From my opening remarks, I cannot nor will I try to take complete credit for raising our daughter Allison, it was a joint effort, between Steph and I. We both were extremely involved in raising our daughter. We were probably more involved than Allison wanted from time to time, but Allison needed to get over that. The decisions we made were joint decisions, though I was excluded from many, such as: cloths, bras, makeup and the like. From time to time I was excluded from other decisions. But the truth be told, that was a good thing. Allison turned out to be pretty darn good, but I am getting ahead of myself.
Allison was born in July of 1979. She was only a couple of days late, (BTW she has perfected her habit of being late) and she had a captive audience waiting. At the time of Allison’s birth, my wife’s parents were living with us, and my parents came to visit and meet their granddaughter. The evening before Allison’s birth, Steph went into contractions, we lived approximately 25 miles from the hospital, and her dad took charge and raced us out to the car, my dad rode shotgun, Steph and I in the backseat. Throughout this hair raising journey, Dad and Ruf chatted and had a gay ole time, Steph and I were thrown from side to side in the backseat as Ruf raced to the hospital. I swear if Steph wasn’t in labor when that ride started, she sure was when we got to the hospital. Steph and I were delivered to the hospital a bit before midnight, the nurses on duty, told us to go walk around the block a couple of times and not check into the hospital until after midnight (for insurance purposes). After several hours of labor, Allison was born early in the AM. She weighed 9 lbs. 4 oz. and she was 17 inches long.
Later that morning, after the 2 sets of grandparents visited and looked and hoo’d and haa’d, I finally got them all out of the hospital so I could visit with Steph, give her a smile, and tell her she did a great job.
To understand this next part you need to understand that only the week before Allison was born a baby had been stolen from this very hospital, from the very same nursery Allison was in. Having set this up, an hour or so later, I was ready to call it a day. Steph was asleep, Allison was in the nursery, and I was beat. On my way home, I stopped one more time to look at Allison thru the nursery window. But she wasn’t there, I when bat poop crazy. I was frantic; I was more hyped up than I had ever been. I saw the doctor that delivered my daughter down the hall, I raced to him grabbed him by the lapels of his doctor smock, and lifted him physically off the floor demanding (in words many sailors would have been proud to hear) he tell me where my daughter was. The doctor grabbed my forearms, shouting at me “Mr. Hamilton! ! !, Mr. Hamilton! ! !, don’t worry your daughter is in the intensive care nursery.” Relief and anxiety joined together to flood my heart and soul. I still had not let go of him, though I did let him down.
The doctor then began the explanation. Apparently our daughter was in a hurry to be born, a trait she outgrew quite rapidly. Allison and started breathing before she cleared the birth cannel and in doing so and breathed in some of the amniotic fluid. This consumption of the amniotic fluid had caused pulmonary and cardiac distress. For this reason Allison was moved from the term nursery to the intensive care nursery. Allison looked so out-of-place in the intensive care nursery, there she was all 9 plus lbs. with babies the a third or half her weight. She cried and wailed with the best of them. But each time I stood at the window looking at her, my heart dipped, my pulse raced, and my mind was a swamp of thoughts, I loved that little girl. I prayed for her every moment. I cried inside for hours at a time. Yet as bad as it was for me, it was a 1,000 times worst for Steph.
You could look at Steph and see the despair and you could feel the heart-break. I don’t remember exactly how long Allison was in the hospital, no more than a week, but it seemed like forever. Allison was being breast-fed, but they couldn’t bring her to Steph, so Steph when to Allison, and breast-fed her there in the intensive care nursery. After Steph was discharged from the hospital we would come back and Steph would sit outside the intensive care nursery for hours at a time, always available to give Allison all the love and comfort she could. Yet each night when it came time to take Steph home so she could relax, it was a struggle. Steph refused to leave her little one.
Allison made a rapid and complete recovery. Thank God! After a week or so, we got to bring her home. Life experiences and the skills you learn as you mature do little to really prepare you to be a parent. Life as I knew it changed at that moment we got her home.
Allison and I the early days
All of the responsibilities of parenting now rested on our shoulders, and we were beginning to experience the joys of being parents.
So concludes part 1 of ???? in the epic tale of Taking part in raising our Daughter. I had promised to allow Allison a chance to review this and the following posts before I released it, but I lied! But the time I got to the end of this post she was only 8 days or so old. She didn’t have a lot of input and I am pretty sure she has even less memories of these 1st eight days. She will have some editing authority on future posts on this story, but I do retain control. LOL LOL (spoken like a true father who has no control)
Your comments and thoughts as always are invited and welcomed. Take care, Bill