At the end of March, our oldest son celebrated his birthday. This sent me back in time, remembering when he was born.
It was early 1975. Bob and I were anxiously awaiting the birth of our baby, due to arrive on Valentine's Day. Everything seemed to be progressing toward a normal birth. Back then, we could only guess if we would have a boy or a girl.
The pregnancy had been on schedule. I had felt the baby move when the books said I would. I hardly had any morning sickness at all, though I did have crazy cravings.
As the end date approached, my doctor thought our baby might be early by a week or two. Well, that didn't happen — for a while he even thought I was going to have twins.
When relatives surprised me with a baby shower two weeks before my due date, I wasn't exactly thrilled. I felt huge and wanted to hide from the world, not be the center of attention at a party.
To top it off, that morning I had clipped a mole by my hairline when combing my hair and had a bandage plastered to my head. No, I was in no mood for the party, but I smiled and pretended I was. Of course, all the gifts were a great addition to our baby needs.
Valentine's Day came and passed. Still no baby.
Two more weeks and the doctor said to go to the hospital to have labor induced. I thought, "Finally!"
Everything was ready at home. Bob and I went off to Silvercross Hospital in Joliet, IL, expecting to come home with a brand new baby. I was prepped for the birth and given drugs to get labor rolling. Labor started. Hours passed. It turned out it wasn't a true labor.
We were sent home! More time passed.
I had tests that said the baby was fine and could come any day. So we waited and waited. In another two weeks, they brought me back into the hospital for another try.
This time when labor did not progress, they X-rayed my belly and calculated the size of the baby. Everything was said to be normal. The baby looked like it was ready to be born. "Any day now," was what they kept saying over and over.
I was sent home again. Now I really didn't want to see or talk to anyone. I was absolutely HUGE. When friends and family saw me, all they could say was, "Are you still pregnant?" or "You've had to have had that baby by now" — like I was somehow holding it in to keep it all to myself.
I became as active as possible, trying to get things moving. I even took our snowmobile out across the pasture, bumping along, thinking that would do the trick — it didn't.
I finally went into labor early in the morning while doing laundry March 26. Really, March 26!
And don't tell me I couldn't be pregnant that long. I was. There was no mistake or miscalculations.
Another ride to the hospital. If past trips were any indication of what to expect, we had plenty of time — enough for a stop at the grocery store so Bob could buy snacks for himself. I mean, we'd spent hours at the hospital already. Bob wasn't going to take any chance at being hungry this trip.
Hours passed. At least this time the labor pains were real. But things didn't progress in the usual way either. Multiple nurses and doctors examined me through the afternoon. The baby still didn't want to be born. It was cross-ways — I think coming into the world was scary for it. My baby wanted to stay inside where it was nice and cozy.
I don't remember the exact timing, but it was probably around nine that evening that the doctors put their heads together and decided to do an emergency Caesarean. We weren't happy that Bob had to wait in the waiting room. Eventually he witnessed the births of baby #3 and #4, here in Wisconsin, but not the first two.
Anyway, Robert James Manzke Jr. arrived a little after ten that night. He was 9 pounds and 11 ounces.
I had some extra medical issues and ended up staying a bit longer in the hospital, but otherwise things went well. We finally had our bouncing baby boy.
Another point about me having an extra-long gestation period, at four weeks old Robby had two teeth. That didn't happen to any of our other babies, even after the last two took their time arriving.
Happy Birthday, Rob.
FYI: My books can be found on Amazon.com. A new release of another romance novel, "When the Spotlight Fades," is in paperback and on Kindle. You can also purchase any of my books directly from me, and I'll autograph them for you. Ten dollars each, plus shipping.
Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; Sunnybook@aol.com; www.susanmanzke.net;http://www.facebook.com/susan.manzke