It happened February 8, 1998...a Sunday, just like any other Sunday....
Back up a sec....
it was NOT like any other Sunday.
A couple of weeks before a not-so-friendly visitor descended upon our peaceful home.
This flu lasted for days, it wasn't the 24 hour variety. First one, then another dropped to it's strength. Until every last one of our family of 6 was either crawling for the bathroom or moaning in bed with sickness. For a week, I nursed each one, cleaned the bathroom, sprayed the lysol, opened windows to air out the germs, washed sheets, made soup until this I wearily succumbed to it also.
UGH....why, oh, why is this happening NOW?
Finally by Saturday the 7th, most everyone was on the mend. Beginning to get their strength back, except dad. This flu still had him!
Crawling into bed alone, I was eager for a good night's sleep only to be awakened at 1 am with stomach pains. OH NO! It can't be. My first thought was, "I thought I was done with this"...when I realized this was a different pain. One I had felt only 4 other times in my life:
Yup, I was 37 weeks pregnant and just getting over the flu. Convincing myself that I was NOT in labor, I attempted to roll over to go back to sleep. A few minutes go by and I am again jerked awake in pain....oh boy, it really IS labor! Not wanting to bother hubby who is still sick and sleeping downstairs, I lie there praying it isn't so. As the hours pass and the pain increases I think about how precious this child is.
A year before, in March, I remember the pain of losing a child after 12 weeks of carrying her/him in my womb. Never realizing how empty one could feel, I mourned this loss quietly.
Thankfully, by June of that same year, God blessed me with another pregnancy. So when October rolled around when that lost child would have been born, I could smile as I caressed my ever growing belly.
Now that ever growing belly was ready to burst 18 days before due date AND while I is still recovering from the flu.
By 8 am I realized I'd better get to the hospital. Waddling down the stairs slowly, I ask hubby if he's ready to have a baby today....
He groans "you're kidding?"
With 4 kids in tow, we all climb into the van. Arriving at the hospital 30 minutes and many hard contractions later, hubby drives up to the ER. I look quizzically at hubby who says "I'm still sick, I can't do this today"....
"Well, I have NO choice" I fume as I slam the door!
Before anyone who is reading this, especially you women, who want to strangle my hubby, I must tell you that an hour later a nurse friend arrives to help. He called her as soon as he arrived home asking if she would be able to be with me. So he's not a TOTAL loser ;)
After 5 hours of crying "I'm too sick to do this" and the doctor saying "too bad, you have to" baby #5 joined our family. When the doctor placed that child into my arms, I felt complete.
For years people had been asking me how many children I planned on having and I never knew. But I had been told that I would 'know' when my family was complete.....I didn't believe them, but it happened just as they said. I 'KNEW'.
We had decided that if the baby was a girl her name would be Julie Ann. I don't think we had a boy's name. Yet, when she was born I called my mom and told her Julia Rose had arrived.... So Julie Ann was Julia Rose for a couple of hours ;)
Today my 'baby' Julie Ann,aka--Julie-bug, turns 14! A beautiful young woman is emerging right before my eyes. A part of me is so very sad that in just a few short years my nest will be empty, while the 'saner' part continues to realize that our family was complete when God gave us Julie Ann.
I love you Julie-bug!