A perfect Christmas gift, a birth of a child.
This is actually a true story. Living ten miles out in the country, my parents found themselves in a dire situation when a winter storm became worse by heavy winds blowing the light snowflakes around. The driveway became un-drivable in no time. Deep snowdrifts began piling up everywhere my dad looked after promising his wife, Martha, that he would take her to the hospital as soon as the truck warmed up. This is the day my brother picked to come into the world.
This scenario can be scary for any parent, and my dad was beside himself with worry. First time parent, he wanted everything to go right for his wife. Read and find out what happened that fateful day when my brother was born.
THE GIFT OF LOVE
Martha was in the bedroom packing her suitcase so it will be ready when she needed to go to the hospital. Her best friend, Emma, was helping her when she noticed Martha wince in pain. Emma knew immediately it was time, so she helped her lie down on the bed and went to get Emil.
Coming back into the room, she said, “Emil is warming the car and will be right up to make sure you are okay.”
“Oh, Emma, I can’t wait until I have my baby in my arms.”
“I know, seeing Katie for the first time — Well, let’s just say it’s an experience you’ll never forget.” She walked over to the window when she noticed snowflakes were falling. “Oh, how pretty, snow has already decorated all the trees. It’s like a winter wonderland out there. I guess we’re in for an early snowfall.”
Martha smiled, then winced. Emma sat down in the chair next to the bed and talked about when she gave birth to Katie, hoping to keep Martha’s mind off the pain. When Emil came into the room, he asked, “How are you doing?”
“The pains are coming closer, I’m all ready to go to the hospital.”
“In just a little while I’ll be back up to get you. I’m warming up the truck. Emma, can you come down for a minute.” He grabbed the suitcase and left.
“I’ll go see what he wants.” She ran downstairs and walked into the kitchen. Emil was listening to the radio with a worried look on his face.
An early snowstorm is making its way through Southeastern Minnesota, the temperature dropping as the wind gust are up to 45 mph. Be prepared for blizzard conditions to develop.
“This is what I wanted you to hear, Emma. You better get going before it gets any worse.”
“Okay, I’ll go home and pray for you and Martha. Just keep the faith, Emil, you’ll get her there okay.” She put on her coat and left.
Emil went outside with Emma to see her off. He watched her taillights disappear. The winds were beginning to pick up and it nipped at his nose as he walked along the driveway, wanting to check out how the road looked. Reaching the end of the driveway, he watched as snowdrifts were beginning to pile up, and worry lines appeared on his face. How am I going to drive my wife to the hospital in time for our baby to be born? He said a little prayer for guidance as he walked back up the driveway. If I must, I’ll deliver our baby myself.
Living three miles away from the nearest highway wasn’t the easiest to travel in the winter; especially, when the country roads were always the last to be plowed out. Entering the house, he ran upstairs to check on Martha. When he noticed her face wincing in pain, he knew he had to do something quickly.
“I put your suitcase in the truck, so we should be ready to take off soon.” He didn’t tell her that they might not make it to the hospital at all.
“Is everything okay?” Martha asked, seeing the worried look on his face.
He bent down to give her a kiss, “Don’t worry, everything will be okay. When the pick-up is nice and warm, I’ll be up to get you.”
He ran down the stairs and went into the kitchen to pour himself a cup of coffee, thinking, hoping the roads weren’t as bad as they looked. He turned towards the window and saw larger snowflakes falling. I’ll never be able to drive in this stuff without getting stuck. Something else caught his eyes, and his eyes widened in disbelief.
Blinking his eyes once more... they are still there! What he saw made him choke back tears of happiness. A whole line of cars was turning onto his driveway, and the truck in front was plowing the way for the other cars following behind. He knew the neighbors did this, but in this kind of weather, it was above and beyond any kindness he knew of, and his heart was touched by these wonderful people.
He went to tell Martha the good news. When both entered the kitchen, the ladies were putting away casseroles in the refrigerator until it was completely full. They smiled, brushing away the thanks as they helped Martha with her coat. They escorted her and Emil out to the truck, wishing them a healthy baby.
Emma hugged Martha saying, " Everything is being taken care of, so don't worry!"
Off they went, a plow truck in front of Emil’s truck, plowing the way while another was following behind in case, they needed a push. The pains were excruciating, and Martha prayed all the way to the hospital. Reaching the emergency entrance, the three men helped Martha into the hospital where the nurses whisked her away to the delivery room. Emil went over to the desk to make out the proper papers, then he waited impatiently for the good news. Dave and Hank took a seat and waited with him. He paced back and forth worrying and at 12:05 PM, their baby was born. Here was something to be thankful for on Thanksgiving. When it was alright to go in to see his wife and baby boy, Dave and Hank stood to pat him on the back. He walked into the room and saw his baby boy lying next to Martha. The name they picked for a boy was Ordean Emil, weighing in at 7 lbs. 10 oz. He had sandy, blond hair, and a chubby little face, and Emil counted the fingers and toes, just to be sure.
Looking down at his wife and newborn, he gave thanks to his wonderful neighbors, his beautiful wife, and his newborn son. He bent down to pick him up for just a little while, and his baby scent filled his nostrils. He looked down at his sleeping wife and smiled, "Merry Christmas, Martha." He laid their son down next to her and thought they looked so perfect together. He sent a silent prayer of thanks to God for making a scary situation come out just fine. A sigh of contentment burst forth as he looked down at his child and his wife. She needed her rest, so he left the room to tell his friends the good news.
Walking into the waiting room, Hank and Dave jumped up to meet him. “I have a baby boy! His name is Ordean Emil, weighing in at 7 lbs. 10 oz. Spread the news, fellows, I’m a happy man.”
“Congratulations! Don’t worry about another thing, and after telling our wives, your good news will be spread far and wide.” Hank smiled, shaking Emil’s hand.
Dave patted Emil on the shoulder and shook his hand. He pulled out a cigar and gave it to him. Watching his friends leave, Emil thought about their wonderful friendship and smiled. Turning, he put the cigar in his pocket and walked back down the hall into Martha’s room. He wanted to be there when they both woke up.