Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Womb...or Miracle Baby

My memory is like a steel trap. Honestly, it is not an uncommon thing for me to bring up something from the past to others, and have them say that I would be the only person in the world to remember that. I remember things that are important: birthdays, anniversaries, and appointments. There are also the nonessential things that I remember, as people have called me the king of useless knowledge. How many kids read Trivial Pursuit cards and trivia books just to learn random things? So, sure, I remember useless crap, as well: all the Little League teams I played for, the name of our old neighbor’s German shepherd, and losing my first tooth during a karate class on a night that my father took us to watch the Hartford Whalers. My memory is so good, and the things I remember are so random that my siblings joke that I can even remember the womb.
Despite the prowess of my memory, I can’t remember who actually came up with that comment. It could have been Ernie or Sara. What I do remember is that the womb came up while I was getting fat…errrrr at college. While this was very clever, I do not, in fact, remember the womb. I’m sure it was warm and the were whooshing sounds all the time from the amniotic fluid rushing by my developing ears. Come to think of it, there is a safe bet that I spent a lot of time upside down, too.
My birth, however, was far from ordinary or simple. I have teased my parents in the past, saying I was an accident. My delivery date was supposed to be in August, and that would put my conception at some point around the middle of October. I doubt my parents were celebrating Columbus Day or Canada’s Thanksgiving.
Despite this August due date, I was born prematurely in July. On July 11, 1980, I was born. I was the seven-eleven kid. You would figure I would have luck, but as I’ve found out since turning twenty-one, I am not a good craps player.
While I can’t personally tell you a first-hand account of my birth, there are certainly stories to be told regarding it. My parents had already had one son, my brother, who, up until he was about fifteen, was always called Ernie the Third by the rest of the family. He was a bicentennial baby, born in May of 1976. A few years later, my mother was pregnant again, but lost the baby, Matthew, in birth.
I can only assume that my parents were cautious afterwards. This is part of why I actually think that I may have been an accident. Still, on New Years 1980, my mother was not sipping champagne. Jimmy Carter was president running for reelection, but would lose to Ronald Regan, the former actor. A few years later, Regan told Gorbachev to “Tear down this wall!” Also in around that time, my parents moved to Seymour, CT, the town that I grew up in, and where I currently work.
When the school year ended that June, I imagine that my mother was pretty round. The year didn’t end a moment too soon, as I was coming, and nobody knew. My mother was at the hospital by the end of the month.
I can only imagine what my parents were thinking at this time. A situation like this would freak out any couple. With what my parents had gone through with the previous pregnancy, how much could this have freaked them out? I am not going to attempt to fathom it, and everyone should hope they never have to.
To make matters worse, the unexpected complications of my birth led to my mother hemorrhaging. From that point, the situation only worsened, and the outlook appeared bleak. My parents are faithful, wonderful people. However, after Matthew, I cannot imagine how my father handled being told that his wife, baby, or both could die. This is the point of the story where I imagine the veins of my father’s neck bulging out, as his face got red, and he told the doctors that they needed to get their act together and save us both. Adrenaline was already running high with my dad, but that is another, funnier, story. If it were me, I would probably have flipped. I’m sure he did inside, but instead prayed on it.
In the end, the doctors delivered me by c-section. I was born shortly after 8:00 A.M. on a Friday, at Griffen Memorial Hospital in Derby, CT. At the time, nobody knew that my future wife was born just twenty-eight and a half hours earlier at Hartford Hospital.
Mom and I both made it, a little worse for the wear. Sure, I grew up to be a pain in the ass, but can anything else be expected from someone that started out sucking the very life from his parents. This is a rough patch of my history. Still, if someone were to ask me, I would have to say that I am a miracle baby…not just a mistake, but a miracle, too. Right now, as you read this, you cannot deny the jealousy you have of me that you were not a miracle, too.

No comments: