Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Grady circa January 17, 1984

Atlanta Georgia is getting snow this week. That doesn't happen very often. In fact, the last time I remember it making headlines was in 1984.
In 1984, I was living in Atlanta Georgia. I was a single mom - recently abandoned by my husband, with a 18 month old, a three year old and found out I was preggers. hoo boy. That'll get your attention. For ONE MONTH, every Friday night before Sarah was born, I was in false labor. Now, both of my boys had been preemies and I had prayed in earnest for a full term child. The night before Sarah was born, I repented of that prayer request. Anyway, I was showing up at Grady Hospital every Friday night for a month and the same nurse/midwife was on shift each time.
Giving me the once over, she would place her hands on her hips and firmly say,
"Girl, that child ain't ready to be born yet! You go on home now and walk, walk, walk!"

Each Friday evening I would take my Braxton Hicks and go back home. The morning of her birth, I woke up just knowing in my heart that this was the day. I took a nice warm bath, shaved my legs and arms, slathered on the body lotion and even put on makeup. To cinch it, I went to the grocery store with the boys and walked, walked, walked. When I couldn't walk much more, I brought the laden buggy to the front of the store and told the cashier,
"I am sorry that I can't stay for you to ring these up. I am going to have my baby now".

Outside it was SNOWING. And I mean it was SNOWING. People were leaving their cars in the middle of the road and walking. It was SNOWING that hard.

I drove myself to The Grady and deposited my sons at the day care center. (In retrospect, I think that was pretty advanced care giving in 1984 - I had never known of a hospital to have a nursery facility before). Anyway, I dropped the boys off at the center, went up to the maternity wing. The nurse/midwife saw me walking toward her with my pitiful little satchel in my hand. With pursed lips and hands on her hips, she cocked her head while looking at me.
With the firmest voice I could summon I announced,
"I am not going home".

She straightened up, big toothy grin on her face and said,
"I do believe that this is the time".

Sarah was born less than 15 minutes later, on a gurney in a closet where the doctors kept their scrubs. You see, it was record day at The Grady. More women were giving birth and in labor than any other day in the history of the hospital. Some say it was the barometer, thermometer, the snow, the ice. However, I knew in my heart that those women could no longer obey that stern nurse and go home to walk.
Women were lying on the floor, writhing in labor. I kid you not. The delivery room was loaded. There was no room at the Inn.
I knew in my heart that I was going to have a girl. I also knew that she would keep me humble. But, I knew how to take care of little boys. They are easy to clean, everything hangs out, you know? Little boys loved their mommies and want to grow up and marry them. Little girls have a way of being a mirror of their mommies and I didn't want my daughter to grow up and make the same mistakes that I did. Isn't it grand that God always knows what is best.

Face, I know you are reading this. I put this Village People video on just for YOU. To the rest of y'all, can you dig it? I am a great success. I have a daughter that likes happy music like me, her feet dance while she cleans and we can be bop along in the car together. We laugh at the same jokes, even when we forget the punchline.
Thanks Lord. I needed that. Sarah Rachel, that is. Happy Birthday, baby girl. Today is all about YOU!

(click the music in the right column off to really enjoy this video!)


Jeannene said...


I will have to come back and read this, I have a busy morning, but really MISS YOU BAD!!!

Love your sister,

She'sSewPretty said...

Oh my goodness! First Happy Birthday to Blondie's sweet girl!! 1984 was a good year for having daughters! Mine was born in April 1984. I knew you were a survivor Blondie! What a wonderful story. You brought tears to my eyes and you also made me smile!

Jeannene said...

I am so sorry dear. May she have the best day ever, love ya!


Donna said...

What a warm and happy tribute to your "baby" girl!! They ARE very special, aren't they...Many blessed birthday wishes to her...and you sweetie...hughug

tattered 'n torn prims said...

Happy birthday to your baby girl!! Have lotsa yummy cake!! BTW..I danced and sang to very work of....Y...M...C..A ya gotta go to the Y..M..C..A aa...codeine cough syrup makes that video even better!! LOL!!

Sandra Evertson said...

Such Cute photos!
Sandra Evertson

Amy Wagner said...

I love love love this post!!!!!!! I read it 3 times I love it so much!
Happy Birthday dear sweet girl- you have the coolest Mom!!!!

SayraH said...

LoL wow Mom! Love this blog, not just because it's all about me ::wink wink:: :~)
Now that i think about it, its not all about me! Besides, you did all the work 9 months of carrying me then pushing me out! I just happened to be your penance at the end of it all :)
Love you much mom..

Donna said...

I believe that your sweet daughter is a testament to your creative talents, LOL! Love your stories!

kat449 said...

Im really thinkin you should quit the day job and pursue writing...I just love the way you honor your loved ones, make your readers, laugh, cry, ...appreciate the simple things... & especially help us think about the not so simple.

Happy Birthday to your beautiful daughter...What a knock out smile! Hugs, Kat

Dixie Redmond said...

Aw, Blondie. My 45 year old hormonal ups and downs can't handle stories like this. I'm cryin' now but they're good tears.

Bethany said...

Wow what a story and a forever memory of the day your little baby girl came into the world!! I myself have a boy that I wouldn't trade for all the gold in the world but I know those lil girl's are sure somethin special :)

Plain-n-Simple! said...

How special Blondie!!!!! My oldest daughters birthday was also on the 17th of Jan!!! Happy belated birthday to Blondies Sweet Daughter!!!!


Suzanne said...

Blondie~ Happy Birthday to your daughter...what a great Mom she has.

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

Happy Birthday to you both--it appears that it was, and still is. :-)

Cookie said...

What an awesome story Blondie - you have faced many giants in your day but always leaned on God to get you through each struggle. You are a treasure to me.

And Happy Belated Sarah!
Hope it was all that AND a box of chocolates ! :)


Doreen said...

Oh....Happy Birthday to your dear daughter Blondie. She truly does have a wonderful and special Mom. She is lovely.

Hugs to you.

Bettsi McComb said...

What a great story! You got me all blubbery! I too am blessed with a fabulous daughter who is my idea of fun! Happy Birthday to a lucky girl.

Jeri Aaron said...

Oh my! Blondie, I came to your blog via Amy's Abundant Curiosities - I have so enjoyed your story about your daughter - this is so wonderful \ happy birthday to her but also I feel it's ppropriate to tell you Happy Birth Day too!

I see you're from NC - my home too!