February 12, 1984 – This was the date doctors had given Ed and me for the birth of our first child. Having been married 12 years and just a year before been told we would probably never have children of our own, we were awaiting the birth of our first child.
February 12th was a beautiful winter day; bright and sunny. This Sunday was no different than any other in our nearly 12 years of marriage. We arose at our usually time and prepared to go to church. As I sang in the choir that morning, our baby seemed to move more than usual and I had feelings I had not experienced before. (In hind sight, contractions) They continued throughout the day, but otherwise the day went as usual. After the evening service Papaw and Ed had a meeting after church, so I went home with Memaw to wait for Ed to pick me up on his way home. Memaw and I had our usual after church snacks that included Vienna sausages, pickles, crackers, cheese and an assortment of other snacks. At this point in my pregnancy, I ate most anything. Everything looked and tasted good.
After Ed arrived we stayed a while longer and went home around midnight. I had already finished my last day of work until after the baby’s birth, so I planned to sleep late the next morning. This was not to be. As I sat down on the bed to remove my shoes, my water broke - time to call the doctor. As we called the doctor we were told to go as soon as possible to the hospital to be checked out. Due to my age I was considered a high risk pregnancy and my doctors wanted me at the hospital. After I arrived it was determined that I was in active labor, but had not dilated so I was put in a room to be watched. One of the first questions that I was asked was what had I eaten in the last 24 hours. I had to remember all of the things I had eaten at Mamaw’s that evening. Much of which came back up before the night was over.
During a previous visited one of the doctors in my group had suggested that I would need to have a C-section. (He was the only one who had ever said that.) Because of that I had become set on not having a C-Section delivery. Throughout the next few hours I napped when I could and had contractions off and on with no regularity and little dilation. About 7:00 am the doctor decided that he would go ahead and give me the epidural to see if my contractions would become regular and I would dilate. Even after the epidural I continued to have irregular contraction only now I could not feel them. Ed monitored our baby’s heartbeat and well as my vitals as I continued to doze. Ed, being the curious sort, wanted to know everything that was happening. Therefore, it was no surprise to him when Dr. Blank rushed into my room at 9:00 am saying that the baby’s heart rate had dropped and he would be doing a C-Section immediately. I was quickly rushed to an ER and at 9:05 our precious baby girl made her appearance into the world and into her lives. She was beautiful and Ed & I were delighted with this wonderful girl from God.
Although we had waited 12 years for the gift, we were not prepared with a name for a baby girl. Our families had many male children, but few girls. We assumed our first child would be a boy. Being a teacher there were many girl names that were OFF of my list of possible girl names. Emily Elizabeth was my preferred name for a girl - Clifford, the Big Red Dog, being one of my all-time favorite children’s books. For that same reason Ed preferred not to name her Emily Elizabeth. By Wednesday we had decided to name her Emily – a family name, my great aunt. It wasn’t until Friday when we were told we had to have the birth certificate filled out by noon that we finally decided that Elizabeth (also a family name – Memaw’s name) would be her middle name. On Saturday, February 18th we took our beautiful daughter home with us. For 30 years we have treasured that marvelous gift from God.
~Shared by Teresa C. (My Mom :) )