Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Light of my life

May 19 1986 turned out to be one of the best days of my life. My daughter decided to make her entrance into this world, one month early.  A friend is going to birth her second daughter this Friday. Watching her during her pregnancy has brought many memories from the recesses of my mind.

I was entirely happy being pregnant, all three times.  Sure I had to deal with some morning sickness, but most of the time, I was just entirely happy.

I have wonderful memories of each pregnancy, but for today, I am sharing just one.  I taught high school Earth Science, Biology, General and Physical Science and American Literature when I was pregnant with R.   It was often difficult to go into a classroom that smelled like formaldehyde, as my biology students were dissecting fetal pigs.  The windows were open and it was January.  But, my students didn't mind.  I loved teaching, I respected my students and they respected me.  One day in January, we planned to spend the day in the library, watching the teacher in space teach us a lesson.  Well, that day turned out so differently than we had expected.  Instead of watching a lesson from space, we watched in horror as the space shuttle Challenger exploded.  It was a time that will live in my memory forever. Being  pregnant, my emotions were even closer to the surface than usual,  and for people that know me, that is hard to believe.  

I prepared all of my class finals and had them ready to go by the second week of May, R was due on June 18.   Well I woke up one Monday morning, about to get ready to go to work and I started to feel just a little funny.  I called my (then) husband and told him I didn't feel quite right. I wasn't having contractions, yet.  Well he called the school and told them I was going to the hospital, he wanted to just check things out.  I had a couple of contractions on the way to the hospital, it was about a 15 minute drive.  We saw a pileated woodpecker by the side of the road on the way.  They decided to check me out in the emergency room.  As it turned out as soon as they checked my water broke.  The took me upstairs to labor and delivery.  The only family birthing room available was in use.  22 years ago, the family birthing rooms was just beginning to be used. I was moving along quite rapidly when they took me to the labor room. By the time they hooked up the fetal monitor, it seemed like there was no time left to get me to the delivery room.   The nurses used what they had available, a bed pan covered with blankets to elevate the area.  The doctor arrived just in time to deliver R.  The entire process, from the time I left home, took about 2 hours.

R was a beautiful little girl with loads of hair that wad red at the roots and blonde at the tips. The nurses were in awe of how gorgeous she was and how bonded she I an were from the moment they handed her to me. Now coming a month early, she had some jaundice problem and it took a week to get her counts down to normal.  When we went home, she and I and to lay by the large picture window so she could be exposed to the light of the sun.  Now was the time to stay home and revel in the joy of this marvelous person who had entered my life.

Last evening R called me on the phone to see if I would like to go get pizza with her.  It was quite spontaneous and quite enjoyable. My emotions were very close to the surface again, as my workday had been quite stressful, so as I sat across from her munching on pizza and discussing Bollywood, I was filled with happiness and on the verge of happy tears.  

Life for me, really is the sweetest when I am with my girls and my boy.

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