Saturday, August 20, 2005
White German Shepherds Must Be Angels
I have a twentyone year old daughter. She was conceived in the usual fashion. There it ended. While I would love to say that her father and I stayed together, life deals us strange twists and we handle it. I wanted a husband and a family and the white (okay, I wanted green) picket fence. He wanted a bottle of beer and a party. So. I find myself in the not so unusual role of pregnancy without my husband. I move in with a coworker. I am normally a very quiet person, but I am polite to a fault, so I asked her if the radio in my room would bother her much. She laughed, and told me she sleeps like the dead and NOTHING short of a nuclear blast could awaken her.
She wasn't kidding.
At 4:37am in the morning, on the wonderful day of March 24th, 1984, I was blissfully asleep on my side and snuggling with about fifteen pillows. Anyone who has ever been pregnant will immediately understand the fifteen pillows. I was dreaming of skiing. Strange, since I don't ski, and I hadn't been in water deeper than a wading pool since Jaws I came out. WTH?? My dream lake was really something else. Yep, my water broke. Okay. I'm cool. I'll go wake up Nona and she'll take me to the hospital. Right. I must have left my nuclear warhead in my other maternity pants because nothing was budging that drooling picture of loveliness. She wasn't getting up. She wasn't coherent. I'm not even sure if she was alive.
I get dressed and get my old car (can you say Plymouth Fury III? I knew ya could!) going. I skip it down to the payphone about 2 blocks away (I don't remember why we didn't have a phone, but we didn't). I call my Drs office, knowing I'll get the answering service. That's okay. I used to work for them so I'll get faster service. Linda (answering service operator) picks up the Doctors line and I tell her who is on the phone. She starts laughing. See how friends can be at 5 something in the morning? Mean. I give her the phone number and I'm waiting patiently for the Doc to call back. The phone rings. It is my MOM. This answering service does wakeup calls. Most do. My sister, Claire, has a wakeup service through them (small town) and Linda called HER FIRST then the doctor. So....Claire calls our Mom, who calls me, and now the phone is busy and the doctor cannot get through. I tell ya, I'll sell my family real cheap. Nah. Well, I finally get the Doc, who says to come on in to the office. I am not having any contractions. I feel fine. All I want is a shower (can't have it) and a nap. I get in my old Fury and drive the 30 minutes to my Mom and Dad's house. Hey, they are the halfway point to the Drs office and I was hungry and my Dad makes the best scrambled eggs ever.
It gets wacky from here, but I swear every word is true. Y'all can call my Mom and check, lol. After filling my belly with pancakes and bacon, I am in the back room taking a wonderful nap. No contractions. No pain. Nothing. My Mom wakes me up. Apparently, Dr. ***** called her, after calling the service, who called Claire again, who called the Dr and gave him my Mom's number. Got that? He was looking for me. Oh, yeah. I was supposed to go to his office. Nothing is like they show in the movies or on television. I am not having pain, I am not seizing up and screaming "the baby's coming," and frankly, I thought I'd just wait a while.
My Mom, being the older and wiser person that she is, says we will certainly NOT be taking my old Fury to the Doctors office. We will be taking her brand new Pinto. Okay, I can see you laughing. Get up off the floor and keep reading. Use your imagination as to what happens next... can you guess? Can ya? Can ya? (I love Dory).
We are on an old road driving my Mom's new car, with me in the front passenger seat, still trying to finish my nap. Yeah, right. That brand new "ever so reliable" car breaks down. In the middle of no where. On a back road few use. Okay. THAT is when the contractions decided to start. Not hard, but I knew it when I felt it. My Mother calmly steps to the side of the street and looks up and down for oncoming vehicles. My MOTHER IS GOING TO HITCHHIKE??? A truck passes, going the right direction, but she doesn't even try and flag it down. HUH? Mom, I'm going to have a baby, and I don't want it to be born in the back of a Pinto that is smaller than I am. Ah, but wait... it gets better.
A white station wagon, heading the WRONG direction, is seen approaching closer. Suddenly, as if a sign, a head pops out.. a white German Shepherd. Now, that wouldn't even register with some, but Mom and Dad have a white shepherd. My sister Claire has a white shepherd (which is where my Mom and Dad got theirs, lol). So... certainly the person driving must be normal and reliable and responsible and safe. MOM! She stands in the middle of Old Dixie and stops this poor woman. After explaining the situation, the lady takes me to the Doctors office, perhaps 15 minutes away from where we broke down. We bid adieu, with information being exchanged so the total stranger and my Mom can get together and play pinochle.
More drama. I get in to the Doctors office, and after being examined, I am informed that I am more than halfway there and should have gone immediately to the hospital instead. SOMEONE got their info wrong, lol. Okay. One problem. We have no car Doc. People can give you some crazy looks but when your own OB/GYN tells you that you and your family are nuts, it's time to pay attention. After explaining that we had to hitchhike here because of a vehicle breakdown, my Mom calls Claire. Not home, but Jim (my BIL) is home watching my new nephew (3 months old and very handsome). Great. Come get me and get me to the hospital please.
My wonderful brother-in-law arrives to pick us up. He arrives in my sisters truck. The one they jacked up and put monster tires on. The one I can't get in to when I'm NOT CARRYING THE WEIGHT OF A BASKETBALL TEAM!!! A few push and shoves later, and I am up in the passenger seat, my mother is in the driver seat, my nephew is still in his car seat in the middle, and Jim is in the back.
Still not done. We get to the hospital and I get in to my labor room. Yep folks, they actually had rooms back then where you got to labor. I was laboring away (and hating everyone by that time) when my coach arrives. Mom had the smarts to call her when we arrived. So, I am in my labor room, hating labor, and trying to concentrate on my puffing and hissing and all that other baloney. In between death pains, I am tell my friend Sam that I already know I am having a girl and I've filled out the certificate in advance. I want to name my baby after my loving friend, Sam. I'm being real serious and intense here, and I thought loving friends were not supposed to laugh at you while you are being emotional and sappy and trying to labor a watermelon out of you. I thought wrong.
See, Sam's name isn't. Isn't Sam, that is. Nope. Sam, whom I have known for many of my then 26 years, informs me that Sam is a nickname her Dad gave her when she was little. Sam stands for Smart *** Mouth. She is really Donna. ALL THESE FREAKING YEARS AND I DID NOT KNOW THIS???? Man, having a kid is complicated!
The Doc arrives and advises me that I'm done laboring. I've been done for hours but nobody listens to the laborer. We get to take a fun trip to the delivery room now! The wonderful thing about teaching hospitals is that interns get such a great education there. They also get a birds eye view of things sometimes. I've gone from laboring to screaming by now. Interns walking through look a bit green, and frankly I hope one of them falls flat on their face. Serves them right for interrupting my big moment.
So, my beautiful baby girl was born about 5 minutes after all of this. She was perfect in every way. She had a thick thatch of dark hair, and all the right number of fingers and toes, and was perfect. My beautiful baby girl heard her name for the first time. Her name of Sam. Named Sam after my best friend...Donna. :) Life is funny sometimes. I wouldn't change it for the world.