I don’t often participate in the writing challenges, but this week’s looked like fun.
Freestyle memory. Write I remember at the top of your post, hit start on the timer, and write about the first memory that comes to mind. Ten minutes. Don’t stop.
Of course, I ran out of time – I still had a few things I wanted to add, but them’s the rules, so this is what we’ve got. I went through it once for typos, but other than that, it’s 10 minutes worth of freestyle writing. Should I apologize now, or once you’re done reading?
I remember …
It was a Thursday night in March, and our family’s watching of the yearly basketball tournament was put on hold in favor of a trip to the hospital. We arrived, my mother and I, and discussed what was happening with the nurses.
They didn’t seem convinced that we needed to be there. A nurse phoned my doctor, who was at a black-tie dinner.
“Put her on a monitor,” the doctor instructed. He didn’t believe me, either. The contractions were five minutes apart by then, and lasting almost two minutes apiece. I was pretty sure I’d come to the right place, but because the labor pains were all in my back, and not in my abdomen, nobody believed me. After a couple hours of rubbing my back to help ease the pain, my mother believed me.
The maternity unit was full that night, so I had to share a room with another laboring mother. She must have been on some good drugs, because she slept, snoring loudly, the entire time we were together. Upon settling, I asked my mother to turn on the room’s TV so we could watch the game.
UNLV vs. Arizona in the Sweet 16. Tark the Shark vs. Lute Olsen. I was not missing this. Soon, a nurse came in and checked the monitor. “You’re in labor!” she announces. No kidding. Thanks for the update. She then walked to the TV, announced,
“You don’t want to watch this!” and changed it to some nature show. I waited until she left, then looked meaningfully at my mother. Mom walked to the TV and changed it back to the game. Soon, my aunt came in. She decided she needed to be
with us every step of the way, including the delivery. I didn’t want to be Momzilla, so I remained calm and figured one more family member in the room would only make the event more joyful. Then my aunt thought she’d help me out by slapping a wet washcloth on my forehead. Again, a meaningful look to my mom, and she immediately and gracefully removed the washcloth. Ah, the nurse is back. No, really, we do want to watch … OK, Mom? And she waits till the nurse leaves and puts the game back on the TV where it belongs.
Eventually, we move on to the delivery room, a surgical suite, with windows on the doors. My delivery nurse is a woman who grew up a few miles from me. Her father was my elementary school principal and her mother was my first 4-H leader. The doctor is the same man who delivered me and my siblings. Peeking through the window is another nurse, who I knew from 4-H. In time, a bouncing, 7 pound 6 ounce girl was born, and there was much rejoicing. Took a bit to get her to cry, and I was worried, but the doctor assured me she was
perfect. My mom took pictures of each of us with the baby, and my aunt took pictures of my mom with the baby.
We went to my new room (without a snoring roomie), and my mom and aunt went home to get some sleep. It was 4 a.m. Around 10, Mom came back, this time with my dad and brothers. Flowers arrived. More pictures are taken. Teenage uncles with their new niece. Grandpa holding his first grandchild. It wasn’t until two days later my mom realized there was no film in the camera.