Chapter 17, Girl With Babies, House and Parents
As soon as my pregnancy was confirmed we turned in the 57
Chevy, the car in which I learned to drive had my first kiss and which took us
on our honeymoon. I shed tears as we abandoned it, left forsaken with memories at
the car dealership to eventually be gobbled up by some heartless car crusher.
The steering wheel, shift lever, clutch, brake, gas pedal
squished into a twisted metal pancake, my learning to drive and being kissed
shipped with them to the smelter, then to Japan to come back as a Toyota.
We drove out in a new, automatic
shift, Ford station wagon thereafter known as “white banana”.
A Dodge Dart replaced my Desoto with its girl’s night out and Alviso memories, given to a younger brother. Hubby drove it to work while the station wagon became my domain, driven without worry about possible car trouble, a new experience, the Chevy was soon forgotten.
Nine months after our wedding the baby arrived, a year later, another. Each caused a mother's pain only a woman understands but in the Kaiser Hospital delivery rooms, after a little screaming and the doctor's coaxing, they plopped out without complications. I reflected between panting during the second delivery, maybe I wasn’t naive in high school. It only takes a man’s "one touch" and bam you’re pregnant.
I also thought of Mom with 5 births at home and no doctor or nurses.
Hubby suggested I get my “tubes tied” with
delivery of the second but I decided against it as too permanent a decision.
The Kaiser delivery room was set up with 3 bays off a central core. The doctor in the center scooted his wheeled chair from one pending arrival to the other as we women spread our pelvises and sang our chorus of heavy breathing, yelping and howling to his conductor coaxing while nurses scurried about doing most of the real work.
My “man” and the other women’s men
were absent. Back then they didn’t witness the sprouting of what they sowed.
Instead they paced in the expectant fathers smoked filled waiting room, unsure
what was about.
While not cozy, like birthing rooms
today, Kaiser’s birthing center was efficient and reassuring. Being there meant
no expected complications. Difficult births were sent to a special operation
room. It was not in and out but I was out before the other two women.
With a final push to eternity and
the doctor’s exclamations of “good, good” I felt a sudden pain spasm then
relief as half of me fell away. Then I heard the joyful wail of the baby’s
claim to the world. In a daze I watched a nurse tie off and cut the umbilical
cord to complete our separation, the baby a new individual. I felt a mother’s
re-connection with the baby on my chest and cried, not in pain but relief. Soon
baby was whisked away in a receiving blanket for a detailed check out and I was
wheeled to a 2 bed maternity recovery room. As I glanced back the delivery
center nurses were preparing my bay for the next.
Hubby was summoned with the good news and was
waiting for me in the room. Soon our creation passed as acceptable with ten
toes and fingers on 2 legs and arms and was retrieved from the maternity ward
for our admiration and holding. After a few hours baby was whisked back to the
maternity ward, hubby was excused and I was allowed a night’s rest. Early the
next morning, I was wheel chaired with baby to hubby’s waiting car and he drove
me home to face household chores plus attention demands of our new arrival.
In truth, Mom stayed a week helping both times. I loved her for it and felt guilty thinking how she had no one to help her when giving birth other than the Mexican midwife and Dad standing by smoking cigarettes.