Monday, June 20, 2011

Slice of Life - Moving Day (Cory's Birthday)

Cory and Me. He is 5 months old.

Two grandmas, Mary and Goldia. 1971

Grandma Collier and Cory

Me and Leanis, wedding, Feb. 5, 1970

This is a Slice of Life post. Slice of Life is a weekly prompt to encourage writers to tell personal history stories. Click on the link to participate.
In the fall of 1971 I was busy packing our one-bedroom apartment to move. My husband was transferring to a railroad job in his hometown in Missouri. I met Leanis in Florida while he was in the Air Force Base but that is another story. Anyway, when he got out of the Air Force, my mother and Aunt Nellie and I drove to Arkansas where he had a railroad job waiting for him so we could be married.
We lived in Arkansas for a year before my husband was able to transfer to his hometown in Missouri. I was a little worried about moving since I was 8 1/2 months pregnant, but we were going anyway. I spent the day filling boxes and I sorted out all the laundry in piles in the bedroom so we could go to the laundromat when he got paid the next day. We packed until late in the night when we decided to take a break and watch a little TV. I made a late dinner of fried potatoes and onions.
I was a little uncomfortable. I had been having occasional cramps off and on for days. I told my husband I was going to call the doctor the next day and ask for a laxative. That was when my water broke. My husband was in a panic but I was calm. I had heard stories about how long it took first babies to be born. I looked through my closet for something to wear to the hospital while Leanis begged me to hurry. On the way down the steps the first strong contraction hit and I wondered if I had waited too long.
The car ride was stressful. I was shaking like a leaf. We raced to the hospital and I was rolling down the hall in a wheelchair before I knew it. I looked at the big clock. It was 12:40 a.m.They led me to a cold little room with a stainless steel table and had me change to a hospital gown. I was shaking uncontrollably and the contractions were really hurting. I began to get scared. I got on the cold table and a nurse came in. I heard her say, "She's 10" which I now know means I was fully dilated and ready to give birth. I had high blood pressure and it was 1971 so the nurse asked me if I was ready to go to sleep. I drifted off in the middle of a painful contraction.

I woke slowly the next morning in a sunny hospital room. I was confused. We didn't have any money but (thank God) we did have good railroad medical insurance. I had not packed a bag. I didn't know where my husband was and I didn't know anyone else very well. My mother was in Florida and had no idea what had happened.

A nurse came in and there was Cory looking kind of wrinkled and red. I had no idea what to do since I had never been around babies. They handed him to me and he gave me a startled look. I felt a wave of love and kinship. Neither of us knew what to do but we would figure it out together. My husband came in with a suitcase and told me he had called my mother.

So, that was the moving day that turned into Cory's birthday. I was really surprised when I looked at the hospital bracelet on his wrist. Cory was born at 1:20 a.m. only 40 minutes from the time I arrived at the hospital. I'm glad there wasn't a train blocking the way to the hospital in that little railroad town.


  1. What an exciting move, thanks for visiting my blog through Slice of Life. I will write about one of our moves sometime this week!

  2. Oh my, what a wild time. You were brave. My mom was out with me for the three days it took me to get here. Crazy!

  3. Great story! My babies always gave me p-l-e-n-t-y of time to get to the hospital.