Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


This post is a couple days late. You see, it was a holiday weekend, one that holds many memories for me.

I was due with my first baby on July 4th, 1987.

On June 28th, for my 20th birthday, my sister, husband and I went fishing at a place that involved walking down a VERY steep path through the woods. Walking down the path meant also walking back up. I was HUGE. I started out the pregnancy severely underweight and gained 96 lbs over the previous 40 weeks. If I laid down felt a lot like a turtle on it's back. My sister and husband had to pull me back up that hill, which served them right for forcing me to go down it in the first place!

I started itching on the way home, and within an hour knew I'd managed to find a patch of poison ivy in the woods. OH how I itched!!!! I doused my entire body in calamine lotion to stop it, but nothing worked. Two days later, Tuesday June 30th, I went for a check up with my doctor, "What is all over you?" he asked. He laughed when I told him the story of the fishing trip and poison ivy. "Well, the good news is you're not even close yet, so you'll be fine by the time you deliver." He told me to take some benedryl. It did nothing.

On Thursday, July 2nd I felt a little funny, and by afternoon my husband and I, me still covered in calamine lotion, sat together on the couch trying to decide if what I was feeling was really contractions or not. I'd have one, then wait for an hour before there was another, then maybe 5 minutes later there would be another one. It was my first baby, and I had no idea what early contractions felt like.

Finally we decided to get out of the house for awhile to get my mind off whatever was/was not going on. We went to visit his brother and sister in law, where we could just sit and hang out, visiting around their kitchen table as we often did. My sister in law, mom to three kids, one of them delivered in the car, was convinced I was in labor.

We visited awhile, when I realized my sporadic contractions had started coming very regularly at 10 minutes apart.  The 3rd or 4th regular contraction started and I had trouble talking through it. It was just starting to subside when it started again!!! "Oh..I'm having ANOTHER one!" I said. When suddenly I felt something "pop" inside me.

Then the gush....

"Oh my god. My water just broke!" I said. I was sitting it a bucket-like seat, so I was now sitting in a puddle. "It did not!" my husband said, sure that I was just messing with him.

My experienced sister in law was the first to respond, "Oh yes it did! I can tell by the look on her face!"

My brother in law, who had delivered their second child in the car demanded, "Go...go now! I am NOT delivering another baby!"

Someone handed my husband a bunch of towels which he ran to the truck with. By the time I'd waddled out there he had them laid out...on the FLOOR of the truck! "Ummm honey? They're for the SEAT!"

He moved the towels to the seat, and we were on our way. "Slow down! This baby is not going to fall out of me, but we do need to get there alive!" I reminded him.

Once we got to the hospital I was checked, and not even a full centimeter dilated. I would have a long time to wait. We walked, we talked, we walked some more.

Finally, on July 3rd, 1987 at 6:03 a.m. Noah Allen entered the world. My first born, changing my life forever. On July 4th I watched the fireworks from the window of my hospital room. I looked into the eyes of my beautiful child and realized it would never be just me anymore. I was now responsible for someone else. This little person was 100% dependent on me, and I was ready for him! For the first time in my young life, I felt like I had a purpose! To raise this child to be the best that he could be.

Happy 24th birthday Noah! I love you, and I'm so glad God chose me to be your mother!

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