"You better not be fooling me!" she said into the telephone at 3AM one Sunday morning. Really! "Mom, I don't play April Fool jokes at 3AM!" This was part of an early morning conversation I had with my Mom 38 years ago. I had just delivered my baby boy (#2) and just couldn't wait to call her! It's what daughters do :-) Actually, I was surprised she was awake enough to even realize it was April Fool's Day!
It was an exceptional time. Just a few days earlier, Thursday, in fact, we were battling a frozen water line under the driveway that separated our home from my in-laws. It had been 6 weeks! Everything else had thawed, but that plastic line was stubborn. We left the faucets in the "on" position, why I don't know. The drain in the kitchen somehow managed to plug itself but the water line managed to thaw while we were away for a few hours, and we came home to 2 inches of water on our floors! That was ok, though ...it was a mobile home and there were no carpets from the kitchen, down the hall and to the back bedroom. There was a slight tilt to the back, anyway, so it was just a matter of soaking it up and wringing it out. What a mess, though ... just what a 9 months prego woman does NOT need!
Our home put back to order, and water running freely again, I caught up on 'almost' all of the laundry. Priority was given to baby clothes, of course! We were all set to have a baby, most likely by C-section according to the Dr. but, I was ok with that if it meant a safe delivery this time around. Cleaned house on Friday. Grocery shopped on Saturday...
Saturday was a beautiful, early spring day and my husband did not have to work! He took me grocery shopping at Shoprite in Hudson so we could stock up on some frozen dinners. That way I would have quick meals for our 3 year old and myself while he was working. Now, we had been given orders days earlier by Bill's parents, "Do NOT go into labor on Saturday! We have tickets to hear Victor Borge down in Rhinebeck!" Sure, no problem! They were getting a rare chance to have some fun out of town with our neighbors. I didn't have the heart to tell them Saturday morning that I felt 'funny'. I had a pretty good idea while we were shopping and by the time we got home and they left for the concert. I was sure! Just before they left, some friends stopped by their house to ask about puppies for sale, who looked at me and said, "Oh, when are you due?" ... I just smiled and looked at my watch to which my mother-in-law cried, "That's not very funny!" I laughed. She had no idea.
Just as soon as they left, we called Bill's cousin to make sure she was available that evening, 'just in case'. She wasn't home. We called again an hour later, and left a message with her parents to call us when she got in. They were going to be out of town that night as well... By 9:00 o'clock, we were frantic... the neighbor who went with Bill's parents had a daughter who baby sat for us, but she was spending the night with friends; the neighbor on the north side of us was not home. Dear friends from church were not home ... we were about to pack up our 3 year old and take him with us, when our cousin called and came over as quickly as she could! We headed out for the hospital which was about 35 minutes away arriving at 11:30... just enough time for Bill to scrub, don a gown, and hear the nurse on the phone with the doctor, saying, "We just checked her and we don't think she needs a pelvimetry (xray). She needs her doctor to deliver her baby!" .. since I was the only one in labor... I suddenly realized there would be no C-section!
Our darling boy was born at 1:16 AM and in my arms until I shook so badly they had to give him to his Daddy! Actually, they didn't need to "give" him to Daddy, 'cause I heard him say, "Here, I'll take him and you can take care of her!" My honey scooped his son up into his big, strong hands and settled into a chair right where I could see them both and it's a memory that I pray never fades; Daddy and son bonding time! They left us alone in that birthing room with our baby, who settled down to sweet sleep. Bill went home at 3AM and I lay awake, unable to sleep ... but that was OK. The recovery ward for moms had only me and eventually one other girl. Things were different back then, and when the nurse came in to give me a bath in bed ... I was kind of stunned! She laughed and promised she would be quick and that when it was over, I would be clean and comfortable. She was quick and she was right! She ended my 'bed bath' by putting first one foot in her basin of water and then the other. She laughed when I said "Ahhhhhh!" and said, "That's what all the girls say when their feet hit the warm water!" Then, I slept.