Jenn was born
I was born in February of 1972. Yes, I know, I rarely say that out loud to anyone. We will get to the reason why in my 30th year.
My parents met when both were serving in the Navy. Back then though, women were not allowed to stay in the military if they were pregnant, so my mother was dismissed shortly after their wedding. I sometimes believe she would have done a lot more traveling and such had she remained, but that is someone else’s story.
My birth has been described to me as somewhat of a slap-stick comedy scene. Mom was casually playing cards with my father when her contractions began. My father called the nurse in, although the woman came and went quickly without checking anything and informed them they were silly, “It will be at least another two or three hours, so try and relax.”
Having never been in this situation before, they obediently relaxed and went back to playing cards. Mother was not having the easiest time concentrating though, and after just a few more minutes, she stopped again, “I really think this is happening now.”
My father lifted the sheets to see if there was anything that might confirm her suspicions. Low and behold, there was. My head was crowning!
He jetted out to the hallway and called the nurse once again. She was a little agitated, although obliged and followed him to where he lifted the sheets for her inspection. Her eyes saucered and she turned on her heels to sprint back to the hall. As soon as the door was opening she was screaming down the hall in both directions, and my dad relaxed with the knowledge that he had gotten their attention finally.
He jumped a few seconds later as the door banged open and two men with a gurney flew in. Quickly assisting mother to the bed and they were off again, down the hall to the labor room. My father sat in the customary chair waiting for her return.
The first gurney-man said to the second gurney-man, “Did you push the delivery bell?”
In stunned surprise, “I thought you pushed the delivery bell?”
Both stared at each other, dumbfounded as they continued their race. Then the first began and was joined by the second, “DELIVERY! DELIVERY! DELIVERY!”
The confusion caused by an easy delivery was not to be won by the gurney men though. As they slammed into the delivery room, and old black woman mopping the floor, was caught by surprise, having not heard the gurney-men delivery-bell. As the entire delivery progressed, a time never presented itself for her to exit the room, and thus she was witness to my entire birth process. Perhaps mother was eased a bit by the fact that the woman laughed the entire time.
By the time the doctor made it into the room, everyone, except the old woman and my mother, was speaking in escalated tones and rushing around with no apparent progress being made. The doctor had apparently not heard there was an urgency to the matter, as he casually entered. He paused in the door and as the vibe of chaos took hold, his eye size increased accordingly to that of the other staff.
A slight flinch of his body put him back in action, as he finally realized there was something unusual going on and he must hurry. He came to sit in his chair at the foot of the bed, quickly had his gloves put on, and lifted the sheets. “WHOA!” he said, as he jumped out of his chair and quickly reached in to participate in my birth, which was nearing its end.
The old woman in the corner was incised with a renewed deep rumble of a laugh, and my mother glanced in her direction to see her shake her head at the doctor. Mom giggled slightly herself as all the pain had suddenly ebbed away, and my first cries of life rang out in the tiny room.