Dickens penned the line, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . ." in his book A Tale of Two Cities in 1859. For me, the phrase defined the year 2005.
Early in the year, the housing market skyrocketed in our city. Recognizing an opportunity, we decided to sell our home and move to a new town so my husband could start university. Wow, that is a short sentence to describe a lot of stuff. (It reminds me of foreign movies when the actor says one syllable and the sub-titles display a translated
paragraph.) The only way we could afford to go to school was to have no mortgage and no rent. That meant we had some work to do on our current house so it could sell as high as possible.
Also, I was pregnant with Pod number four.
I don't know that I've ever worked so hard in all my life. I mudded and taped and painted and weeded. I washed and mowed and lugged the Rug Doctor around. We traveled to our new hometown and put an offer on a little 1907 bungalow, then went home and put our house on the market. It sold. We loaded a ton of crap on a U-Haul then drove 550 miles to unload it. Because of work obligations, my husband stayed with me for two days, then left me to unpack. . . . with three children and my full womb.
But, then, after three weeks, we left our new, organized, cleaned house and went to live with my mother to wait for the baby. Did I just hear you sigh with relief? Yeah.
Except, we decided to remodel her bathroom.
Let's just say that by the time November 17th rolled around, I was ready to stop. I crawled into bed late; 12:30 am bone tired. I was just asleep when I felt an unmistakable "pop" in my uterus. My eyes flew open. It was 1 am. Time to have a baby.
My labors are traditionally fast and furious so I expected this to be the same. I put on my dad's biggest, warmest coat (that amniotic fluid doesn't stop producing even when the membrane is ruptured so there is a lot of water) and packed my awkward body into the car. The hospital was less than 10 minutes away, so I knew we would make it in time.
Cue sirens, lights. My husband swears then pulls to the right side of the road. ARE YOU KIDDING? This only happens in the movies! No, it happened to me. Seems we have an out headlight. The officer quickly got the picture and let us hurry on our way. Just to make sure I was completely frazzled, a train whistle blew. Floor It!! We squeaked through, barely under the falling arms.
When I arrived at the hospital, I was an emotional wreck. My blood pressure was high, I felt close to panicking about the delivery. After the highly charged delivery of my last baby and the struggle of the previous several months, I was wound pretty tight.
I was not in labor. I was relieved.
Everyone left. My husband turned off all of the lights except the low-wattage bedside lamp. I slept off and on. Our Father knows what we need. He knew I needed that quiet peace. My shoulders relaxed, my pulse slowed, my heart settled. With my good husband, my favorite friend, by my side, I got my head in the right place. At 5 am, the nurse came in and told me that if I didn't get things going, she was going to get things going for me. I was ready. I walked the halls and began having contractions. They came, just like they are supposed too: one at a time.
I walked until I couldn't walk. I took to my bed and, after the usual pains of childbirth, delivered our fourth baby. A girl. She hardly cried and settled right down after I pulled her up to me. This gift, straight from heaven, witnessed that my Father was aware of me and would help me through what I couldn't do on my own.
This beautiful child still brings me peace. She, of all of my lot, reminds me of my God--He sent her to me in my need and as she wraps her chubby, three-year-old arms around me, I know she is my gift; my gift of peace.
Happy Birthday, darling child.