A blizzard in fact. Almost nine months pregnant, I had protested loudly "No no no! Not now! Don't go!" He assured me he'd be back before the baby came. Whatever wild hair made him decide that now was a good time to go to California to pick up the sporty little car he had left there with friends when we had moved to Montana was beyond my capacity to comprehend.
And now it was the 8th.of April, my due date, and our hero was headed home, somewhere between California and Montana....
In the dark....
In a blizzard....Stop for a little bad weather? Nonsense! He was a man, not a pansy! Real men stick their heads out the window if they can't see through the windshield....and keep going.
And he had been right. There was no baby yet. Even before he was born, our Chuk E Boy was a gentleman.
I waddled from door to window to kitchen to bedroom.....No matter what they say about tall women carrying better, at nine months you're a duck, lacking only the quack. Where was he? Shouldn't he be home by now?
I dozed off for a while, then woke with a start. The garage door? Surely I'd heard it opening? I peered out the window but all was dark, nobody there. Then the phone rang.
It was a nurse at the hospital. In a gentle, soothing voice she told me I shouldn't panic, they had my husband, he'd had an accident, but he was going to be alright.
I have no idea how I got to the hospital.....Did I drive? Did someone else drive me? What did I do with Lily? She was two and a half at the time. I know I didn't leave her alone. I must have taken her to a neighbour.....
I only remember waddling through the hospital entrance, and seeing the OC being wheeled somewhere on a stretcher. He had bits of glass sticking out of his face. He didn't look his best.
He had gone off the highway in the middle of nowhere, with zero visibility, in the blizzard. Still driving when any sane person would have pulled off somewhere and waited it out. Probably read too many superhero comic books as a child.
On the 12th. April I woke up at 6:30 a.m.to the realization that Oh boy! I was in labour! And how. It had been moving along quietly while I slept and now it was getting serious. The plan was to call our friend, Tom, to come and get me, since the OC had broken a few toes which were now held together with steel pins and plaster of Paris, rendering driving impossible, not to mention unwise. Tom 's wife was also due around the same time so this was a practice run for him. It was a bumpy and wild ride to the hospital with contractions coming close together and poor Tom, who was a Montana boy, born and bred, who only took off his cowboy hat and cowboy boots to sleep, and had doubtless seen plenty of calves born, begging me to hold on; he didn't want to deliver any babies in his old rattletrap of a car and could I please just wait a few more minutes....
At the hospital it seemed to me the most comfortable place to be was on all fours, on the floor, dignity be damned. The nurses were having none of that though, all bustle and business and deaf to my pleas. They were determined that no babies would be born on floors, no matter how comfortable it was down there for mothers.
At around 7:30 a.m.the doctor announced that we had a beautiful baby boy. A little brother for Lily. I remember the euphoria, and sunshine streaming in the window and the mountains visible off on the horizon.....Believe it or not, there was a window in the delivery room, open to let in the sunshine and the view of the mountains ---only in Montana!
Since then there have been thirty seven April 12ths.and lots of water under the bridge.
It was often said of my dad that "He was one of Nature's Gentlemen." Is it too outlandish to imagine that one's son could be the reincarnation of one's father? He certainly is also "one of Nature's Gentlemen." My dad died on April 8th [my due date] the year before this son was born....
Food for thought or at least speculation! Happy Birthday Chuk E Boy!