I could not tell you what I ate last night for supper, or what I was doing a week ago. But I can tell you what I was doing, what I ate, and how I felt 22 years ago, today, when my daughter was born. I had been out doing yard work. The day had been unseasonably warm and I was anxious to start cleaning out my gardens. Of course, being 9 months pregnant made it difficult to bend over to rake or pick up sticks; however, several neighborhood children had offered to help. The fresh air and the sun on my face felt good after what had seemed a never ending winter. I was anxious to start playing in the dirt and could hardly wait for the next couple of weeks to pass, until my baby's due date.
My husband and a buddy took advantage of the weather to play not 9 rounds of golf, but a full 18. Needless to say, all that walking and fresh air had tuckered him out and he was looking forward to a nice hot supper and relaxing evening. The spaghetti sauce had been cooking all day in the crock pot. It smelled great and we sat down to devour a meal of spaghetti, garlic bread and salad. Mind you, it was a delicious meal, but in hindsight, not a good choice when one is about to go into labor.
I had started to feel a little uncomfortable late in the afternoon and had assumed it was from all the physical activity. After all, I still had weeks to go and wasn't thinking it was time. Since the pain was starting to be rather persistent, we decided to just check things out. We only lived 15 minutes from the hospital so we got into the car and took off. Between our house and the hospital are railroad tracks. It was only after we had crossed the tracks that I remembered that I had left my magazine back home on the table. I had just gotten my new issue of Country Living and had been looking forward to reading it cover to cover. I figured we would have a wait at the hospital in getting checked out and I can not sit still, without anything to read or do, even for a minute. We returned home to pick up my magazine and the new National Geographic for my husband, of course that took us over the railroad tracks for a second time. With magazines in hand, we were on our way to the hospital, down our street, up the main avenue, and over the railroad tracks for a Third Time! Yes, the third time was indeed the charm. Everything you have ever heard about inducing labor by repeatedly driving over railroad tracks is true, oh my goodness yes it is true!
This was the first and only time that my daughter has been early for anything. There she was, absolutely perfect, ten toes, ten fingers, beautiful bright eyes and a smile that completely captured my heart. As the doctor handed me my little bundle of joy, he asked what her name was. My husband and I looked at each other and together answered, we don't know. First of all, I thought that I was carrying a son, it was just such a strong feeling. We had chosen to use both of our Dad's names, so a little boy would be named Joe Lewis, like the fighter. Secondly, we genuinely thought we still had time to pick a name just in case for a little girl. After a bit of discussion, the name Elizabeth was chosen. In the past 22 years I have cheered that name, blessed that name, been proud of that name, and yes yelled out that name in utter frustration, in the manner that only a mom can do, still with love. I couldn't imagine life without my daughter.
Happy Birthday, Sweetie.
Have a great day.