That evening I had dinner with my friends JJ and Terry before we went to the Jarman to teach JJ how to use something on the computer. Terry was working in her office, and JJ and I were in the computer lab. I stood up to walk to JJ's side, and my water gently broke. I will spare you the description. Suffice it say, I had to ask JJ if my water had broken or if I had just wet myself. Ha!
JJ, Jane, my sweet friend, the soul that had helped me sew and make my baby's nursery bedding months earlier, got a gleam in her eye and hop to her step and screamed for Terry to come. I was going to have my first baby, my baby girl.
Walking around in wet clothes felt restrictive, and dirty, so I asked Terry and JJ to take me home. I wanted to change and to grab clothes for the hospital. Terry started throwing clothes at me from the Jarman lost and found too stressed to consider my request. She kept yelling, "You can't have this baby at the Jarman." JJ, with that sweet gleam, just kept saying, "She'll be okay."
They took me home and I changed clothes, packed a bag and wrote a note to Joey. Joey was scouting Jenks with the other Bomber coaches because when we beat Lawton Ike, we were sure to face Jenks in the semi-finals. I taped the note to the garage side of the laundry room door so Joey would be sure to see it as soon as he got home. Then I had the girls take me to the parking lot, so I could leave him a note on his truck.
Terry was beside herself. For the first time, JJ was driving the speed limit and Terry was in a hurry. There was no pain, no contractions. JJ handled everything with great ease and patience and finally dropped me off at Baptist hospital. My sweet friends stayed with me until Joey called. Yes, after two notes that both read, "I am at Baptist; my water broke." the man called me, was forwarded to my room and asked "What are you doing?" I couldn't make this up if I tried. I answered, "I think I am having your baby." He thought the notes were a joke.
Joey slept comfortably on the couch for most of the night, but the contractions began shortly after midnight. The nurses would come in to check on me and continued to ask if I had changed my mind about pain meds. I shook my head with confidence and told them I was fine.
By the time noon rolled around on Saturday, I was exhausted and Joey was quiet. I had entered that phase of pain where no one is safe around me. Unfortunately, despite my determination to have this baby on my own, I was not progressing and had been at an 8 for hours. The nurses were worried for the baby and me as I would fall asleep between contractions and then wake up at the height of the pain. Unable to mentally get ahead of the contraction, I would begin to hyperventilate. Consequently, I had an epidural. I hate needles and I hate drugs. So I told the nurse to tell the anesthesiologist that he needed to tell me exactly what was going to happen and then he needed to tell me exactly what he was doing while he was doing it and he better use the same words he used the first time. (Ahh- the control freak speaks.) With the epidural in, I fell asleep immediately.
Three hours later, the nurse gently awakened me. "It's time to push. Your girl is ready!" Joey was sitting on the couch watching Boston College play Notre Dame. We left the television on when the doctor entered the room to deliver Taylor. Literally, two pushes later and God had given me a "perfect pink package", eight pounds, nineteen inches. She entered the world just as Boston College kicked a historic field goal to defeat the powerhouse Notre Dame. She loved this story.
An hour or so later, Joey left for the football field and helped lead the Bombers to victory over Lawton Ike. The nurses thought he was horrible, but we had worked hard to prepare for that game, breaking down film and feeding wide receivers. His girl and I were fine. We listened to the game on the radio and the Bomber family welcomed baby Taylor into the world.
JJ passed away when Taylor was nine. They were the best of friends. Terry came to the hospital in July. She came as soon as she was called.
Tomorrow we will drive to Norman and celebrate our baby girl's life with the friends who loved her. I have cried all week about sister's birthday; I have cried because I cannot believe she is gone and not here for me to hold. I have cried like I cried when the nurse told me she would not survive. But honestly, my heart cannot wait to celebrate her life tomorrow. Her friends strengthen me, bring me joy, offer me hope and remind me of the spunk, sass, and zest for life Taylor Renee held.
My one good thing today is tomorrow - because tomorrow we celebrate life, a life we loved, a life that blessed us, a life that gave me courage, a life that gave us joy. Tomorrow is about life, and for one day we will leave death to itself.
John 10:10 "I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly."
#Golighttheworld baby girl. Your mama loves you so.