Monday, December 22, 2008

A Bundle of Joy for Christmas

December 22, 1970 was a cold, snowy Winter day. I was nine months pregnant and tired from all of the Christmas preparations for the big day coming up. Darrell and Michelle were out of school for the holidays so the they, Sandee and I slept past our normal 6 AM arising time that morning. When I did get up, heading for the bathroom to empty what seemed to be an extra full bladder, I noticed something I'd never seen with my other pregnancies; I had a (don't mean to be gross) bloody mucus on my panties. You'd have thought I had never had a baby before, but this scared me so I called my Mom, who was a nurse, to ask what this meant. "Well, Honey", she said, "you are starting labor and that mucus is what is known as "show". She advised me to call my GYN, which I did. I was so sad to find that his mother had passed away so he would not be available to deliver my baby that day if I was in labor. His nurse told me I should go to the hospital to be checked, just in case.

I didn't really want to have a baby that day, being so close to Christmas and, with three young kids whom I wanted to be with to celebrate the day. However, I always (at least in those days) listened to my doctor or his nurse, so I took a bath & made myself beautiful, got the kids dressed and fed, then called my husband at work to tell him I needed to go to the hospital. He was home in a flash, we took the kids to his sister's, and headed for Pocatello, about thirty miles from our home in Moreland. By the time we arrived at the Bannock Memorial about 11:00 AM, I no longer had any doubt that I would give birth on that day.

We were so happy to be having this baby, and we were absolutely certain it would be a boy. My only disappointment was that Dr. Olsen would not be there to do the delivery. I had such absolute trust in him and knew nothing about the on-call Doctor which made me a tad uncomfortable. However, it was also the "new" thing to allow fathers into the delivery room for the birth, which we thought was pretty cool and made me feel better because I would have at least one person in the room with whom I was familiar.

I really had a pretty short, but very hard labor and was glad to be wheeled into the delivery room around 3 PM. The doctor gave me a Saddle block, numbing me from the waist down to my toes and the work began. Between contractions, Archie and I were having a little argument about whether our new son would be David Craig or Craig David. I wanted the latter. However, much to our surprise, Craig David didn't have the right plumbing for that name. I'm so darn smart, I figured that out as watched her delivery in the overhead mirror. It didn't matter...we were thrilled to have her. The doctor did give us a fright when she slipped out of his hands toward the floor, but he caught her and all was well. She went to the nursery and I stayed on the table for the tubal ligation that followed her birth. She was the last precious baby I would ever give birth to. Again, on the advise of Dr. Olsen.

Oh, how beautiful this little angel was. She was my biggest baby of the four, but she seemed so tiny and fragile to me. I don't know why, but I was a nervous wreck with her, like I had no clue what to do. I would watch her every breath, worried that her tiny nostrils were too small too breath enough air. My doctor basically told me to get a grip on that one.

She was born on my oldest sister, Carol's birthday, and it was nearly Christmas, so we named her Cristie Carol. Because of the Ligation, which was considered an operation in 1970, I had to spend four days in the hospital so we didn't get to be home for Christmas that year. I was feeling sorry for myself on Christmas day because I missed my other kids. However, early in the afternoon, Archie brought them to the hospital with their gifts for me. They weren't allowed to actually come into the hospital, but he arranged for them to stand down below the window to my room, where we could smile, wave, and blow kisses to each other. That made the day much more bearable. Two days later, the Nurses put Cristie into a red Christmas stocking and we took her home to be loved and enjoyed by the whole family.

She will always be my baby and has been a joy to me her entire life. I am so proud of the sweet, intelligent, funny and talented woman she is today. I love you sweet baby girl, Cristie.


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