TIME TO GO"Time to go" were the three words spoken by my BFFL, the last significant words from anyone who meant something to me. It was May 15th 1977, I was twenty-one years old, nine months pregnant my water had broke and I was about to give birth to my first born child.
I remember as if it were yesterday. May 14th is my mothers birthday the year 1977 she was celebrating 50 years of life. She had a large celebration that year. Family and family friends filled our home from near and far most of all afar. I wanted so badly to have the baby on her birthday. It has been said that dancing or any type of strenuous exercise can induce labor. I danced the night away to Marvin Gaye's Got to give it up! It didn't happen right away. Sunday morn around 5 am the party was dispersing. Family members who lived close went home and those from far went to hotels while others remained at our house. Everyone in the house had retired to get a bit of sleep before late morning. Mom and dad my two grandmas and grandpa, aunts and uncles. As the house was quiet and filled with the sound of snoring me myself and I was the only thing stirring about. Feeling alone and left out I decided to lay down even if I couldn't sleep, I did. Shortly after laying down, my body started doing foreign things. So I lay there for about half an hour wondering if I should alert anyone especially since they've barely been sleep an hour. No I decided, I just got back up and walked around thinking to myself. I was feeling little needling pains in my pelvic and vaginal areas. Over a two hour period they had lasted. First twenty minutes apart, then fifteen and ten. I remember in birthing class we were taught about contractions so I thought this is what's happening and I had better tell someone. All the while thinking to myself if this is what birth pain feels like I can handle it. I went downstairs to the rec area and found my bff laying on the sofa, I told her about it. Half awake she said Nae Nae it's nothing, "just go lay down and go to sleep." Okay now I'm thinking who would know better than her since she had recently given birth to her first born who is my niece. So I did and anyway they had stopped. An hour later they started again same pattern 20, 15, 10 this time they were a little stronger. So I go to mom and grandma who I had to wake up. Mom is reluctant who is the mother of six and grandma who was a midwife, is nudging her to go and check me out. Two of my aunties from far who are RN's, were sleeping over one's also a midwife and they both have over 20 years experience in nursing. Mom awakens them, they both examine me and decide false alarm. However one aunt explains I could be experiencing what's called lightning in the medical terms of OBGYN. Lightning is when baby is trying to break through the placenta. It's around 11:00am everybody's up and all eyes are on me. The pain is coming around a third time but even stronger. I have a flashback of the movie Alien staring Sigourney Weaver. Particularly the scene where the alien is ripping the man's body half into coming out. It was at that moment fear crept in. Auntie checks me saw that I had started dilating and recommends I be taken to hospital for exam. I go get checked and doctor sends me back home confirming what I was experiencing was "lightning." The time is now after 2:00pm, I go to the bathroom to urinate, pull my pants up afterwards and something new happens. Water is coming from my vagina through my pants and I can't stop the flow so I'm standing in a puddle. I cry out for help and Mom and Grandma come running they know right away my water had broke. It is really time to go now. My bff takes me back to the hospital only this time it was for certain to deliver. On the way there she says to me these words I shall never forget and took solace in, "I wish that I could have that baby for you Nae Nae." The way I felt then and now I wish she could have too.
It's minutes to three when we arrive at the hospital. Nurses and staff check me and reexamine me. I'm taken back to labor and delivery. Here's the thing the nurse asked if I would like to get in bed, or walk around being I had more dilating to do. What she did not mention was once you are in bed you can not get back up. I opted to go to bed, I was exhausted and only wanted to sleep. Bad decision? Although at first it might seem so, I think not, it's probably what helped sustain me. At that juncture I was imprisoned in my bed. My hands were restrained and my feet placed in stirrups. It was then fear took a mezzanine seat, all this plus now I was actually contracting at twenty minutes apart and the pain was becoming unbearable. I remember pleading with the nurse if I could get up and walk around I'd be okay, it was then I found out once you're in bed you're in bed till delivery is complete. After two sets of twenty minute contractions. I decided in between I would need to sleep in order to continue. I slept for five hours uninterrupted by nurse or contractions. I was awakened by next shift nurse who was baffled and annoyed that I had stopped contracting during my rest. I was happy and well rested. I had been told that nothing stops contractions not even your sleep ha. It was now in the eight o'clock hour the nurse reported I had been sleeping during which time the labor stopped. The doctor ordered to induce labor. It's a good thing my body took in some rest. Half an hour later contractions started again right where they left off twenty minutes for an hour then fifteen this time pain extremely unbearable, so this is how pay back feels. By eleven pm I was down to ten minutes apart when I hear the nurse say okay she's ready let's get her over to delivery. By this time I'm completely out of my mind, wiggling trying to free myself, yelling, screaming and pleading for mercy. Fear had taken a front row seat. All I could think of was Alien. They roll me in the delivery room there's this big bright lamp over this steel thin table with a doctor at the foot and one at the head. They place me on the cold table placing my feet in the stirrups and restraining my hands I remember It took four of them. I hear doctor say she's crowning and signal the anesthesiologist to knock me out. The anesthesiologist proceeded to try to place a mask over my nose, adding to the trauma. I'm swinging my head from side to side, in hopes of stopping him to no avail and with him partially succeeding. At this point I remember rendering myself as helpless and loosing this fight as I vaguely hear doctor say forceps, in that instance my last Will and thought was "oh God this is it i can't take anymore." Then I shut my body down. FLAT LINE!
That was the day I probably shocked my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (Pun intended) Jesus probably said to Our Father OMYOU father did you see what this one just did? I know she's strong Willed but the will to stop life? This one is special I'll have to keep my eyes her. And maybe Christ thought too if Peter had that Will. Here's yet another thought she turned her life off let's she if she has the Will to turn it back on wait....wait. Silly of me only I have the power to give life. I had better turn her back on because I surely didn't call her home. I have plenty more work for her to do.
"Back to Life, Back to Reality" back to the there and then. I awakened in a frenzy in a very dim lit room. Unbeknown to her, I watched as she (the nurse) abruptly stood from a chair at my bedside when noticing the machine flicker. Patting my hand and telling me to be calm in a gentle voice. I sobbingly asked as I felt my stomach did I have that baby and she quickly nodded and said yes. I responded with a sigh of relief. The huge clock on the wall showed the time was three-forty. My next question was what did I have, she said " you had a beautiful healthy baby boy" and no sooner than she got the b in boy out I said "Yuck," she chuckled and asked why I replied "I wanted a girl." back to sleep I fell in an instant. Waking again after 4am and feeling relieved she asked how are you feeling I said fine. She said "well you gave us all a good scare, the doctors had to charge you four times." "We lost you." Don't let them (referring to the doctors) tell you anything else." "I'm telling you this in confidence and I could loose my job, but you have the right know." In hind sight we lost you was putting it mild and rightly so, I guess if she had said you died, the fragile condition I was in, I probably would have died again lol. None of what she was saying meant a bag of beans to me then. I was just so happy to have that baby out of me. However I did thank her. I've often thought about having the opportunity to tell her what a huge influence those words have in my relationship with Christ Jesus today.
It didn't matter to me but it mattered to Mom and Dad who were horrified when they reached the hospital at noon to find me in ICU hooked up to six machines. Not to mention the hospital didn't inform them that I had complications during delivery. Dad was simply glad that I was alive and he had his first grandson. Mom was furious, the doctors did inform them that my heart had stopped and how many times they had to charge me. I don't know never asked how long I shut down but The Almighty brought me back. No I didn't see "The Light" or any afterlife experience. I guess that's because it wasn't according to Christ Jesus my time. Some doctors proclaimed that it was a massive myocardial infarction except no one has ever had one and lived to tell about it, and there were no visible signs of one. There were other theories it had something to do with rheumatic fever which I had no history of . The doctors were baffled again courtesy of moi and you know who! Twenty-one years later yet another unexplained incident according to them. Doctors back in the 1970's and earlier on believed they had the power over life and death lol. They've just gotten so today that they will admit that all they can do is their best and The Almighty Father does the rest. Anyways under doctor's orders I remained in the hospital for a week although my son could go home. Mom forbid it she said "my grandson will stay in this hospital close to his mother." The baby was born at 2:09 am May 16th 1977 with help of forceps (which are now illegal) weighing in at 8lbs/101/2oz and 23" long. He is currently 39yrs old and a blast. I figure that's close enough to Mom's birthday. Happy Birthday Mom my gift to you a grandson!
Here's my theory in short. You know that cliche: scared/frightened to death. Literally I'm living proof.
Thanks and Praises to my Lord and Savior Christ Jesus. Amen!
SPST Same Place Same Time
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