The Day I Was Born
As I go into the final month of my 46th year with exciting plans of publishing Tiger Drive in my 47th year, I can’t help but share a portion of my mom’s memoirs about how we bonded when I was born (and my birth also sums up our family life as well). In Tiger Drive, the daughter, Carrie, wonders if she and her mom, Janice, missed this important window of bonding. Read the below if you’d like to find out how my mom and I managed.
Teri was born Saturday, November 14, 1970. We went to the hospital on Friday, the 13th. I was so glad once I knew she wasn’t going to be born until after midnight.
A couple of weeks before, I went to the hospital and pre-registered, which you had to do if you wanted your baby with you in your hospital room after she was born. Times were finally changing, and this would be the first time I’d have my newborn in arms reach. Well, it’s a good thing I did pre-register because low and behold, Dick was on a runner* that weekend and all he did was drop me off at the hospital once my water broke. So I had everything taken care of—it was just like I was a single parent. Anyway, she was born, and I took her to the room with me and put her in the bassinet. And it was so nice to know that I had the baby with me except for one thing. She wouldn’t quit crying.
There was nothing I could do to make her happy. I could hold her. I could nurse her. I could try to burp her. But she was just going to cry no matter what. So finally, on Sunday, I had to call and ask the nurse to take her to the nursery so I could get a couple of hours of sleep. When I woke up and got her back, I thought, That’s it. You won’t be going back to the nursery. When I get you home, there will be no nursery to send you to so we will just have to get used to each other. And we did. I guess we bonded after that because I had no more troubles with her.
Dick came to take us home. Now, this is a funny story to me. I know he got money from his mother, which he did more often than I knew. I didn’t even care. He could have robbed a bank as far as I was concerned as long as there was money to pay the rent and feed my kids. But anyhow, he stopped at the bank on our way home. I don’t remember the details really, but the account was in my name, and his name wasn’t on the account, and he went into the bank to do something, and when he came out, he gave me twenty-five dollars, so I stuck it in my purse not knowing what his plans were. Well, he got us home and into the house, and I laid the baby down. And low and behold, off he went running out the back door. I followed him and I said, “Where and the heck are you going Dick Case?”
He was jumping over our chain-link fence. He wanted to get away from the house and me. But the funny part is, as he jumped over the fence, I saw something drop out of his pocket. So I went to the fence and there lay his wallet. I looked in there, and I took another fifty dollars out. I thought, I’ll be damned if I’m going to be the one to go hungry, or my kids go hungry. I figured then that Dick was still on a good runner. He wasn’t working so I’d probably not see him for four or five days, and I might as well as enjoy my life as best I could with the new baby**.
Also, Dick had made up his mind if we had a girl, she would be named Sherri. I didn’t like the name. I had my reasons for that. So anyhow when the birth certificate came around, I automatically named her Teri Lynn***, the name I had picked out. He never argued with me about that, and I don’t even know if he realized it until it was too late. That’s how she came into the world.
She was such another pretty, little, dark-haired baby girl. As she would ask when she was three years old, “Am I bootiful, Mommy? Am I bootiful? Somebody on the street said I was bootiful.” She was a beautiful child. She’ll always be my bootiful child.
Thank you for being you and joining me here today. What’s your birth story? Email me 🙂
*Runner = a non-stop consumption of alcohol lasting anywhere from two to fourteen days
**And five other kids ranging from fifteen months to sixteen years old.
***If you’d like to know why my choice of name could have resulted in argument, read this: It’s All in the Name
Not subscribed, but want to be? Click here