November 6th…

I was born early in the morning on November 7th several moons ago. Until she passed away, my Mother would always tell me the story of her day before I was born. It didn’t matter if I was home, at work, out for the day or evening…she would track me down and I would LISTEN! It was a wonderful mother-daughter tradition that I treasured! When Mom woke up on November 6th she was suffering from “twitches” in her abdomen. This didn’t deter Mom from performing her civic duty! She walked a block with my grandparents and Father to the local polling station which was the elementary school she attended, and eventually, the Sister and I would attend as well. She spent the remainder of the day with my grandmother as my Dad went off to work and my grandfather had rounds at the hospital plus office hours. The “twitches” increased in intensity during the day but their frequency started ramping up in the evening. By this time both Dad and my grandfather were home. The OB/GYN was contacted who instructed Mom to head off to the hospital. I was due on November 7th and it appeared that I was going to be a timely baby. I do believe my debut may have been the first and last time I adhered to a schedule! My Grandmother called her best friend, my Aunt who I mentioned in another story a few weeks ago. She came running over as my Grandmother refused to go with my Grandfather, Mother and Father to the hospital. The two ladies smoked incessantly throughout the night, downed one pot of coffee after another and played innumerable hands of gin rummy! One of the obstetric nurses realized there was a problem when Mom’s water broke. There was meconium in the amniotic fluid which was not expected. They didn’t know the extent at this point but Mom’s nurses and doctor knew we were both in distress. Mom was rushed into surgery and I was born via Caesarean section soon after. It turned out the afterbirth had a mind if it’s own and wanted to debut BEFORE yours truly. Mom had started hemorrhaging but this was nipped in the bud VERY QUICKLY! As far as I was concerned, I had aspirated the meconium and developed Hyaline Membrane Disease. One lung was compromised. I was rushed into an incubator with oxygen where I remained for the next three days! My parents were able to hold me when I was three days old. Mom and I were released from the hospital not long after that and the three of us lived with my grandparents for the next several months. The first person to visit me was my “cousin” whom I wrote about a few weeks ago. When she first met me, she looked my Mother in the eye and said , “She’s a pretty baby but you can send her back! You have me!” Out of the mouths of babes!

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