It was 1984. My sweetie and I had been married for just over a year and we were expecting our first little one. They didn’t do routine ultrasounds then, but we both had a feeling that the baby would be a girl. We were dirt poor and had just transferred back to my hometown so that my sweetie could pursue a degree in electronics. He was unhappy with the Chemical Engineering major he had been working on and I was excited to be back home where I could have built-in babysitters and friends.
I had recently signed up to be a Tupperware lady (for the first time!) and with my hometown network, the extra income was finally working for us. We were so into it that we scheduled an open house party on Halloween and distributed flyers all over the grocery store parking lot. Our idea was that the kids could get a treat and the parents could too if they stopped by…a little overzealous, I know, but we were young and stupid.
The baby was due around Thanksgiving and with school and midterms, I was tired. The Tupperware party was mostly a bust, but I had a couple more scheduled for the following day, so I wasn’t too disappointed. I also had one more midterm to take, and I hadn’t been sleeping well, so we turned in about 11:00.
When I got up around 2:00, I took three steps toward the bathroom and felt a huge gush. At first I thought maybe I just didn’t make it in time, but then my foggy brain suddenly became crystal clear. The baby was coming…today! I shook my sweetie awake and he panicked immediately. We hadn’t gassed up the car and the hospital was 15 miles away! This was also before the days of all night pumps and debit cards.
I called the doctor with shaking fingers. I still didn’t have any specific labor pains. He suggested that we gather our things and get to the hospital as soon as we could. Ten minutes later we were in the car and headed down the deserted street toward the hospital in my sweetie’s hometown.
We coasted in on fumes and got ourselves checked in at the brand new hospital. We had no money and no insurance, so I would not be having an epidural (although I’m pretty sure they didn’t do them anyway, so it didn’t matter). I don’t want to be too graphic, but this was an old school hospital. They still did enemas and a complete shave. It was NOT comfortable. And the labor pains had started with no relief in sight.
told you before that she took care of everything for me.
The afternoon wore on and exhaustion began to set in. I tried sleeping between contractions but with little success. My sweetie returned and I relaxed a little. That seemed to help and the contractions became more regular. There was no discussion of Pitocin…I was never even given an IV.
Eighteen hours after my water broke, my sweet black-haired little Bossy was born. She was beautiful; the greatest miracle I had ever seen during my 19 years. My life would never be the same again.