Tales from the Tailgate
by Beth Kozan
As I prepared last week to sell my 2006 Subaru Forester (Mileage: 148,268) I thought back over how much that Subaru has meant to me in my career in adoption. Put down the back seat of the wagon, and it had a cargo space roughly the size of a small pickup bed. I helped a lot of young women and children move from one apartment to another in my Subaru. Lots of babies were driven to meet their new families in that car. Here’s one story that didn’t make the cut for my book, Adoption: More Than By Chance, because the only stories I used in that book where synchronicity played an important role.
“On the Way to the Hospital”
“And when I call you, you’d better come fast!” said Sandy.
Sandy, mother of four boys under the age of 5, couldn’t afford a telephone, and this was long before cell phones were available. So when her water broke just after midnight, Sandy had to walk to the pay phone across the street, call me, and return to her apartment to wait the 12 minutes (we had timed it!) for me to get to her. We packed up four sleepy boys and drove them to her friend’s house for the rest of the night. Then we were — zip! — off to the hospital.
“We aren’t going to make it!” cried Sandy. I could see the hospital towering in the dim skyline, still about a half-mile away.
“Hold on,” I pleaded, “we’re almost there!”
“No,” Sandy said with even more urgency in her voice. “I can feel the head!” I pulled into an empty parking lot, left the car running, and ran around to the passenger’s side of the car. As I rounded the back, I could see Sandy pull her sweatpants down. When I opened the car door, Sandy had barely parted her legs, and suddenly I was holding a slippery baby girl!
“Breathe, baby!” I whispered. And with that, the baby took her first breath. I handed her back to Sandy and drove on to the hospital where I ran into the emergency room. “I have a mom and new baby in my car!”
“So?” muttered the sleepy clerk.
“New: as in delivered in the car on the way here!”
“Oh!” said the clerk, as a nurse reached for a gurney. Mom and baby were whisked upstairs and I went outside to park the car and clean the upholstery with a few fast food napkins. No blood! Just amniotic fluid, and not much of that! (This was the case that taught me to always travel with a towel in my car, just in case!)
Sandy had told me that with each of her pregnancies, she had hoped for a baby girl. Now she had her girl and the next day would tell me she just couldn’t part with her. Her life would be harder than with just the four boys, but I knew she was a strong mama!
This is not the only time there was amniotic fluid in my Subaru. Maybe I’ll blog about Agua in next month’s post.
Beth Kozan is the author of the book Adoption: More Than by Chance and the forthcoming Helping the Birth Mother You Know. Beth worked in adoption for 35 years and retired to write. She has many more books than these titles to write and will emphasize and explore the concept of community in her additional books. “Growing up in a close agriculture-based, rural community in Texas, I felt the comfort and bonds of caring for others which is often missing in our busy lives today. Exploring and building communities for today is my writer’s goal.” Follow Beth on Facebook or visit her website, where she reviews books and films featuring adoption.