27 Years Ago…Days of December #2



Kubota Garden 11.11.12 (31)

As I rounded the corner at the Kubota Garden recently this little gem of a plant was waiting for me. The red berries and the deep green leaves… well they just struck my heart.  You see…my two favorite colors are you guessed it…green and red.

But it wasn’t just the colors but what they represent to me. The Christmas season which takes me to this time in my mind when I was 23.

A small two bedroom apartment on Avocado Drive in El Cajon, CA. My daughter was 4 and my son 2. Joe and I had put up a Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving and decorated the place. On Sunday, the 1st of December in 1985 we went to the First Assembly of God on Pepper Drive, then off to our favorite Chinese restaurant for lunch. Home by 1:30 and the kids down for a nap after I changed all of the bedding.

I gathered up every stitch of laundry and went to the laundromat. I think I used 7 machines at once and made others kind of angry but I had an agenda and nobody got in my way. After I got home I began to cook…and cook I did…lasagna, casseroles, all kinds of breakfast food, rice, stir fry. The apartment smelled so wonderful and confusing and by 6 p.m. there was all kinds of food in the freezer, dinner on the table, floors swept and mopped, carpet vacuumed and bathroom spic n span.

We made it to the 7 p.m. service, barely. and visited with the Pastor and his family after service.

By 11 p.m. everyone was tucked snugly in bed and sound asleep. 4 a.m. on the nose I woke with the most incredible leg cramps, both legs and I could not walk them off. Only having this happen to me twice before you would think it an oddity but I knew right then….I was in labor. I woke Joe… it was time, this baby was bigger that the other 2 and the Dr said…get in ASAP when it happens.

Joe called Troy and Tracey who were there in less than 15 minutes to pick up the two older kids and then off we went to Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, just minutes away. Dr Naponic was 5 minutes behind my admit time and almost got to my room before I did. He sat at my side talking to me…explaining all he was going to do. As my 5th contraction hit I was in tears and the anesthesiologist could not get there fast enough. Time seemed to slow immensely.

About 8:45 a.m. I overheard Dr Naponic say…”This one is going to be at least a pound bigger than the last.”

“Dear God NOOOOOOOOOOO. Mike was 8 lbs 6 ozs…NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Dr.Naponic??? Can you just knock me out and take this one C-section, PLEASE?????”  Panic spoke with a voice similar to mine.

The Dr. brushed my hair away from my forehead, looked down at me and smiled “Not now, this one is in the birth canal but we are going to give you an epidural.”

I thought…Ohhhh that sounds wonderful, I have not had one with my two previous childbirths but I hear they are awesome!!!

As time drew near to have this done the Anesthesiologist said… no time for that… I am going to do a spinal.

My ears perked up, I swear, like a dog’s would. It sounded scary. They waited until I was in a full blown contraction and sat me up… did you hear me?? SAT. ME . UP!!!! Then they had the audacity to tell me to arch my back forward like a cat. While a 9-1/2 lb baby was bearing down in my birth canal.

My mouth opened as Tourette’s took over and cursing began… I was into the “fu” when all pain ceased, all feeling from the waist down.

I was afraid I was going to fall backwards while that needle was in my back and if I had I could not have stopped myself. With Joe on one side and the Dr on the other I was eased onto the bed and for the first time since the OB tour I was able to see how pretty the birthing room was.

As I laid there I could not see over my enormous belly to see what was going on and to this day I still don’t know how that child was born without me pushing. The only inkling that my beautiful son had been born was the sudden “WHOOOSH” of my belly dropping then the cries of a 9 lb 5.5 oz baby boy…December 2, 1985.

My life, forever changed by one chubby baby… TeeJ, thank you for pushing my buttons, and keeping me on my toes..and for wooden spoon sword fights…and for being a blessing in my life.


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