“No, she’s perfect.”

A month after my 21st birthday I finally got my present. Steve had gotten off his shift as a Virginia state trooper on August 29th and was settling in for the night.
I put on my yellow nightgown and went to pee for the one thousandth time that day. I was also really tired from cleaning house all day (nesting perhaps). Well, the pee just didn’t want to stop- a stinking annoying trickle. That’s all it was because this baby wasn’t due until September 9th and the doctor had just told me THAT day that it was going to be awhile longer….ugh.
So, I figured I might call my neighbor, Nancy DeMasters the OB nurse, and ask her what she thought. “Nancy, I can’t stop peeing!” Laughing at my naivety she said, “child, call your doctor, you gonna have a baby!” “But I feel fine!” “Call your doctor.” So I did. It was about 11 pm August 29.
My doctor called me back. He sounded like he had been asleep for hours. I told him my story and he said, “Go to the hospital”. But, I feel fine!” I whined. “Just go to the hospital!” Ok. But Steve had to wash his hair. What!! By the time he finished washing his hair I was no longer saying, “I feel fine”. I was feeling pain! Step on it Trooper Childress. He did not drive fast enough for me. I was sure this baby was gonna come out in the car! It was 11:30pm.
We got to Virginia baptist hospital and walked right into labor and delivery. The nurses looked at us like we were crazy and I felt crazy. “Can I help you?” one of the nurses said. Well, duh. I then squeaked out, “I think I might be having a baby”. Well, that got their attention pretty quick. By this time I was still peeing a lot! That stopped when the damn broke and the nurse said, “well, I guess you are staying now”. I was like “okay- get it out!” It was now 1am August 30th.
For the next couple of hours Steve thought he was a real funny boy, a real comedian. No, you are NOT funny. Not one bit! “Having fun?” He grinned. “I hate you.” Pretty sure I said that. It was now 3am.
The nurse came in to check my progress and I remember saying, “I change my mind- I don’t want to do this right now!” “Too late little girl…. It’s time to push”. No problem there my body wanted that thing out of there. We had no idea what this live creature was…girl, boy?? Never had a preference. I will admit my daddy wanted a boy. He had had five trips to the hospital for babies and all five were girls! So, I might have thought about a boy, but really didn’t care. It is now 4:30am.
The nurse leaves and it’s just me and Trooper Childress. I’m just a pushing and he’s yelling at me “breathe!!” “I hate you!” He’s freaking out because he sees a head! “It’s got hair!” “Call the nurse, call the nurse” he all but shouted. I didn’t care who caught this baby! The nurse came in and Steve ran out! Chicken. “I need to call people” he said as he ran out of the room. I didn’t care if a marching band came in at that point. But then my world got complicated- not really. The nurse said, “stop pushing, the doctor is not here yet”. What! I can’t STOP pushing. I did try. So he flew in and I think I said something sassy. It was 4:40am.
Push! Splash! What was that? I actually felt so much relief that I forgot why I was there! Oh, I had a baby! Steve was still MIA. Wow, I had a baby! “It’s a GIRL!” The doctor announced. “My daddy will be so dissappointed” was my first words and then I looked at her. She was twisting her head as far around as she could listening and looking for my voice. I was in love. It was 4:52am. I told the nurse not to tell Steve. I wanted him to suffer a little longer for running out!
They cleaned, measured and weighed my 7 pound 7 oz 21 1/2 ” baby girl, wrapped her in a nondescript blanket and took us back to the room. Steve cracked open the door and dang, he looked worse than me! Poor thing, it was harder waiting than doing.
He walks up to his new baby and asked “what is it?” I said, and I swear I did say, “it’s a girl, isn’t she ugly?” She had that birth canal flat head and was all red. Her daddy had unwrapped the blanket and was touching her little fingers and toes and said, “no, she’s perfect”. A thus, the daddy/daughter bond began. This was the very best moment of my life, the best event in my life. The best belated birthday gift anyone could ever ask for…ever. Happy 34th birthday to my baby girl…Ashely Nichole Childress. I love you.

Happy birthday!

Daddy’s girl

Gave her away this day….sorta!

Always my girl.

Now Ashley- get me one of these!

Author: Linda Hamlett Childress

Growing up on a tobacco farm in the 70’s gave me a strong work ethic that I sometimes resent! My list of things I’ve learned and done is long (farming; dentistry; makeup; crafting; sewing; gardening; writing; painting) and it’s time to share with you. Join me on my blogging adventures!!