And The Beat Goes On

Posted in Eternal Love | 2 comments

And The Beat Goes On

May seemed to quickly turn into June as we began the Summer of 1973.  Frank would take classes both Summer Semesters and work two jobs while I worked steadily fixing up our spare room into a Nursery.

Frank and I did not have money to buy furniture for our baby’s room.  The Preacher and his wife at the Methodist Church in Van Vleck gave us a very used baby bed. We acquired an old table from my Grandmother and an antique wooden rocking chair. Frank’s Mom gave us his baby chest.  The crib was in excellent shape, so all I did was clean and disinfected it.  I painted the table and chest a light blue color then applied sweet animal decals to the drawers.  Since the rocker was painted black and in excellent condition, I just made a pillow for the back and bottom of the chair using material the same color blue as the table and chest.  After purchasing some fabric on sale at a store, I made curtains for the one window in the room.

Wienerschnitzel in Bryan, Texas

Our Wienerschnitzel in Bryan, Texas

It was truly amazing how wonderful I felt after those first few months of morning sickness.  I was hungry for everything, but my favorite food was from Der Wienerschnitzel located on Texas Avenue.  They had awesome hot dogs with all kinds of toppings and ran specials on certain nights of the weeks.  I can not remember the exact cost, but it was a special treat that did not cost too much.  We would all get together, gather our pennies up, and make a late night run.  The drive with all of the people packed in the Super Beetle laughing and caring on was priceless.  Of course, we always drove up to the drive-thru window, ordered, and held up the line of cars.

The Summer of 1973 was sweltering in College Station.  My sister-in-law, who was also pregnant, and I spent a lot of time visiting a newly built air-conditioned mall waddle walking around in the coolness and sitting on benches during the heat of the day.  On weekend nights when the guys were off from work, we would go to each other’s apartments and play cards.  One of those nights has stayed in my memory.

“A Comfy Pillow”

Frank and I had gone to my brother and sister-in-law’s apartment to play cards.  The small tables and chairs that were in our apartments were wooden.  The chairs did not have cushions, so my sister-in-law and I decided to place pillows from the beds on our chairs to cushion them.  Well, Frank and my brother decided to be “Mr. Funny Men” laughing and telling jokes.  Laughing hard was entirely not an excellent option for my sister-in-law and me because we were in the stage of pregnancy that meant we needed a bathroom near at all times.  Since our apartments only had one bathroom, we would both make many trips in one evening.

When Frank and my brother started their “Funny Man” routine, they did not take into consideration how the laughing would affect the two pregnant ladies in the room.  Every laugh was one that required total control of our bladders.  We were running back and forth like racehorses.  The more we ran back and forth to the bathroom the more Frank and my brother laughed.  Of course, Nancy Lou decided to ask something.  I simply asked my brother, “Do you know whose pillow I am sitting on?”

My brother stopped laughing and looked shocked, but Frank laughed even louder as I ran to the bathroom door begging my sister-in-law to please hurry.

…..

As the end of the second Summer Semester approached, Frank had a major paper due in one of his classes.  Of course, this paper had to be typed, and we only had one evening to do it all.  Since Frank only two-finger typed, and it was well known how bad my typing was, we enlisted help from my pregnant sister-in-law who was an excellent fast typist.

The first problem that we encountered was Frank’s handwriting.  My sister-in-law could not read his writing.  Frank told her sometimes he couldn’t even read it when it got cold.  The second problem was that Frank was still writing his paper.

We only had an old manual typewriter, but my sister-in-law had an electric typewriter.  Since I could read Frank’s cursive handwriting, it was a consensus decision that Frank would keep writing, I would type what he had written then my sister-in-law would type what I had typed into a beautiful paper.  Did I forget to tell you that my sister-in-law and I were very pregnant?  As a matter of fact, it was around the first of August, and her baby was due in a few days, and our baby at the end of September.

My sister-in-law and I took our places sitting on pillows in our chairs on either side of the table while Frank cranked out his handwritten paper on a clipboard in a chair.  It was a very long evening which stretched into the wee hours of the morning, but we got that paper typed, and Frank made it to an early morning class to turn it in.  It was just a few days later that my sister-in-law had her baby, a beautiful red-headed baby girl.

The end of September came, but not our baby.  I was beginning to look more like an elephant.  Somewhere down there on the floor were my feet, but I could not see them.  As mentioned before, our kitchen was small, and I could barely turn around in it.  Laughing was not even an option because of being stretched to the max. Frank and I walked the campus in the evening, or instead, he walked while I waddled

Pregnant Woman

Picture of Nancy pregnant on October 5, 1973

October came, and we celebrated our birthdays, but still no baby.  I was going to an appointment with the OB/GYN once a week.  At each visit, he would tell me, “Two more weeks.” but he did do an x-ray at the insistence of his RN to see if I was carrying twins when she told him, “Mrs. Henderson is gonna have a huge pumpkin.”  The x-ray positions on the cold metal table were so much fun that day.  Frank and I just kept on walking the campus and praying that our baby was okay.

On October 13, 1973, my brothers and Frank decided to go to Houston to look at cars.  They left early that morning and Frank let me sleep in since I slept very little at night.  The phone rang at about 9:00 a.m., and when I got up to answer it, my Dad was on the phone.  He asked me how I was doing, and I told him fine, the guys had gone to Houston, but no contractions yet.  As I stood there talking to him water ran down my leg.  I let Dad know what had just happened, and he told me my water might have broken, to hang up the phone, call the Doctor, and he would find the guys in Houston.

I called the Doctor, and he told me that when the contractions started for me to call him back, then he would meet me at the hospital.  After hanging up the phone with him, I showered, got dressed then made sure that my bag was packed with everything needed for the baby and me then sat down on the couch and waited.

It was not too long until I heard Frank and my brothers coming up to the apartment.  Frank was very excited as he opened the front door then said, “Let’s go, Lou!  Where’s your bag?”

Answering, I told him, “Frank, the Doctor said to wait for the contractions to start and they have not begun yet.”

Of course, this answer from me would prove to be a big mistake.  My brothers and Frank decided that they should take me for a ride in my brother’s Volkswagen Van.  I got to sit in the back of the Van on a bench seat which was one of the two bench seats which had a table between them. The guys had to remove the table because I was too large to sit there with the table in place.  They drove down every bumpy back road they could find thinking that this would start my contractions.   Why did I listen to them?  I do not have a clue, but I got in that Van and laughed along with them.  Gotta love those brothers and my hubby. Well, after an hour of driving around, nothing happened, so we all went back to Frank and my apartment.

About a week before this all happened, someone had backed into the passenger side of our Super Beetle, and the door would not open.  Frank had taken the car in to have it fixed.  While waiting for the vehicle to get repaired, my brother had generously loaned us his Volkswagon Van to use.  Frank and I were so thankful because we had no other way to make a quick trip to the hospital without a car.

October 14th was a Sunday.  Our phone rang early that morning, and it was my Doctor.  He asked how I was and why we had not called him.  Frank explained to him that I had not had any contractions.  The Doctor told us to meet him at his office in thirty minutes which we did.  After he examined me, he said, “Looks like it will be two more weeks.  Baby hasn’t dropped.” We thanked him then went home.

Frank and I were at a loss as to what was going on.  Our baby was due on September the 24th and was nearly three weeks late.  We decide to take an evening stroll and walk the campus again.  When we got back to the apartment, Frank had a major test to study for, so I showered, set with him for awhile crocheting then kissed him and went to bed.

About 5:00 a.m. the next morning, I woke up.  Frank had not come to bed yet, and I could see the light from the living room lamp lighting up the hallway.  My back was hurting, so I decided to get up then walk to the living room.  When I stood up, there was no doubt that my water had broken.  I called for Frank, and he met me in the hallway.   I was now definitely having contractions and with each contraction a major waterfall.  I decided to get into the shower while Frank called the Doctor.   Frank came into the bathroom and told me the Doctor wanted us at the hospital as soon as possible.

I did not know what to do if I moved there was a waterfall.  Frank suggested that a large towel rolled up and placed in the right place would be the answer, so of course, that is what we did.  I had one other stipulation, and that was that Frank shave my legs with my electric razor.  It’s a girl thang.  He did that rather quickly then we headed to the Volkswagon Van only stopping for contractions which had started two minutes apart.

When we got to the Van, Frank tried to hoist me up into the passenger seat, but that did not work, so he opened the sliding side door, and with his help, I was able to climb in.  Frank got into the driver’s seat, started the Van, and started driving as fast as he could to the hospital.  Occasionally, he would look back and ask me how I was doing but knew that my silence meant to drive faster.

When we got to the hospital, Frank drove the Van to the drop-off door, got out of the vehicle, went inside and came out with a wheelchair and a nurse.  They helped me into the wheelchair then rolled me inside the hospital.  We actually left a water trail the whole way, and I was so embarrassed, but the nurse told me that it happened all the time.

Stay tuned.

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2 Comments

  1. I thought it was time that I came back to catch up at least in part with all the unread posts. Wow! That was quite the ordeal of waiting what must have seemed an interminable time. At least you got to the hospital on time. 🙂

    • Yes, it was an ordeal but well worth the wait. It was amazing times.
      Thank you for commenting.
      God Bless You,
      Nancy

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