2012 January 13
Happy Birthday, baby, baby Brother! I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday.
The day was cold, windy and icy. I was back home for a long visit. Mummy was out of sorts that day. Then around 11 AM she began to complain of low back pain. Having no personal experience with pregnancy, I was feeling a little nervous and I kept asking Mummy if she was in labor. Her answer was ambiguous and I remember yelling at her that this was her eighth pregnancy, how could she not know if she was in labor or not!
I wanted to call an ambulance to take her to the hospital, but she wanted to take a bath first. That made no sense to me, but once Mummy decided something there was no changing her mind.
After her brief bath, I insisted on calling the ambulance and Daddy, at work.
The ambulance and Daddy seemed to arrive simultaneously. The paramedics were having trouble navigating the icy sidewalk and all those steps at our 57th Street house. I remember the relief I felt when I saw Daddy walking up the street! Finally, the paramedics decided to simply support Mummy as they made the decent on our front steps. They got her settled into the ambulance and Daddy hopped in and off they went to St. Margaret's. It was approximately 12:50 PM.
At 1:30 PM, the phone rang. I answered and Daddy said, "Well, kid, it's all over". My heart stopped for a microsecond. I stammered, "What? What do you mean?" His response was, "You have another brother!" with just a hint of pride in his voice. Daddy said that the doctor told him he got into the delivery room in just enough time to catch you as you arrived! Apparently, all that low back pain Mummy was having was back labor, which she had never experienced in all of those other pregnancies. You were unique.
You were also a contented baby. I was sleeping on the couch during the visit and you slept in a small crib in the living room with me at night. The reason was that you had some sort of nasal malformation and the doctor told Mummy that you shouldn't be moved from room to room with varying temperatures. So, I took on the late evening and during the night feedings. I have no memory of you being whiny or whimpery. I remember that you often took a bottle at 11PM or midnight and then slept through the night, sometimes till 6 or 7AM.
You were sweet and I remember whispering "I love you" to you as I held you.
I am happy to have you as my baby, baby brother, Jim. I am glad that Mummy didn't listen to me when I advised her to have an abortion when she called me in Kansas and told me she 'thought' she was pregnant. You have been a lifeline for Daddy, I think. When Mummy died, if Daddy hadn't have had you to care for, I think he would've curled up in a ball and died himself.
There are so many things I could say about you, but maybe that's for another blog. For right now, I just want to wish you a happy birthday and to tell you that I still love you.