Every year since I was a young adult my father would call me up and say, “Happy Birthday Sweetheart!” Then proceed to tell me the story of the day I was born 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, 53 years ago. He was not here except as a voice in my head this morning, 55 years…
Momma carried me eleven months. I should have been a virgo instead of Scorpion. Perhaps that is why almost everyone I’ve ever been close to was born in September. I carried my daughter who was also my second pregnancy and daughter, eleven months too. But thats another story. 🙂
Daddy and Momma lived in Abilene, Texas which is a bigger town and it would have been more convenient to have me in the huge modern hospital there, but Momma wanted her family doctor, Dr. Price to deliver me. So on the day the contractions FINALLLLLLY started thinking they had plenty of time to make the 30 minute trip to Sweetwater, Daddy went to have the oil changed on the car.
He was ready for anything. Washed it, gassed it up. Mom’s suitcase was packed and stashed in the trunk. All they had to do was wait a few hours for the contractions to come closer together and be on their way.
Finally around ten am they were ready. About ten minutes in to the trip they smelled something burning and Daddy pulled in to a filling station along the highway.
There was no oil in the car! Whoever unplugged, didn’t recap it. So not only did they have to find a plug to fit it but to refill it completely before they could be on their way.
An hour later, Momma is sweating bullets but still smiling and trusting her man they are on their way again. Just another twenty minutes and they’ll be there.
Finally they arrive without further ado at the hospital. Only to discover Dr. Price is delivering another baby by csection and it will be a few hours before he is able to take care of Momma’s delivery.
This is back in 1957, in a horse and buggy town and he WAS the doctor on call. So naturally they decided to do he practical thing. Give Momma a shot to stop labor. (she’s carried me an extra two months already, what a few more hours, right?)
She endured the shot, grateful for the reprieve from the painful contractions. Took a nap, and the nurses took time to do all the little prep they normally have to rush through in the last moments at a leisurely pace.
Dr. Price might have even stepped out and had lunch. He came in the room early afternoon and Momma woke up to another shot that put her contractions off the charts in overdrive.
No one knows exactly what time I was born, and it wasn’t recorded on my birth certificate but Daddy always told me the reason I am nocturnal is that I was born in the mid afternoon and was ready to enjoy the rest of the day. Evidentally I have always been hard to wake up and even harder to get to go to sleep at night.
I was the skinnniest, longest, reddest baby ever born. But Daddy loved me anyway…and by the time he finally got to hold me I had become the most beautiful little girl in the world, forever.
I miss you Daddy…I miss hearing the story of how I was born and most of all your voice deep warm, comforting, loving, across the miles, laughing in my ear, reassuring;
“You will always be Daddy’s girl!”