Sunday, February 26, 2012

* Nostalgic Sundays *

It's Time for Another Nostalgic Sunday.

I couldn't let Sunday go by without posting a Nostalgic Sunday.

This is my dad with my youngest son, Mark, who was born in October of 1987. I think this was taken around the end of 1988 or early 1989.

I wrote a story about receiving the surprise of my life when I found out I was pregnant with Mark. It was accepted and published in Chicken Soup for the New Mom's Soul, in 2007. I've posted it below:

A Joyous Journey
May 18, 2006 – Mark graduates from high school, and has been accepted to Washington University in St. Louis, College of Arts & Sciences, The January Program.
 Drift back nineteen years ago:
 As I slowly made the turn into our driveway, I saw that the garage door was open and there stood my husband of four years. It was a cold, windy day in March of 1987, and he was wearing a stocking cap. That’s about all I remember. I’m sure he must have had on a coat or jacket, but all I remember is that knitted cap. I rolled to a stop, put my car in park, pulled the emergency brake and just sat there for a moment while his eyes met mine. He looked at me with an inquisitive look, raised his eyebrows, as if to say, “Well? What did you find out?” I picked up the book from the passenger seat, that the doctor had given me during my appointment. I held it up to the windshield with the title side facing him. His expression changed from curious to disbelief to shock in the two or three seconds it took me to begin crying……again! The name of that book was, Pregnant and Lovin’ It.
We had not planned on having a child of our own. We both had been married once before. He had two sons; Ron, Jr. age 20, and Matt age 16. I had one son, Scott, age 14.  For one thing, we were too old, or so it seemed! We were dealing with teenage boys and trying to “semi” blend our sons into a family. (And as I’ve professed many times since then: “Real life is not like the Brady Bunch!!”)
But as it happened, it seemed like there was another “PLAN” for our lives that we weren’t aware of at the time.
Some things were happening to me, or not happening as it were, so I made an appointment with my gynecologist. On March 30, 1987 the doctor uttered in his charming British accent those now infamous words, “My dear, you’re pregnant!” What??? How can this be?? How did this happen?? All those ridiculous, rhetorical questions kept repeating themselves in my head.  I was still deep in thought when I sat in our driveway, gazing at Ron. I don’t believe I will ever forget that image of him. It was as if the outline of the garage was a stage and he was part of the play.
It only took me 24 hours to arrive at the final emotions: Joy & Happiness! I was thrilled with the idea that I was going to have another baby! Did I want another boy? I loved little boys! Or did I want a little girl, since our family was already full of boys? It didn’t matter, as long as the baby was healthy.
After my emotional roller coaster ride, the calendar date showed April 1st. I telephoned all my family and long-distance friends and began the conversation with these words, “This is NOT an April Fool’s Joke. I am pregnant!”
Those months of pregnancy were some of the happiest of my life. I hadn’t felt so healthy and full of energy in a long time and I ate everything in sight! Even though the technology was already available to detect the baby’s sex before it was born, Ron and I decided to be old-fashioned, wait and be surprised.
On October 20, 1987, Mark was born by a scheduled C-Section. Another Boy! We were thrilled! Ron was able to be in the operating room with me and I was so very happy that he was able to share this miracle with me. But, the nurses whisked Mark away, and soon we were told that our baby had some fluid in his lungs and wasn’t breathing properly. He had to be kept in a special area of the nursery, in something similar to an oxygen tank, with tubes attached in various places. It was heartbreaking, not being able to hold and cuddle him. Ron & I would walk down the hallway to see him, to touch his little fingers and toes, but weren’t allowed to hold him or give him a bottle. (I guess it was a blessing in disguise that I had chosen to not breast feed.)
I begged my doctor to let me stay in the hospital until Mark was well enough to come home. But insurance companies have their rules. I was forced, for lack of a better word, to leave the hospital without my newborn son.
After arriving home, all I could do was gaze at Mark’s new crib and caress all his tiny clothes. I said about a million prayers, asking for a miracle, if that’s what it was going to take to bring him home.
Astonishingly, he began to improve immediately, and we were told we could take him home on October 26th, which was only 2 days after my release. Joy set in, but also fear. What if he really wasn’t ready to be released from the hospital? What if he needed the expert care that he could only receive there? The nurses assured both Ron and me that our baby was fine and ready to go home with his adoring, devoted and doting parents! Bringing him home was one of the happiest days of our lives. We would jokingly argue over whose turn it was to hold him, and give him his bottle, even those middle of the night feedings! We both loved him so intensely.
We raised him with love and compassion. We demonstrated our spiritual faith and also displayed our faith in him. We always expressed our belief that he could accomplish anything he truly wanted in his life.
Fast forward back to graduation night:
He’s made us extremely proud and the future can only hold fabulous things for him. What a wonderful gift we received all those years ago!

"Children make you want to start life over." ~Muhammad Ali