It has been a hot dry summer so far in Lansing, MI and I am loving it. The children are out of school and I just realized that Amir will be 5 and will be in school all day. I’m looking forward to spending more time on the newspaper. It seems like I just had him yesterday.
It was July 19, 2002 and it was so hot that day. It was the end of the newspaper delivery week. I had to go to The Boarshead Theatre for, my oldest son (who was 10 at the time), Gianni’s school presentation for Young People’s College. He had taken a class in Latin and was going to put on a show so I had to be there. I could hardly move but my priority was to finish delivering the newspaper. Please note that I also had to load a stroller in the car because Anissa was 15 months old. She was a chunky baby too and loved to eat.
I recall sitting in the Boarshead thinking about how hot it was. I am not one of those parents who will not say that the presentation was not boring.
But as most of the parents who paid their hard earned money I was there to watch my son wrapped in a toga talk about Latin. Dr. Bell who still teaches at Eastern High School was extra excited about his young prodigies. He was wrapped in a toga too but he had a crown of leaves upon his head. I am sure that visions of future doctors or linguistic professors danced in his head.
I remembered the sweat pouring off of my head and realizing that I just wasn’t feeling right. I was so happy when the event was over. I could barely get out of my chair and walk down the steps carrying my own weight let alone my daughter’s. We mothers do it though. Through thick and thin we are there to support our children mentally and physically.
Hey, no offense to the men but I give them no extra kudos when they "babysit" and other people are excited about it. Excuse me, they are supposed to take care of their children. Men deserve no extra rewards for cooking, cleaning, mowing the lawn or any other chore. Life is about sharing responsibility. Hey they helped you create children and they didn’t have to carry them in their tummies for 9 months.
On the way out of the Boarshead Theatre, I ran into Sharon Banks, former Superintendent of the Lansing School District. I must digress for a moment. I have the utmost respect for Sharon Banks. She really cares about our school district and did a fabulous job at uplifting it.
Superintendent Banks looked at me and smiled and said ,"I hope that you are on your way to the hospital because you look like you are about to have that baby."
Of course I wasn’t about to have the baby. I still had deliveries to do at the CATA bus station. Thank goodness it was right across the street. I gathered up Gianni and his toga and we walked to the truck and got the newspapers and delivered them to the bus station, it was my last stop. I was so grateful.
I’d made a request to God. I asked him to please let me go into labor after I finished my duties to the community. I always carried material to proof read so that if I had to wait somewhere I’d have something to do. I’d be productive. If you’ve ever seen me out and about more than likely I’m talking, reading or writing.
I was putting the stroller into the car to drive myself home from the bus station and the first labor pain hit.
Oh my goodness I thought, "It’s only 3:00 pm." It was somewhere around that time. I remember it because immediately after making a stupid comment like that I thought to myself, "You can have a baby at anytime during the day and you are in labor moron!!!"
I saw a friend of mine and she was waving wildly and saying hello. I smiled wearily and told her I was in labor and that I would talk to her later. She had a stunned look on her face and told me that I had better hurry up and get to Sparrow.
I told her that the hospital was only 7 minutes away and I would be fine.
As soon as I got in the car, my labor pains starting coming out of no where like missiles. I was breathing and calling my doctor. By the time I got to Michigan Avenue which is 3 minutes from the hospital, I had managed to call my doctor who told me to go the emergency room.
I thought, "Emergency room?!!! Is she crazy. I’m not going to scare my children by being wheeled in a wheelchair." I was almost 150 pounds of all baby and I had a big baby to sit on my lap and a 10 year old who looked like he was on his way down on a roller coaster.
I told him to relax and that everything would be all right. It was mental chaos. But I managed to get to the valet parking at the hospital and get the stroller out between 10 minute contractions and work my way to elevator.
The people I rode with on had “please-don’t-have-your-baby-in this-elevator” looks on their faces. It was hilarious. It wasn’t funny at all then but I was cracking up when I was writing this story.
Oh, I forgot to tell you that I did call my husband who was up on a pole, he is a line technician at a cable company, and told him to hurry up. With Anissa, someone told him that it took a long time for women to have babies and he tried to go get a hamburger and didn’t even make it to the cafeteria before he was called back to assist.
I said, "I hope you ate so don’t stop for a hamburger!!!"
I waited for the nurse to attend to me and she was searching for something in her purse. I was ready to pass out and she asked me when did I start having contractions and I told her about 15 minutes ago.
She looked at me with the "Oh-you-are-going-to-be-here-for-a-while" look. I looked at her with the "if-you-don’t-get-out-of-your bag-I-am-going- to strangle-you" look and she put her bag away and summoned another nurse.
I was still alone with a 10 year old and a 15 month old. She wanted to check me and I went though a huge song and dance with Gianni about sitting on the chair outside and being good while Anissa stayed in the room with me.
Well, I was dilated to 4. When you are at 10 you are ready to push. By the time I got to the room I was already at 5 and Frank arrived shortly thereafter. Amir Moses Risper was born at 6:46 p.m. Our quiet baby.
Amir means "prince" and Moses means "of the water". We named him because we didn’t even know I was pregnant for almost three months. That story is so interesting that I must tell you about it some other time. It involves how I started the newspaper, I will focus on that in another edition.
We will never be perfect but as we celebrate our 5th year and I am looking forward to bringing you a much better product.
Let us know about your stories, we want to hear them.
P.S. I have a friend whose sister is having kidney problems and another friend experiencing extreme pain from a pinched nerve in her neck.
Please put them on your prayer list. The power of prayer is enlightening.