It rained today. We are in need of rain, so I wasn’t concerned about it. However, it is also the birthday of my first born son. At 5:45 p.m., my son was born on January 2, 1966.
I remember that day very well. I had been in labor since New Year’s Day, but I didn’t know I was in labor. I thought I was having strong cramps and thought no more about it. Accept, I wanted them to stop, because they were uncomfortable.
The next morning, the cramps were stronger and I even went to the restroom, thinking I needed to push things out. The doctors later told me I was lucky it wasn’t time for the baby to come out, because that was what he doing. He was trying to push his way into the world and I thought I needed to use the restroom. He could have been born in the toilet. Thankfully that didn’t happen.
My son was born about a half hour after I got to the hospital. This being my first pregnancy, the doctor didn’t check me because they thought I had hours to go. I was parked and left to my own devices in the hall.
Then it happened again. I needed to go to the restroom and no one was around, so I tried to sit up to get off the bed so I could find the facilities. A nurse passing by, saw me attempting to get off the gurney and came rushing over.
“Miss Rhodes, you need to stay on the gurney,” she said.
“If I don’t go to the restroom now, somebody is going to have a mess to clean up.” I said.
She helped me to lay back down and moved me into a room to check me.
“Oh! My God! The baby is coming! Whatever you do don’t get off this gurney! I’ll be right back.”
She returned with a doctor and an intern. They checked me and told the nurse to get me to the delivery room. Now!
They barely had time to prepare me for the delivery before my son pushed his way into the world.
I was so proud when they told me I had a son. I knew it would be a boy even though a boy hadn’t been born in the family for a while. Between my mother and my dad, I had eight sisters and two brothers. So, everyone was excited to have another boy in the family.
Less than a week later, I almost died because the intern left some afterbirth in me. I had started running a fever, but ignored it. I was so happy taking care of my son. I had decided to breast feed him and I loved the bond it created between us. I thought the fever would go away.
My mother knew something was wrong and by Friday, I still had the fever and was feeling worse. She insisted my brother-in-law take us both to the hospital. We arrived about eight in the morning. I was directed to a room and laid down on the bed. I either feel asleep or passed out, because the next time I opened my eyes, my mother was asleep in a chair beside my bed and I could see it was dark outside.
My mother awaken and I asked her what time was it, and she looked at the clock on the wall and I did too, and the clock said 3:30 and because it was dark outside, I knew it was 3:30 a.m.
Over the next few days, to break my still high fever, they sat me in tubs of ice. I went through that ritual a couple of times a day for two or three days before my fever started to come down.
The doctors told me I was lucky my mother had gotten me to the hospital when she did. Another day or two later and I would have been dead. They had to perform a D and C to get out all the afterbirth tissue left behind. It had set up an infection in my uterus. Thank God for mothers!
My son was killed in a car accident, but he was part of my life for twenty-three years and he was a blessing to me and everyone whose life he touched. He served five years in the military and had planned on making it a career. I am so proud to have been his mother.
I think of him all the time, especially when I see someone who resembles him or someone doing something that he did or like today, his birthday, he’s been on my mind all day. Therefore, I am writing about him. I was hoping it would ease the pain of his loss. It helps a little and I must remember, even though he is no longer present with me, he lives in my heart and the heart of all those who loved him.
Rest in peace, my son. We will be re-united again someday.
Time for me to stop. I could go on forever talking about my son. What helped me get through his loss, was and still is the belief I will see him again someday and I had three other sons who needed me to be strong for them. Maybe I will write about them one day. I am a lucky woman. I had sons and I am proud of them.
Until next time, take care. lw