Friday, July 11, 2008

Looking Back

Gabi in 1972

She started it all. I was just a babe myself (20-years-old) when I launched my career as a full-time mom. She was eleven days late and I was getting a little grumpy.

Dee came home at 10:00 pm one night, and he was also a little grumpy. Just after we went to bed I had my first labor pain. I laid there and waited a few minutes and, sure enough, another one came. I woke Dee up and said we had to go to the hospital. He said if we went before midnight we'd have to pay for the whole day, and since it might not even be real labor we ought to go back to sleep. And he did. Immediately.

This is an example of what not to say to a woman in labor. The tears started as I watched the clock. What if I just got up and drove myself to the hospital? It was only a few blocks away. Maybe I'd just walk. Yeah. . . that would show him. . . finally I woke him up again and he took me seriously. We sat in the hospital parking lot until midnight, and then went in.

Natural childbirth was the in thing, and I was definitely in. She came folded in half, bum first, and as her lower half arrived in the world, her lungs expanded and she took a breath. Since her head was still inside, she sucked in everything but air. The cord was around her neck and the doctor had me panting while he loosened it quickly, and then suddenly, at exactly 7:00 am, I was a mother. A nurse whisked our newborn away, scooped out her tiny mouth and immediately put her on oxygen, before rushing her down the hall in an incubator.

That part of the experience was anything but natural. She and I had been very close for nine and a half months, and there was a huge wrench in my heart as we were separated by walls and elevators and information. A few hours later we got the word that she was OK, but it wasn't until about 4:00 in the afternoon that I got to see her. She changed my life.

Gabi in New York City with Sistas

And she grew up to be a Chorus Girl!

Gabi in Chorus Line

"One singular sensation,
Every little step she takes.
One thrilling combination,
E-v'ry move that she makes."

"One smile and suddenly
Nobody else will do."

"You know you'll never be lonely
With you-know-who. . ."

Looking back, she was one of the best moves I ever made!


diane said...

She's got some moves! She must get her talent from her Mom.

Christie said...

Happy Birthday to Gab! That dance performance was one I'll never forget. She's the best!

Cath said...

Birth is, indeed, such a miracle, Marty. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story!

Keri(th) said...

... One moment in her presence, and you can forget the rest. For the girl is second best to none, son. (Sorry, I really like that song.)

Oh, and Shame on Dee! No Canadian cookies for you!

gab said...

Thanks Mom! 38 years and've made them so great! Love you...

Ink Poison said...

I love birth stories. Thanks for sharing this one.