My son was born on the US Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Of course, then it was a bucolic place… no prison, not much controversy, lots of activities for the many Navy families stationed there. His father was the Program Director of the American Forces Radio and Television Service on the base, probably the most unmilitary posting anyone could have. The base was a little enclave of un-reality in the midst of the Cold War.
My broadcaster husband and I had been married eight years. In that time, I’d had four miscarriages and after the last one we’d decided (as had my OB-GYN) that it was time to call it quits. When we got back to the states we’d consider other paths.
A few weeks later I got sick, very sick and headed to the emergency room of our base hospital. Before giving me any medication, my good friend and nurse at the hospital told me she had to give me another pregnancy test just in case. I told her there was no way I could be pregnant, I’d just had a miscarriage only a month before. But the test was done anyway.
I sat in the waiting room, miserable, nauseas, wishing to die… you know those awful flu symptoms. After a bit my friend came back into the room and knelt in front of me. Whoa, I knew right then I had some terrible condition and my last days on earth would be spent far from my family on an island which the USA considered a hostile country. But… there was a smile on my friend’s face.
“Honey, you’re pregnant. The doctor wants you to come back to his office. He says we’re going to get you through this one. Your due date is December 24th, and he’s already ordered the camels!”
The pregnancy was not without its scares. In my seventh month, I was hospitalized for a week for exhaustion… complete bed rest. Of course, they could have just told me to stay in bed at home, but they didn’t have much to do then and lots of beds were empty, so… I was coddled for a week in the hospital. The nurses brought a fetal heart monitor into my room every evening, so I could listen to my baby’s heart before I went to sleep. They thought that would sooth me. It was kind of them, but I still didn’t sleep. I just closed my eyes and listened to his little thump, ker-thump until one of the nurses quietly came into the room and wheeled the machine away. I then went back to the stack of books on my night table, books I knew I wouldn’t have time to read later… staying up the rest of the night.
Then we had a snafu (that’s military talk meaning ‘oops, that’s not right’). My OB had already decided the baby would be coming caesarian… I was an older mother (28! Were they kidding?) and of course there were all those miscarriages. But a few weeks before the procedure on December 24th, the Anesthesiologist flew off to the mainland for Holiday R&R and left his duties to one of the operating room nurses, okay for all the regular surgeries, but she didn’t feel comfortable doing an epidural. This caused a mad frenzy to find another doctor who could substitute. No luck.
While the hospital was flying around arranging the coming of my Christmas baby, my husband’s co-workers at the TV station decided to give me a baby shower present… a special screening of Jaws. The movie had just come out in the States, but the officer-in-charge had borrowed it from one of the visiting Navy ships which had access to all the new movies. All evening I sat in a director’s chair, my back killing me, pain building in my abdomen. But I watched that movie to the end.
A couple of hours later, my husband rushed me to the hospital with severe abdominal pain which miraculously stopped as soon as I was deposited in a bed in the ER. I wasn’t in labor, but no one knew why I was in pain. (We found out the diagnosis two months later… but was another story).
By this time, my doctor had had enough. He was delivering that baby, now. After spending the entire day walking the halls of the Obstetric wing waiting for my doctor to finish his other surgeries, we were ready. It was December 11th, two in the afternoon. The procedure began quickly using general anesthesia instead of the epidural that’s usually used, that baby had to be out of there fast! This meant the ‘taking’ of him began while I was only partially anesthetized. Ouch! I was in pain. But that didn’t mean I couldn’t be grateful to finally have a baby in my arms… a perfect baby with only one tiny flaw. The doctor had nicked his little belly when he was taking him from my womb.
One more glitch. We were stuck in the hospital… for more than a week. I didn’t have any milk and my son found the nipple both natural and man-made very odd and wouldn’t be coaxed to latch on to either one. And the type of formulae used in the hospital nursery wasn’t to his liking either. After more than a week, the doctor told me to take my son home and if I had any trouble, just come back. Our house was within sight of the hospital anyway.
On the way home, Jonathan (my son) began screaming, the first time I’d heard him cry. My husband suggested I try one of the dreaded bottles and to our surprise the baby latched onto the nipple and sucked the formula down like a champ. He’d just wanted to go home.
Now Jonathan is all grown up (41 years old) and has been in my heart a special Christmas Baby his whole life. He gets a ‘Happy Birthday’ on December 11th, but then we celebrate his birthday for the next two weeks until Christmas morning. I’m still waiting for those camels.
Happy Reading, ya’ll!
From a Texas transplant to the cold coast of Maine
The first novel in the High Tide Suspense series
Diana Jennings is running away—from her past, from her memories, from evil men who want her to suffer more. Stone Bay looks like just the place to hide, but will it be far enough? Has she found a safe place to heal? Or is she just endangering all of those around her?
Sam Gardiner is back home after an incident in Afghanistan, a place he wasn’t prepared for and should never have been. But his first day home he runs into trouble, Diana Jennings. A beautiful woman with secrets behind her vulnerable eyes. And Sam loves secrets.
Diana’s secrets making their way to idyllic Stone Bay, may be the death of them both.
About the Author
Min Edwards is the pen name of Pam Headrick, owner of A Thirsty Mind Book Design. She holds advanced degrees in Anthropology with a focus on archaeology and geography as well as geology and art. She’s published five novels in two series: Stone Bay Contemporary Romance and High Tide Romantic Suspense. And in early 2018, she has on her schedule two novels in her new co-authored archaeological series, as well as an historical women’s fiction, The Russian Phoenix, a prequel to Precious Stone, her last novel in the High Tide Suspense series.
You can visit with her or contact her on her website at www.minedwards.com. Her Amazon Author’s page lists her current titles published in digital and print format, Stone Bay, Stone Cold, Stone Heart, Stone Fall and Precious Stone.