On this day, my life as I had known it was forever a distant memory.
You know how we do not remember ever single day that we have lived, just the extremely good, or sadly, the devastatingly bad. For some time I thought that I was abnormal because I could not remember some of the same events and days that other family members could. Then I realised that the one thing that etches a memory so intricately deep into our being is something ever so slight that you could not force it to be present even if you tried.
It is the way you felt at at that time.
Now possibly I am not correct with this theory but it is mine and I value it. I do not mean that you cannot recall what you did yesterday unless you ‘felt’ something, but long term, over time, memories do fade and I truly believe that the ones that remain with us are the ones that stirred up the strongest of emotions within us.
So why do I remember 22nd March 1987? Well I can actually remember the evening prior as well although details elude me.
On the evening of the 21st March 1987 I was at home watching a movie (no idea which one) with my sister in law and her partner at the time who happened to be one of my husbands best friends. Dinner had been one of my favourites, a yummy tuna casserole with champignon mushrooms in a creamy tomato and sour cream sauce. I think it would have been with a birds nest pasta or similar. The reason I remember the exact meal will be revealed as the story unfolds.
I began feeling a little unwell with tummy cramps. Figuring I’d eaten too much I just kept watching the movie until I couldn’t bear the pains anymore. I quietly mentioned to my husband that perhaps I needed to go to the hospital as there was no way I could lay down to sleep when every ten minutes or so I felt as though I was being crushed by a rhino!
We left for the hospital, a good half hour drive away. My sister in law and her partner said they would follow us just to make sure I was ok.
This was 1987 after all. No mobile phones back then – or if there were, we didn’t have one.
I remember being taken to a sterile room and a nurse checking me over. She told my husband that they would keep me in for observation but that he should go home to bed. Nothing much happening and they would call him if there was any change in my condition. It was getting late and only enough beds for patients. So he headed home.
Apparently he had been home for about twenty minutes when the phone rang (the landline, one of those old fashioned heavy things with the dial that you put your finger in to call a number). It was the nurse caring for me telling him to get back to the hospital as soon as he could.
Driving a 1969 Holden Monaro with a V8 engine, he got back to the hospital in record time! Coming to my side he was shocked to see the state I was in! I’d unfortunately brought up all of my yummy dinner but we concluded that the gas mask over my face had probably contributed to that. The pain relieving pethadine had upset my stomach even more!
Moved to a room with dimmed lights, I was being quietly reassured that it wouldn’t be long now. Just breathe my way through the pain and keep my spirits up. I do recall swearing at my husband and yelling some terrible things that I know weren’t true but the pain was depleting me of my usual calm demeanor!
Approximately four hours after my arrival at the hospital, I was laying on my back with the most amazing, quiet and honestly, the most beautiful, sweet little human being gazing at me.
My brand new baby daughter who had not uttered a sound as she entered the world, laying with her stomach on mine and lifting her little head up to gaze into my eyes.
With a head of dark brown hair that looked as if she had already been to the hairdressers to have it tinted with blonde streaks, my little pumpkin, my princess, was to change my life forever.
(featured image courtesy of www.a2zscraplets.com.au)