Taking Our Baby Home

Posted in Eternal Love | 2 comments

Taking Our Baby Home

The morning after our son was born, October 16th, Frank returned to Saint Josephs Hospital around 6:00 a.m.

Frank was excited and carried in his hand an Instamatic camera and a couple of pictures. He had stopped by the nursery to take snapshots of Scotty before coming to my room.

I was sitting in the chair by my bed putting on makeup when Frank entered the room.  Since the nurses brought Scotty to me to nurse around 4:00 a.m., after feeding our son, I had showered then changed into a gown and housecoat which were in my bag from home.

Frank surprised me by taking my picture, but I did not mind at all then he showed me the pictures he had taken of Scotty.  He was not aware that I had seen Scotty after they had left, so I told him the whole story.

Frank apologized to me for being so distraught the night before then he told me what had happened in the labor room. After putting our son in an incubator in the delivery room, he was wheeled out by a nurse.  Frank rode up the elevator to the nursery with our son and watched while the Nurses examined him and cleaned him up.  They told him what room I was to be taken to, so all he could do was go to that room to wait to see if I was okay.

Once I arrived in the room, Frank was relieved seeing me awake but upset at my paleness and confusion.  The nurse had informed them all that they could only stay a few minutes because I needed to rest and told Frank that he could not stay the night because I had a roommate.  After they left, my folks took him to get something to eat then Frank went home.  Not being able to sleep, he cleaned up our apartment all night then he drove back to the hospital at first light.

After Frank finished telling me what had happened the night before, I caught him up to date on what had occurred after they had left.   He had not been allowed to touch or hold Scotty yet, but he was so happy that I had.  After all of the years, we had waited to have our son, and then Frank could not hold him.  We decided to walk down to the Nursery and look at Scotty through the window.  When the Nurse saw us, she motioned for me to come to the door which I did immediately.  She let me go into the Nursery and hold Scotty up to the window so Frank could see him better.  Frank was beaming as he looked at us through the window and Scotty’s eyes were looking right at his Dad which was a priceless moment for the three of us.  Every time Frank was at the hospital, we would walk to the Nursery together, and stand in front of that Nursery window looking at our son.

Back during this time at this hospital, the only person who could hold the baby was the Mom.  Frank even had to leave the room before the nurse brought our son into the room.  The babies all shared a nursery and were not allowed to stay in the rooms with the mothers round the clock. The assumption was that the babies faced contamination by people coming in and out of the hospital.  I know this seems unfair now, but we did not know any different back then.  Of course, now, there are single private rooms instead of double occupancy.

White baby blanket with blue booties and baby vases

Scotty’s white baby blanket, blue booties, and baby vases.

My folks and my brothers all returned to see Scotty and me around mid-morning bringing beautiful Baby planters full of ivy and a vase of flowers.  My Dad and Mom had to return home that day because they had classes to teach and two more sons at home, but my Mom would return on the weekend to help us out.

The Doctor came to see me that morning, and he apologized.  He informed me that he had no idea that my baby weighed that much, and told me that I was definitely past my due date, but he thought that the baby was not even 7 lbs.  I reminded him of the discussion we had early in my pregnancy about the fact that Frank had weighed over 10 lbs at birth.  The Doctor said that I had too much blotchy swelling on my body, and so did Scotty which meant we would not get discharged from the hospital for three days.

Also, a Pediatrician visited me.  She asked if there was diabetes in our family, because of the blotchy swelling on me and the baby, but at that time there was none that we knew of in our family.  A few years later my Mother was diagnosed with diabetes.  Today they would probably call what I had as pregnancy diabetes with toxemia.

On Thursday morning October 18, 1973, Frank arrived early in the morning, and for the first time, he held our son. Frank had forgotten to bring the camera out of the car, so we don’t have a photo, but it is a picture engraved in my mind.   Frank talked to Scotty as our son looked at him.  I took my time getting my bag repacked to leave the hospital, so they could get to know each other.  We dressed Scotty in a blue outfit with blue shoes then wrapped him in a soft white blanket.  The nurses all came in to say goodbye and give us more instructions with a gift pack from the hospital.

I was told to get in a wheelchair then handed Scotty to hold.  Frank rushed ahead of us so he could get to our car in the parking lot then pull it up to the entrance as a Nurse wheeled  Scotty and me out of the hospital.  Frank took a picture of the Nurse holding our son while I got out of the wheelchair then he took a picture of me holding Scotty before getting in the car.

It was such a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky.  Frank told me that a Cool front blew in the night Scotty was born.  The air felt so crisp and clean as we took our son out into the new world where he would spend his life.  Frank and I could not quit smiling as we drove down the road with our son securely held in my arms.  We were not scared at all because we knew our purpose was to love and take care of this baby that God had entrusted us to do.

Once we arrived at our apartment, Frank carried Scotty as I walked by their side to the building.  After opening the front door, Frank and I walked in then went straight to Scotty’s room.  Since Scotty was awake looking around the room, Frank laid him in his crib, of course talking to him the whole time.  Frank had bought our son a regular size football, a large red Frisbie, and a small red basketball.

Baby Boy

Matthew Scott Henderson
three days old

Since the little outfit that we brought Scotty home in was a bit tight because our son was not a tiny baby, I decided to change him into one of the drawstring gowns we bought for him then we put him in a small carrier and took a picture of him in his crib with the basketball and football.  These gowns came in a four pack: one white, one powder blue, one light yellow, and one soft pink.  We had bought a layette package from Penny’s that had four gowns, four white comfort neck t-shirts, four white tie t-shirts, and four different colored footed onesies.  Also, the layette came with four soft baby blankets.  We bought four dozen cloth diapers, four sets of baby safety pins to keep the diapers on, and plastic pants to pull over the diapers.

Frank and I were so in awe of this little boy.  We could not get enough of holding him and watching him sleep.  Sometimes we would rock him to sleep then keep him in our arms still rocking until he woke up.

God had given us a child which was a true blessing beyond our hopes and dreams.  Frank and I were so thankful for this beautiful gift, and our hearts were full of love for God, our son, and each other.

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2 Comments

  1. Another great story. I have been reminded from your “baby” posts of the time I spent in the nursery caring for newborns when I was in training. An unforgettable time in your life. God bless.

    • Absolutely! Scotty’s Nurses were totally in love with him. The one who walked us to the car cried when she handed him to me.
      Thank you again for reading and commenting Diane.
      God Bless You,
      I love you,
      Nancy

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