The birth of my son was the best day of my life. Born on the 4th of July.
23 years ago today I was lying in a hospital al bed waiting for the birth to my son, my first child. My husband was working in San Diego and was making the drive back and got lost. This put him back several hours and by 11:00 that night I was in full blown labor. At this point I didn't know if this baby was going to be born on the 4th of July. I knew he was a boy. We had picked out a strong name, Phillip Henry Shelton. I was very excited to meet him. 1990 was one of the hottest summers on record reaching 122 degrees just a few days before the fourth of July and it had not been a pleasant pregnancy at the end. Not beause I had complications, I had very few complications, it was just really hot and uncomfortable.
Alone in the Hospital for the Birth of My Son
I was alone for the most part for the birth of my son. One of my husbands friends was there, Tammy Jones. I didn't know her well, but she was there with me, supporting me and I was grateful. My husband, Paul, arrived about 11:30 PM. The doctor had made it very clear he wanted to be with his family on July 4 and I was putting a crimp in his plans. He did not want Phillip to be born on the 4th of July! He was rough and harsh. I didn't like him. He didn't like me. The nurses were great and were spending time teaching me how to go through this brand new experience. I was tired, scared and excited. I wanted to meet the baby! I wanted him to be safe and healthy. I wanted to nurse and hold my new son.
You were diligent. It was a long night. It looked as though you would be born on the 4th of July. The nurses were taking bets to see if you would be born at 7:04 on July 4, 1990. 7:04 came and went and still no baby. The doctors were worried, I was beat. Dad was tired and ready for the birth of his son! Finally, they had to help me push and at 7:11, you made your way into this world. You were born on the 4th of July. A firecracker baby. It was obvious you were struggling…they couldn't get you to cry. They were working on you and I didn't get to hold you.
Holding my Baby Who was Born on the 4th of July
I didn't get to see you for hours. The birth of my son was a hard birth. Your Apgar was low. You were blue. You had bruises on your head from the suction cups they used to suck you out. I was worried. They said they wanted to give you oxygen for awhile and then they would bring you to my room. I waited and waited….I called family and shared the excitement with them. I called to see where you were…they assured me they would bring you soon. It was after 11:00 AM before I got to hold you. When I did it was the happiest day of my life!
Checking you Out!
I slowly unwrapped you and examined you. You were HUGE! 7.15 ounces. I was trying to imagine you being in my tummy. I counted your fingers and toes, I hugged you and kissed you a welcome into the world. You were so easy…you slept. You nursed. You snuggled in with me. We were foxhole buddies. We had been through a lot. I don't think you ever left my side after that. Not for years.
The Day You Left Me
On September 1, 2013, my life changed forever. The police came and gave us the news. You had been killed in a car accident. A traumatic car accident that most likely killed you within seconds and then your body was burned up. We had no body…no fingers to count, no toes to count…nothing to hold or hug or kiss goodbye. I felt robbed. Robbed of saying goodbye to your body. Robbed of seeing you grow into an amazing father. Robbed of all the experiences I would not share with you. First new car, first home purchase, all the daddy firsts you will miss with Ava Rose.
My heart is heavy tonight. It hasn't been a year yet. We celebrated your last birthday at home. I took you out to eat with your little family. I enjoyed my time with you. What I would give for another day, an hour, a moment. It would never be enough. I love you Phillip. Happy Birthday. It will always be a day of celebration for me. I will celebrate the day of your birth…you were one of the major loves of my life. A gift. A precious gift. <3