It was just like yesterday!!! March sixteenth 1999…the band Yellow 5 was playing at the Toy Tiger. What an event! It hadn’t been the first time they played there, but was definitely one of the most important. There was a company there to sign, who? Yes, our little hometown band, they were on their way to being FAMOUS!!!!!! However, guess who was in labor at about six o’clock in the morning and Eric was to leave to pursue stardum at one pm. Not good timing to say the least! But what an adventure.
The contractions would play with us all day. Become closer together then subside. I had decided they were probably a false alarm. However, he was over due, so we were on alert. I will never forget the moment when I called the doctor, explained my contractions and said, “If it would be okay, could I hold off until after midnight, to check in to the hospital?”
After a long pause, which seemed like an eternity, she chuckled and said, “Teena, I don’t think you get to choose that, but since this is your third child, you will know when to get here.”
My thoughts were you do not know me very well, but okay.
As the minutes ticked and clumped into hours my labor proceeded to get worse. Now a solid ten minutes a part and not stopping. They were consistent. It was now 12:45 and my honey was becoming anxious. Then he did the sweetest thing, he got down on both knees planted a big kiss on my huge, tight, belly button protruding, in labor, pregnant stomach and said, “Little buddy I love you, you know I do…but truthfully I am begging you to hold off one night.”
At that moment my little heart melted. Awe how freaking sweet is he for saying that. IF YOU BELIEVE THAT I HAVE SOME PROPERTY FOR SALE, IT ONLY HOLDS A LITTLE WATER!!!! LOLOLOL
What happened next…Let’s just let it be known my huge, rolly, polly, extreme pain came out and I began to say not such nice things to him. But hey who wants to recall the negative so let’s move on!.
Anyways, he went on to the gig and said, “I will be there, if you have to go to the hospital.”
I guess I would deal with whatever happened.
It was around nine o’clock my mom and her boyfriend insisted on driving me (thank goodness because I was going no matter what). As we merged on to the interstate I began to have pretty severe contractions. I had bought a brand new outfit for the gig, attempting to look as beautiful as possible weighing in at too much to post!
As we pass the exit to the hospital I recall Jon yelling, “Pull off! Charlene pull off! This is ridiculous!”
“No you better not pull off I won’t get out. I will make it! Just keep rolling the gig is about ready to begin. We can make it, go go go!”
Mom just pushed the petal to the metal and we were sitting in the Toy Tiger parking lot. Black makeup was pouring down my face, making me look like I was a pregnant zombie (wonder if that was foreshadowing for the Nuelydedz).
I fixed my face and rolled out of the car, literally I rolled. As I waddled closer to the door I saw a black man covering the doorway almost like he was waiting on me to say, “You are not coming in here little mama.”
As I got closer and closer I realized it was our good friend, the bouncer, Mo. I grinned as my head rolled back so I could look him in the eye or at least close enough. I am still hurting and I said, “Hey Mo it’s me with Yellow 5 I am just not feeling well.”
“Nope you do not need to be in here. You need to turn around and go back home.”
As if some kind of demon took over my body I lowered my head for a second, probably because I was having a pain. Then looked back up and in a scary voice said, “Mo! I have been through hell and back today so could you please move over and let me through!!!!!”
If you knew him you would know he never budged for anyone. He was one of the best bouncers in the world. However, thank goodness he felt sorry for me. He stepped a side and even found me a table close to the back so I could watch, but could exit quickly, if needed.
We had about fifteen minutes to spare so I sat down. Eric appeared to be happy to see me, he might have been afraid of me, but he played it off well. I am just kidding! If you know either of us very well, you know we don’t stay mad for very long at all.
The lights went dim, silence filled the room for a split second and when the stage lit up Eric Drake raised his drum sticks and hit the first lick…it stopped! What? Yes, my labor pains stopped almost simultaneously. I don’t mean I had a little pain, then they stopped. In fact I would push back and forth a few times just so he would kick my hand. Once I knew he was fine we went on together, enjoying the gig. The night seemed to end quickly and I was home, curled up in bed before I knew it. Still no pain, achey feeling just little ole pregnant me, like nothing happened.
Next morning March 17, 1999 appeared to be an average morning. Eric went on to work and I got the girls ready for school. Around 1:00 I told my mother and brother n law I didn’t feel well. Therefore, I was going to take a bath. My mom was pacing back and forth. She knew I was acting funny, so she called Eric to come home early. When he walked in the bathroom to check on me I stood up in the bathtub said, “Honey, I don’t feel very good!”
His face was worth this entire story! He first turned white, then he began to raise his voice…never looking me in the eye. Only to stare at my belly like there was an alien peaking out of my belly button. When I asked him what is wrong?
He looked at my belly and calmly said, “Get dressed, we are going to the hospital.”
Then it happened. I looked down to see what he was so freaked out about. I am not kidding you when I say it was something like a phenomenon. My gigantic, stretched out, pregnant belly had sank to a small dodge ball size. It literally looked like somebody told Nicholas to jump into a too small of a container and scrunch altogether, to ensure this delivery is a quick process. You will be out of here before you know it. I began to panic. I yelled for my mommy and she came running. All she could do was hand me clothes in a frantic manner. After I was dressed the girls were quickly loading into our gold colored MPV mini van and we were off. By this time the contractions had begun! We were at five minutes apart and holding. We drove the girls across the Milton/Madison bridge only to hand over the girls to my daddy and step-mom. It looked alot like a three ring circus: I am screaming, off and on, hanging on the ‘Oh Shit’ handle. The side door oppisite of their front door flies open as if a rocket is going to shoot out and strike their next door neighbors. Out jumps Darion and Ashby. Ashby is screaming, “NO! I want to go with you please don’t leave me here. I don’t want to get out,” while she is pushing her meemaw and daddy away with her chubby little hands and almost leaping back and forth to keep from being caught, but she was too little to escape boh of them.
Not to mention her daddy was screaming, “ASHBY!” at the top of his lungs.
Now the kids are delivered and we are racing down the road with flashers on and me still halfway standing up screaming every THREE MINUTES NOW. My mother had decided we were going to deliver him in the van.
Once we arrived at the hospital my best friend Teresa Kidwell was waiting on me and we all just knew this was going to be fifteen minutes until Mr. Prince Charming Nicholas Drake would bless us with his presence. Nope, Nope Nope…my sweet little nurse Wendy Hines (one of the best nurses in the world), began prepping me for delivery, doctor was quickly behind too late for an epideral and BOOM he was scooting on down the chute…but abruptly came to a halt. Why? Because he was ten pounds nine ounces that’s why! My body said sorry call me tomorrow because I don’t know how we will ever get this one out of here.
His shoulders were stuck. That is the final answer. After a few hours we had to make a decision; his collar bone would have to be broke. They did it and finally he was here.
My grandmother was alive then. I am always so grateful that he grew up knowing her. They had a unique bond. I would go to the house after working all day and say, “Baw Baw how did you and Nicholas get along today?” (She wanted to watch him when he was about three a couple of days a week, to keep from being lonely).
She would reply with, “Well, Teena I guess we got along okay. Who are you talking about? Nicholas? Oh yes he is so quiet I almost forgot I had him.”
Ummmm I think that should have been my sign but he was fine! Some people might get offended by me making a joke about my grandmothers dementia, but until you have lived through it, you can not understand! If you didn’t laugh about it you would lose your mind!
Anyways I had a beautiful ten pound nine ounce little boy on March seventeenth nineteen ninety nine. He has brought each of us joy on a regular basis and I can’t believe how fast the years have flown by. We have good, bad, fun, snuggle, adventurous, heartbreaking, puzzling and most of all loving times and I am looking forward to many more. He has never fit in a mold or been the type to follow a crowd. He has a kind heart; magnificient musical talent among other talents. He has been my rock the past four months, while I haven’t been capable of many daily duties. I thank God for Nicholas Ryan Drake on a daily basis. I love you buddy! Happy Birthday!
May my stories relate to you, make you laugh, help you heal, entertain you, but most of all may they enrich your life in one way or another! God Bless Everyone!
The last twenty four hours have truly been sad, disturbing and brought up deep issues I had surpressed for many years.
I have watched my son become a good man. My mother has been strong as ever and like always stood beside me. My family has bonded together with a tie that no one could ever break.
So what is my new book about? It’s the voices of children who have had much less than a perfect life. It’s about their fears, anger, thoughts, questions and statements. We aren’t holding anything back. It’s time their voices are heard and how they can be helped.
Included will be how we as a society can help. I am excited although I realize this will be an emotional roller coaster. I really wanted to write funny stuff, but God has laid this on my heart and I know it must be done. I will keep you up to date on our progress! Our plan is to have it available on Kindle by summer break.
My last words for the evening! It doesn’t matter where you came from, it doesn’t matter who your family is all that matters is that you know who you are and where you are going!