Sunday, May 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Michael!

Today is my son Michael's birthday. He was born a few years ago...something like 36 I think. Whose counting? It seems like yesterday. Michael was born on the first day of the Watergate hearings in 1973. I woke up at 5 a.m. with what I thought were contractions. I had thought that about three weeks before and had gone to the hospital and was sent home again. That cured me of any wish to rush to the hospital this time. I sat on our living room couch, and counted the contractions by the clock while I watched the first day of the Watergate hearings and all the machinations that went with that. It was a historically significant day.

There didn't seem to be much to do but wait. Finally, when the contractions were five minutes apart, I called Bob at work and told him to come home. He was there in half an hour, and we got into the car to drive to St. Joseph Hospital on the lake shore in Chicago. Bob had taken driving lessons just so he could drive me to the hospital, but when we got there we had to parallel park. Bob wasn't very good at that, so I got behind the wheel and finished the job.

The nurses were pretty sure that I would be there for a long time, and told us to relax in the room, and left us there. The contractions were strong and frequent, and I was pretty sure they were wrong. I called a nurse. They checked, and boom, I was being rushed into the operating room. People were flying around, and Bob came in the room in a blue shower cap and blue booties, which was very funny and I laughed pretty hard, and that pretty much did the trick. I was introduced to a doctor I had never met before. Things were going so fast I wasn't sure I needed a doctor. A very large nurse with a wide girth held onto me, and I pushed and Mike was born. It all went very fast. The nurses cleaned him off and handed him to me to lay on my stomach and I didn't want to ever let go of him. All in all, I was in the hospital for an hour and 45 minutes!

Mike was 9 pounds 5 ounces at birth, and I had no drugs of any kind. We did it all together. It was a day I will never forget and the best day of my life. He was happy and round and pink and hungry. I had to learn how to hold a baby at my bedside by a helpful nurse. I didn't have a clue, and Michael didn't either, so we learned together. He was a big happy baby, and beautiful in everyone's eyes, and he still is today.

Happy Birthday Michael. I love you.