It was fall. Not the warm, fuzzy colorful autumn, but the frozen dark, dreary part of fall that you would expect to precede winter. The wind was blustering in the night, whistling through the trees as they gave up their leaves.
Inside she threw a sweater over her shoulders trying not to use the heat in the small apartment. She wiped the frosty webs off the pane of the window as she peered out into the harrowing night. “Hurry, please hurry”, she whispered, watching her breath disappear into the air. It wasn’t pain she felt, just a discomfort that was unexplainable. She just wanted him home, her rock, her strength. He would make her forget the uneasiness she felt.
Despite her faith in him, even he, couldn’t erase her anxiety. What was it she was feeling? This wasn’t at all how people described it, actually it wasn’t possible. This wasn’t even supposed to be happening for another month. Why now? Several times through the night she woke up with a jolt, not really understanding what it was that jostled her from her sleep. One o’clock, two fifteen, three o’clock, she fell into a deep sleep. She awoke in a fright. Something was wrong. Her hands caught the moistness in the bed and retracted quickly. She screamed his name.
He bolted out of the bed , eyes wide with disbelief. “No! It can’t be! There’s no way!” He struggled to put his pants on and threw her a coat simultaneously. “ It can’t be. What shall we do? “ Somehow at this moment in his panic, she became calm “We just have to go now, it will be okay. I know it will be okay.”
The car was cold, it wasn’t used to the cold weather that hit so suddenly. He put his hand over the seat, looking back to see his young wife waiting. He took a deep breath, summoning courage to support her through this unimaginable experience. She looked hazy through the icy windshield, but she was still beautiful .
No phone! No way to contact the world outside, yet it was vital to make that connection. There was a diner ahead, a phone. She sat outside in the car, in the blizzard, on that October morning while her husband sat warmly at the counter having a cup of coffee. “Hurry”, she pleaded silently, “Please hurry.”
They were back on the road trying to find the way. He had lived there most of his life, yet it seemed so foreign in the blackness of the night with the swirling snow filling up every dark space. Where were they? Each road seemed the same, were they going in circles? She held onto her burden tightly praying they would make it in time. “No, don’t you see, that was the way.” He hit the steering wheel with frustration and fear, fear that they wouldn’t make it in time. At that moment she said “It’s too late, it’s too late” With that declaration she gave up. He saw her body become tense with her feet planted firmly on the floor and staring straight ahead. He was still driving as this was occurring. He grabbed at the air and she grabbed the steering wheel guiding them toward the corner of Pierce and Colfax. He put on the brakes, turned off the ignition. They both sighed a sigh of momentary relief.
Joy filled the air in that little 1946 Ford Coupe. Little did they realize they would become parents in this car, in this blizzard, on this October morning. They were so naïve they didn’t know what to do after they swatted the little bottom of their dear little bundle. She took off her coat and wrapped the baby up. She was perfect, even though she was early, she was perfect. Ten fingers, ten toes, lots of black hair, a pert little turned up nose, chubby cheeks, PERFECT! The joy was full, complete, audible and short!
All of the sudden the coldness pulled them out of their reverie. They still needed to find the hospital, fast! She saw one ahead, “Over there dear. Daddy!” He drove into the driveway as quickly as the mounds of snow would allow. He ran into the hospital sputtering “My wife just had a baby, she’s in the car”. The nurse, who looked like a nurse even though she was wearing a housecoat said “You can’t bring her in here this is a Tuberculosis Hospital. “A tb hospital? I can’t bring her in here. Where is the Beth Israel hospital ”, he shouted doing an about face. They were only a few blocks off course so he was shortly repeating to the Emergency nurses the same rant, “My wife just had a baby, they’re in the car”. The nurse followed him with some chagrin, but quickly changed her attitude upon seeing the new mother and her wrapped bundle. “She did have a baby! There is a baby! “ They ran back into the hospital the father and the nurse. She kept giving him gauze that he kept stuffing into his pockets, more guaze and more guaze. “What are you going to do with those scissors? She’s cold, please hurry. The baby has no clothes on. Hurry!” Panicked he led the little parade to the car.
The new mommy felt fine in spite of her husbands panic. She was to learn in future births and life’s occasions that he would carry the emotion and she would be the one to remain calm. She handed her little baby to the nurse as she climbed onto the gurney. After giving birth to her first child, she knew that she began her life’s work, being a Mom.
She looked around as the snow danced in bright little flakes around her, taking a deep breath she thought about how a dark blustery October morning, gave way to a beautiful, joyous surprise.