Saturday, August 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Corey!

In honor of my nephew Corey's birthday today, I am reprinting an entry from my 1986 journal.

Bev's Baby

Three years ago my oldest sister, Beverly, was pregnant with the first grandchild in our family. Bev and I were constant companions during the whole pregnancy. I read all the books and articles about babies that she did. I was an expert on the theory of breast feeding. I helped her shop for maternity clothes and baby equipment. And against the advice of everything we read, I helped her satisfy her cravings for chocolate eclairs from Cakemasters, our favorite German bakery.

Bev and her husband, Stephen, had decided to use a midwife and deliver the baby at home. It all sounded exciting to me. Melissa was the perfect image of a midwife. Big and strong with long, straight brown hair, she completed her earth mother image with a Volkswagen bus covered with flowers and a bumper sticker that said:


We were into the ninth month, and I thought things were going splendidly. For one reason or another I didn't see Bev one weekend. I decided on Monday morning to stop by and take her to lunch. I breezed into her driveway with the sunroof open and the radio on, jumped out, opened the front door, and called Bev's name.

No one answered. I'm not shy, so I marched into the living room and called again. All of a sudden Stephen appeared. I wanted to ask him why he wasn't at work, but instead I asked and asked, "Where's Bev?"

He looked at me, grinned, and confided, "She's in transition."

I was about to demand to know where in the world that was when I remembered my nine-month study of gestation and labor. He was talking about THE transition into hard labor.

"Melissa says the baby will be here in about four hours." he told me. "We'll give you a call."

I backed out of the door, and the next thing I knew I was driving down the road crying my eyes out. I couldn't believe Bev was actually in her bedroom birthing a baby. All this time I had been helping her get prepared for its arrival, and now I knew that somehow I had separated the idea of her pregnancy from the reality of a baby.

I would have let her go on being pregnant forever.

I drove over to seek comfort from my husband at work. I knew I could count on his sympathy for the bewilderment I felt. After I broke the news to him, I waited in vain for an understanding hug. Was he sympathetic to my disillusionment? Not one bit.

He was as excited as if he were having the baby himself!

Four hours dragged by. Right on time, Stephen called to announce the birth of Stephen Corey and to invite us to come look him over. I took my camera and like some kind of TV detective, I searched for clues to prove that a birth had really been committed. In the bedroom I saw a baby wrapped up in a blanket. But that could have been anybody's baby. He wasn't really proof. I looked at Bev. She still had on maternity clothes and was demanding pan pizza from Pizza Hut. Everybody knows you eat Jell-O or some kind of bland hospital food if you've just delivered. This had to be some kind of sham.

Then someone handed the alleged Stephen Corey to me. I looked down at his face. Smack dab in the middle of it was Bev's nose. I had all the proof I needed.

It was Bev's baby.

A postscript: Now I know that it was Bev's nose, but it was Stephen's mouth. See the family picture below.


joleneh said...

What a wonderful blog. It made me laugh and cry. It also makes me happy to know that Beverly has such a wonderful sister to stand by her through all these hard times. You guys are an example of hope to all of us!

Wendy Haught said...

Dear Jolene,

Thanks so much for commenting, because now I can finally tell you how much I ADORE you for what you have done for my sister! You are a kindred spirit, a true sisterwoman, and I can never express how grateful I am for holding Bev's hand through all this.

Love you!