Looking for a job part 3
Part 3 starts off not with a baby but with a strike or a near strike. We were well along in the process of having our baby. Everyone was anxious as we finished the second week in August; 2 weeks overdue. Then on Thursday of the second week the local police officers temporarily walked off the job and I along with the Mayor was summoned to court. (Note here.. public employee strikes in Indiana are both rare and illegal). The police officers came in as they were also ordered to court to answers the judges concerns. In order to start the judge ordered all police officers to remove their weapons. The officers, refused and the judge threatened to put us all in lock up until we came to our senses. I pointed out to the mayor, that I did not carry a gun, I had my senses and I was only paid $3,900 a year, and of course I told the mayor if I had gun, the judge could have it. That seemed to be lost in the discussions.
Eventually, the police officers agreed to give their guns to the police chief for safe keeping. The judge relented and the Police chief collected the firearms at the door of the chambers. The hearing started and the judge called the attorneys into chambers. They were in the process of working out an agreement that would allow the police officers to continue working, but in the meantime 3:00 PM came and went. I was due home not later than 4 PM and while there were a few cell phones, no one in the room had one.
I turned to the mayor asked if he would ask the judge if I could leave. The mayor and I discussed it for what seemed like an hour until he approached the city attorney to get me removed from the order to stay in place. The judge reconvened court and before he took oral arguments he issued a bench order allowing me to leave. He cited extreme personal circumstances relating to the eminent birth of our first baby. This did not sit well with the police officers who were still ordered to remain in the courtroom while he worked the situation out. I heard a few cat calls but I left as swiftly as possible. When I got home I found my wife pacing, she wondered if I had been in a wreck or worse yet if she was going to be forced to give birth someday without me. I told her of the court order and she cried, saying what if I had been locked up? I said well certainly they would have given me a hardship release, besides they were only paying me $3,900 a year, what could they really do to me? LOL That did not seem to satisfy the issue.
Finally on August 25th, we had our incredible son. My wife was in labor for 3 ½ days before the C section and I can’t count the number of days we might have lost our little guy. Turned out his cord was wrapped around his neck and each contraction we could see his heart rate drop like a rock. It was the scariest thing I have ever witnessed. When the doctors took my wife too surgery I was not certain I would ever see my son or my wife again. It was touch and go.
I shared the waiting room with my in-laws and parents. On one side of the room I was not very popular. There was discussion about how I had should not put my wife in this position again. How I needed a better job and how if I didn’t get one we would surly starve. At one point there was a serious offer to take her and my new son back, acknowledging that I might be an unfit father for my part in the taco bell disaster.
On the other side of the room, my blood sugar was the talk of the room. Had I taken my insulin, how high had it been, why didn’t I go home and sleep as soon as the baby was born so we would “get my Blood sugar back on track”. I honestly didn’t know it was out of control. Of course in those days who knew what their blood sugar was anyway. I was sort of using Clinistix and matching color was always difficult for me. When I was asked what Plus I was I was about to explode. Yes mom felt she was doing her duty, but I had been at the hospital for almost 4 days and I honestly felt we might not get our little one to this world. The clinistix test seemed pretty ridiculous.
I reminded on the clinistix side of the room and listening to the discussion on the other. Over and over again what they said they felt all of this was my fault. I had to remind them that their daughter was involved in the decision to have the baby and I knew this because I was there as well. I had to remind the opposite side of the room that eating hot dogs out of the hospital cafeteria was a better diet than nothing and I could not very well leave in the middle of labor.
Finally after what seemed an eternity the elevator doors opened and there in an incubator was my magnificent son. He was so frail I started to cry. The Doctor said he was at least 3 weeks past due. That we would need to watch for brain issues because each contraction was in essence reducing his oxygen supply since he was pressing directly on the cord. He said the little guy had come into the world in shape considering. He also said my wife would make a full recovery. The offer to take her and the child back still stood however. LOL
I guess I knew right then that you never stop being a parent. No matter your child’s age, if you are a parent you are a parent for life. We were so fortunate to get my son to the world, my wife and I felt so blessed. At that moment not having a decent job really didn’t matter. Of course in the coming weeks that would change, but not necessarily for the better.
Part 4 will be the last in this series