. Mike was at school, studying to be a city planner. Dr Johnson told me he was going on vacation and wanted me to have the baby first. I was almost ready. He told me to check into Bohne Memorial Hospital in Brenham.

Mike taught me the importance of being up on current events and we watched the news every night. When we'd lived in Philly (Castor and Cottman) our dinner ritual was: Set up the TV tables in front of the telly and watch Star Trek and then Walter Kronkite.

On February 4, three days before Sarah was born, Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army. What a shock that was to the nation, the heiress wielding a machine gun, Stockholm Syndrome.

I check into the hospital. I had taken natural childbirth classes and was all ready. I read only one book and it was The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by the LaLeche League.

Mike was by my side. The doctor punctured my water - pssssssh! - and an hour later the contractions began.

Eeeeee-owwwwww! Man, did they hurt. Labor took four grueling hours. Never again, I promised myself, never again. At the end I begged them for pain medication and they gave me a shot of something which did absolutely no good.

Finally they wheeled me into the freezing-cold delivery room. Right now, I'm sitting on the edge of my bed with the blue sky and cold air coming in Scott's bedroom window and wracking my brain to remember which delivery room was which. I've only been to two. Dan was born at Abington Memorial Hospital here in Pennsylvania.

I'm wheeled in. My belly is huge. Every day in the summer and fall when I was preg I'd go out back of the apartments and swim in the pool. I'd watch my fat pregnant belly from my back, amazed at this miraculous event.

I've worn contact lenses since I was 18. If you've got bad eyes like me, contacts are the very best way to improve your vision. I had them on now in the delivery room. Dr Johnson, who must be quite dead now, was a handsome man who inspired confidence.

In those days they wouldn't allow the father in the delivery room so Mike waited outside.

What a relief when they told me to push. This is what I'd been waiting for. Deep breath and push....deep breath and push....

Finally, the baby crowned. I could see its dark head in the mirror above me. I was in such a state of - what? - disbelief, awe, disembodiment - that I couldn't emotionally believe that little dark ball was indeed a baby, my baby, at that.

The first thing I wanted to know was, Is the baby normal?

Yes, they said, she has five fingers and five toes.

Oh, I said. It's a girl.

I had actually forgotten to care what sex she was.

Then Mike came into the room. He was a big good-looking guy with blond hair turning dark and Japanese-style blue eyes.

I looked up at him and then down at the baby who I held in my arms.

Hello Sarah, he said.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful birth memories. A belated Happy Birthday to Sarah!

    You were part of Jesse's birth story!