My sons were sick most of that winter. Eventually Jason was put in the hospital. They never could find out what was wrong with him. He had never been a well-child but I suspect now that it was grief. Once in the hospital he liked the attention. He liked having someone bring him popsicles and pudding at will. Lying in bed watching television or playing video games was certainly better than school.
Eventually he was pronounced well enough to go home. Then it was my turn. I was pregnant with my fifth child. We didn’t know whether we would have a boy or a girl. My husband desperately wanted a son. We planned to name him Isaac.
Perhaps because of stress or grief or both or neither, my blood pressure shot up to dangerous levels. I was still working at the mental health center. I asked one of the nurses to take my blood pressure. In horror, they told me it was 160/110. I called the doctor 100 miles away. He said come tomorrow and if it is still that high I’ll admit you to the hospital. It was; he did. This was the first time I had a private doctor and went to a private hospital.
They put me on the surgical wing and I shared a room with an older woman who had just had surgery. What I remember most about her was that the poor dear needed to pass gas. All day long I would hear her moan. Eventually she got relief. I thought to myself I hope I never have surgery.
No x-ray as with my son Nathan. This time it was ultrasound and monitors. Technology however, couldn’t tell us that she was a girl but thankfully she was healthy. I went back to work until the blood pressure shot up again.
Eventually I would move in with my mother with my near two years old until I went into labor. My husband took care of the other three children in Hannibal packing them up to come to Columbia every weekend.
It was May. My blood pressure shot up dangerously high once again. My husband was called to come to Columbia as I was to have our baby. The doctor asked me to come to the hospital at 10:30 that night. My husband arrived, we went to eat. We kissed the children good night at my mother’s and left for the hospital. My mother’s last words were soon Isaac will be here.
That is a name we never used. Instead we had a beautiful baby girl. Her name had been chosen one night during those weekend visits. It is a long beautiful name that is difficult to pronounce. Her delivery was a breeze. My water was broke at 11:30 p.m. and by 1:00 a.m. she was born. Daddy cut the cord. I walked out of the delivery room, no stitches, no tears, a perfect delivery of a perfect little girl.
Things seemed to be going well. A good steady job for both of us and now a beautiful baby girl added to our family. Ten days later my step-sister delivered her beautiful perfect little girl. Life continues. There seemed hope for the future. Stress and sadness were just around the corner. The choice for Christian school and daycare turned out to be a very bad choice. Within a year I would be worrying that I would be a single mother with six children.