I had never seen so much snow! 80″ of snow. Frank bought a snow blower. He was out most of the time trying to keep up. It was useless until it stopped. Finally it did stop, about the 3rd week of February. My bag was packed. I was ready! Oh yeah!
Bed rest was getting old. I started laying in the recliner in the living room. Melissa loved to sit with me and put her head on my belly. She would say, “Baby, are you in there? Come on out so we can play.” She was so cute. She was really excited about having a baby brother. She chattered all the time. Talking to him.
The crib was up in my bedroom and Melissa’s bed was moved into the back bedroom. We fixed it up with some My little pony stuff. Pillows, sheets and blankets. Frank Sr. Brought her a nice toy box. She was excited. Some of the cats would sleep with her and protect her. Agnes adored Melissa and wouldn’t sleep anywhere else.
We decided to name our son Michael Thomas. Frank didn’t want him to be Frank. His dad was Frank and he was Frank. We decided on Frank’s middle name and conformation name. He would be Michael Thomas. Now he just needed to make an appearance. Please!!
Time dragged on. Raoul was wonderful. He checked on me every few days. I was having minor pains. Lisa, Raoul’s wife was very sweet and brought a delicious soup over. It was spicy and gave me heart burn, but then again, brushing my teeth gave me heart burn. Margie spent most of her time with us. She was an excellent cook and Melissa loved her and so did all the kitties. Me too. I thanked God and Ariel for her.
Just as I drifted off to sleep that night I saw Joy. She was watching over me and my family. On the 26th my pains got worse. I was pretty sure I was in labor. It kept starting and stopping. I woke up in the middle of the night on the 27th. My water broke. I was so happy! I woke Frank up and Margie came down so Melissa could sleep. I promised that Frank would call as soon as the baby was born.
The streets were plowed but it was still slow going. Frank had called my doctor right before we left. Same hospital as Melissa was born in. This time I would check my room mate out carefully. They put me in a room right away. My doctor was having trouble getting to the hospital. Where he lived the streets were still a mess.
The pains were getting harder. Finally I was wheeled into the delivery room. In those days the delivery room was sterile. It looked like an operating room. Laying on a padded metal table with my feet up in stirrups, I felt really exposed. The pains were coming faster and harder. My doctor wasn’t there.
A strange turn of events. The doctor delivering Michael was the same doctor that delivered Melissa. Hmmm! I was screaming and I looked up and there was Joy standing next to me. She smiled and took my hand. Her hand felt cool and very calming. I looked up at her and said “oh Joy, I’m so glad you’re here.” The nurse said, “I’m glad I’m here too honey, but my name is Joan, not Joy.”
I started laughing and then the doctor said, “I’m going to have to use forceps to pull him out. His head is just too big.” I was in so much pain I would have agreed to anything! Just kill me now. The doctor finally pulled Michael out. Oh my gosh!! What a relief!! He was huge! Looked like he was a month old already!
He was cleaned up and weighed and measured. He weighed 9 lbs and 14 oz. His head measured 13 ” around. He was 20″ long. The doctor laughed and said “That boys head is huge, but he is a beautiful baby”. That was true. He wasn’t red at all and had no marks on his head where the forceps grabbed him. They took me to my room and cleaned me up. I looked over at the next bed and said, “Do I have a real room mate?”
The nurse gave me a look like, are you crazy? She said, “Of course you have a real room mate, what do you think, you would have a ghost for a room mate?” She started to laugh, but stopped when she saw my expression. Probably went to tell the other nurses about the crazy woman looking for ghost.
Joy appeared next to me and I thanked her for being with me. It sucked that they wouldn’t let father’s in the delivery room. I was really happy she held my hand and kept me fairly calm. Just then Frank came in the room. I asked him if he saw Michael and he started smiling and said, “I sure did! He’s gorgeous! Looks just like his old man!” He was so proud!
I laughed said, “I think I saw a slight resemblance around the eyes, but he gets most of his good looks from his mom.” Frank leaned over and kissed me and said, “when you’re right, you’re right!” Just then the nurse brought Michael in wrapped in a blue blanket and placed him gently in my arms. He was beautiful. I was so happy, I cried.
The nurse came in to give me a breast feeding lesson and Frank left to go home to Melissa and try to get some sleep. The lesson went well. It was a strange sensation, but I knew it was right and we bonded quickly. The nurse who showed me how to breast feed left and my room mate came in. She had been walking and at the nursery looking at her daughter. A nurse brought her daughter in so she could be fed.
The mother’s that were breastfeeding were room mates and the bottle feeding mother’s were room mates. Michael was taken back to the nursery for bathing and changing. I called my sister to ask if she would go to the store and buy a few things for a baby 3 to 6 months old. She was going to visit later. I got up and took a shower and put on a clean night gown and robe and my room mate and I took a walk down the hallway.
Some of the lights were flickering from the recent storms. The hospital was short staffed, so the hallway was kind of spooky. I didn’t like this and neither did my room mate. ” I know these hallways. I gave birth to my daughter here. They haven’t changed anything. ” “How long ago did you give birth to your daughter here?” “She turned four in December.” ” That’s been awhile, maybe you forgot. I walked down this hallway yesterday. I’m sure the nursery is this way. ”
We kept walking. I finally said, ” I think we’re lost, let’s try a different way.” Pam looked around in confusion, “I’m sure it was this way, but this doesn’t look like the maternity floor. Where the heck are we?” “Do you see any signs? I don’t see a nurse’s station! Where are the nurses, the doctors, the maternity ward? Where is my baby?” I could feel panic rising in me. We’re we doomed to wander these halls forever?
Finally I saw a nurse’s station ahead. There was one nurse and her back was turned to us. I said, “excuse me, we seem to be lost. We were looking for our babies and we must have taken a wrong turn.” She turned around with a surprised look on her face. It was one of the nurses that came into our room to check on us. She wore a white uniform dress, white stockings and white shoes. Most unusual was the white cap on her head. No black stripe.
“no problem ladies. Follow me back to your ward. Happens all the time. ” She walked briskly down the hallway with the
two of us bringing up the rear at a slower pace. After all we had just given birth. We passed empty room after empty room. Finally we passed a room with an open door and I saw an older lady sitting in a chair. She smiled at me and motioned me to come in. Oh boy!.
I grabbed Pam’s arm and pulled her in with me. I walked over to the lady and she motioned for me to come closer. I leaned down and she whispered in my ear, ” You can see me honey, I’m so happy. I’ve been here a long time. My husband left yesterday. ” I whispered back, ” where did he go? Why are you still here, and why are we whispering?” “Oh no, look behind you!” I look around and there stood Nurse Ratchet, uh eh, The nurse with a disapproving look on her face. Oops! Busted!
“Ah, there you are mommies. I was worried when I didn’t see you. I see you have met Mrs. Connor. She just lost her husband yesterday and she’s doesn’t have all her faculties. Please follow me and we will get you back to your room. Almost feeding time.” “Wait a minute! Why is this floor deserted? Why did Mrs. Connor say she has been waiting for a long time?” “I just told you dear, Mrs. Connor has dementia, and her husband passed away yesterday. Very sad. This floor is not deserted.”
We walked down the corridor and the sounds and sights that were missing before were all there, including signs, nurses and doctors and patients in wheel chairs. Pam looked around and she had paled to the point where I was afraid she might pass out. Nurse Ratchet turned to smile at us and say quite cheerily, “Here we are mommies, should you venture out again, please call for an escort. We don’t like to lose our mommies.” like to? Hmm!
There was a black stripe across her starched white cap and a name tag, that I was certain wasn’t there before. It said Connie. I was kind of scared. I wanted to take my baby and get out of this place. Pam said she was ok. We were both being discharged the next day. Not soon enough for me.
That evening I was waiting for the nurse to bring Michael for his feeding. Connie brought him. She was all smiles and said she would be back later to get him. I tried to get my baby to feed, but he kept refusing the breast and started crying. The room was kind of dark. I bounced him on my shoulder and it felt like he lost weight. I finally looked at him closely and at the bracelet on his wrist with his name.
The bracelet said Matthews, girl. What!!! This wasn’t my baby and it was a girl! A girl wrapped in a blue blanket! I rang for the nurse. A different nurse came in. I was very angry!! She apologized and took baby girl Matthews back to the nursery. A few minutes later Michael was brought in to me. He was so hungry. Believe me I checked him over good.
The next day after the doctor examined me, he said I could go home. I checked Michael over and over again. The supervisor of nursing came in to apologize for the baby mix up. I told her Connie brought me the wrong baby. She asked Connie who? I thought “oh no.” She said there wasn’t a nurse on the maternity ward named Connie. Oh great! I am so out of here!
I asked Pam if she was ok. Her husband Jeremy came to pick her up. We exchanged phone numbers and she said she wanted to talk about what happened. Of course she did. Too easy just to forget it. I sighed. I was so happy to get home with my baby safe and sound. Melissa came running to greet us at the door. She was so happy she was dancing around us. I laughed as I showed her new baby brother to her. I was home.
Haven’t I been here before?
The Kitties korner….
this is Nina Rose. I asked mom if I could talk, because I have something very important to say. Mom has been reading to me from a blog about a kitty named Angel Eyes. She is beautiful and smart. She talks about watching her neighbors from her window. She sees things, important things. She saw a dog peeling on her mom’s rose bushes! I decided to watch out the window too. I didn’t see any dogs, but I saw a SQUIRREL!! Not one, but two! They sat in the tree and told me they were taking over the tree, then the yard! What’s next? The neighborhood? I’ll keep watching! Be careful of the squirrels…