Better Than Watching the Ball Drop

The best thing I ever did on New Year’s Eve was have a baby – which incidentally is nothing LIKE what you see in picture. I remember my doctor calling his pals from the delivery room. “I’ll be there by 9:00!” he gaily told them and that sure put me in MY place. Working to get a human born, hearing all that praise and encouragement from the nursing staff gets you thinking you’ve got the Baby Jesus Himself ready to make an entrance. Then it turns out you’re just some hurdle the doc is trying to clear before he can go back to doing what he’s really interested in doing…

David and I had gone to the hospital at dawn to have this first child of ours and I was ready for anything: I had the lemon drops to suck on and the cornstarch for massaging my mountain of a belly. I had my picture of a tree to pin to the wall and help me get to my happy place…

As for Dave, he had the sports pages and the latest spy novel, the dog.

Together we saw the sun rise and sink away again; saw the team of nurses change and give way to a new team.

The doc thought Pitocin would get him to his party a lot sooner so Pitocin it was.

I did my breathing.

I used up a whole box of cornstarch for the massage, which, by the way,helps not at all.

I looked at my picture of the tree pinned to the wall.

Dave fell asleep.

They they turned up the drip on the Pitocin and all hell broke loose.

When I finally begged loud enough for the epidural, the anesthesiologist showed up and took so much time asking me how much I weighed that I grabbed hold of his shirtfront and growled at him in the voice of Satan himself.

Then… peace.

Relief from pain.

And a special new epidural ward where none of us needed to suck lemon drops or massage our bellies or pretend that the sight of a tree in a forest could help with the pain.

The child came at 7:30 with this pointy little jaw she began leading with right out of the gate. She was a lovely little soul in spite of the iron will that strong jaw foretold, quiet and considerate too.

The jaw stayed strong and the will emerged but still she was sweet, and careful, and kind.

She is all that even today.

So Happy Birthday to you Carrie M. In six more weeks you’ll have your own first daughter and we’ll have another picture then.

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5 thoughts on “Better Than Watching the Ball Drop

  1. I, too, wish Carrie a happy birthday and delight to hear of her expected daughter. My middle brother was born on New Year’s Eve, now celebrating it in Arizona. I had champagne, too, after my son’s birth which was just after Thanksgiving that year. We had lobster, dips and chips, and another couple shared their bounty with us to make it a real party. Some memories are just so precious! Happy New Year, Terry!

  2. Happy New Year to you too Andrea! What a memory you have! right down to the lobster!

    David admitted to me last night at dinner that he has no memory at all of our wedding day, the days of our children’s births or the date – or even the year of his mother’s passing. I see now why I write. I write so it will be recorded SOMEWHERE!

  3. Dave’s a guy, most of whom do not get into the dates you mention above and what is more often or not always, associated with the feminine. It’s a gal thing. So I can’t fault him there. Old Dave’s there when he needs to be..he knows his role and place, and the man must be doing something right..he’s still The Man! And you?

    You write because you have to express the inner world that is yours, aside from it being your craft. Go for it. Others tuck things away quietly to themselves, pondering them in the heart like a guarded treasure. Whatever works to remember…

    A Happy B-Day to your beautiful child. That photo looks much like you when you burst on the scene.

    You reveal that tree’s transport you to your happy place?

    Now you are surrounded by them, complaints! 🙂

    Oh, at Don Bosco Tech, we had a summer football camp somewhere near that lake in 1973…two weeks of pain, puking and punishment..while somewhere perhaps, you sat under a cool pine musing…

  4. This is a nice nice comment B. Thanks for reminding me that the people who can SAY aren’t necessarily the ones who most deeply FEEL. David has a secret little inside self I have heard him refer to only rarely. Still, it shines through and the longer we are together (four decades now!) the better my vision. 🙂

    I went to summer camp every year from age 5 to age 16 – my family ran the place so I had no choice – but yes that’s where the susceptibility to beauty came from… Football players! How do they DO it?

    I will take that as a great compliment that I look like my girl Carrie though to my mind I didn’t really get one that looked like me til Number 3 came (and he was a boy!)

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