|Lisa on her 41st birthday|
On July 1, 1970, I boarded a bus in Savannah, TN going to Memphis. I had a son, two-years-two-months, a diaper bag, a purse, and his teddy bear. I still had a month to go on my pregnancy according to my doctor, even though we argued about this a bit at first. Finally, deciding the baby would come at the right time, I just gave in to his time table.
When I arrived in Memphis, I could not move, literally felt exhausted. My sister who was picking me up, had to wait until every passenger left the bus to come and help me. She took my still-sleeping child, my purse, the diaper bag and the teddy bear. That left me to struggle to get off the bus the best way I could, and it was not a graceful walk or exit. People were holding their breaths as I clung to the door to exit the steps of the bus.
At Mama's I lay around like a blimp and waddled like a drunk, leaden bicycle. Saturday was the 4th of July. My parents always celebrate by cleaning the yard! I sat beached on a lounge outdoors watching my son run headlong down the slanted driveway, up on his tiptoes to keep up with the descent on the grade and his terrible speed. (in fenced-in backyard, running from fence to garage at back of yard) Mama begged me to make him quit. HOW? There was no way I could walk with him. Besides, he was so reckless and never hurt himself. Well, there was the broken arm....but I was not even at the skating rink!
They raked, mowed when I went inside, lopped branches, trimmed shrubs, unstacked firewood and re-stacked firewood, picked up bones from the dog that were under shrubs, picked up toys from the children, took the window ac unit out, washed ac unit, washed window sill, put the ac back in the window, took down all the storm windows, washed storm windows, reinstalled storm windows. I still did not move a muscle.
All this time Mama had been cooking things in the house. Daddy grilled something at the end of the day. that was the 4th.
I went to church on Sunday. Sunday evening Daddy must have run over a toothpick in the road because the car lurched and bounced as I complained. Everyone else said they felt nothing.
Sunday night just before midnight I went to the bathroom, called Mama in and told her either I had lost control of my really full bladder or my water broke. She moaned. We went to the hospital. I was told my water broke, I was not dilated, and I was not full term. Come back in twelve hours and we will see what is going on. No, they did the wrong thing.
My husband showed up over from Savannah about 8:00 A.M. At 10:00 we left for the hospital.
I was back by 11:00 A.M. the next day. By noon, I was ready to have a baby. I forced my mother to stay home and promise me to take care of my son and not leave him no matter what happened to me. Daddy has been known to forget he was watching a baby or child and just get in the car and leave. She felt bad not being with me, but it was fine with me.
When a nurse was in the room, I remarked that I would be so glad to get this over with...pregnancy, I meant, that I would be glad to be able to walk. She told me in a cold tone that this baby would die because I was not far along and the baby was going to be premature. We had already called my pediatrician in Memphis and she was going to be there at the birth.
After 2:00 P.M. Mama called to see if I had a baby. They told her I refused to cooperate and it would be evening before I gave birth. At 2:30 P.M. on July 6, 1970, I gave birth. I don't know what they said to me to get me to push. Oh, by the way, this was back when they knocked you out. You can still hear and cooperate. My husband had gone to the car during the birth, and Mama did not call back for about three hours.
Lisa weighed 6 lbs and was 19 inches long. She was three pounds less than my first and nine ounces less than the third. The pediatrician told me the baby was not premature, just tiny. She said she has long fingernails and eyelashes and eyebrows. She is full term.
I think I was not cooperating because I did not want the baby out because she would die. No one told me that, but I know it in my heart. The nurse should have been severely reprimanded!
Lisa was scrawny looking, pretty, dark eyes, and dark hair. The neck of her dress hung off her shoulder in a size 0 baby dress. In two weeks, I could not button that dress around her neck. She looks just like me, only gorgeous. Today, people recognize me because they say I look just like Lisa. When she was two weeks old, I resumed sewing. I made everything she wore for years! I was frugal back then.
Oh, I called her tonight and told her to take a picture of herself with her cell and mail it to me. She is at a neighbor's house at a BBQ. I'm pretty sure she has clothes on...lol.
Today, she is 41! How and when did I get so OLD!
I scrimped and saved so she could have ballet, tap, modeling, tennis lessons, swimming lessons for swim team. She picked up disco roller skating on her own...lol. She cannot walk on stage, so we gave up the modeling lessons! She is a coloratura soprano. No, not opera! This was my shy child, the one I carried for three years, who barely spoke a word in public. My parsimony on some fronts paid off for her to have opportunities. I was just hoping to get her out of her shell...lol.
Do moments like this make you feel old? As you get older do you relive the day each child was born. Okay, now I am crying! Do you think of all the financial sacrifices you made and you are happy with choices you made?