Sarah's Story

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The Story of Sarahís Birth

I remember those delightful trips in the warm summer of 1994 to Urbana. Big sister, Hannah, was very excited and involved in all of Jillís pregnancy with baby #2. There was construction going on that year at the hospital and everyone had to park at the fairgrounds where you were then shuttled by bus to the hospital and clinic. Hannah loved riding the bus. By the end of the summer we knew each shuttle and each driver personally.

We were, by now, experienced at this pregnancy thing. We were not quite as anxious and scared.

In August of that summer, a routine sonogram reported that one of the babyís kidneys was not developing as fast as the other. We were shaken and could do nothing but wait for a repeat sonogram in a few weeks. I remember a Showalter-family vacation to Vail CO that was not as pleasant as it could have been for our worrying about that kidney.

Jill complained through the last part of the pregnancy that the baby never stopped. One of the sonograms verified that the baby enjoyed moving one leg quite frequently. After her birth, Sarah continued to kick her left leg for most of the first year of her life.

Sarahís due date came and went with no indication that she was ready to come into the world. Finally, we were scheduled to be induced on Sunday, October 23rd. On the Wednesday before, Jill awakened me at 8am on the sofa bed downstairs in the big 2-story house in Onarga. "Youíd better get up and get your shower." "Well, sure, ok, why? Are you having contractions!?" "Well, yeah, but Iím not sure theyíre anything." "How many minutes apart?" "Oh, five or so." "Well, weíd better get ourselves to the hospital donít you think?" "No, go ahead and take your shower and weíll see whatís happening by then." So I did and Jill got in with me. When I came into the bedroom to get quickly dressed, Jill was making our bed. "I donít think you need to be doing that," I said. All the time she was having contractions. I finally convinced her to come with me to Urbana. Once we got out onto the Interstate Jill said "Mark what time this is" and I said "I donít need to time this contraction, itís about 3 minutes after the last one." With the realization that we were still an hour away from the hospital I accelerated to 80mph or so.

We arrived at the clinic because that was the policy during office hours. Jill was helped into a wheelchair and taken to the office by an attendant. I parked the van and gathered suitcases and the video camera. I arrived at the exam room at the same time as Dr Fay. Dr Fay had to wait for a contraction to end before she could examine her. She removed her hand and said in her typically quiet and calm way "Ok, I think we need to get to the hospital." She stepped out of the room and someone pushed a wheelchair into the room. She came back in and said "No, I want a gurney." Before we knew it, there were 5 or 6 persons helping Jill onto a gurney and wheeling her over to the hospital. It was shortly after 10am.

The pass key would not work on the elevator and so we got to stop on every floor between the basement and the 2nd floor. Jill was put into a bed and the attending nurse examined her quickly. With a startled look on her face she turned around and ordered that Dr Fay be called. Sensing what was happening I reminded them that she had a mistral valve prolapse and would therefore need antibiotics. They reluctantly took time to start an IV.

Instruments were appearing from nowhere, people began rushing into the room. When I emerged from the bathroom after changing my clothes, I could not even get back over to Jillís side because of the crowd of personnel and medical students in the room. They were quickly preparing for the arrival of this baby.

Dr Fay arrived in time for Jillís 2 last pushes. No less a supernatural miracle than Hannahís birth, Sarah was quickly introduced to the world at 10:29am. Labor had been short and effective, mother and baby were fine.

Upon leaving home that morning I had told my parents, who were staying with us that night before, to get Hannah up and dressed and come to the hospital. When they arrived, Jill was eating her lunch and looking quite relaxed. They could hardly believe that it was all over.

I remember that Sarahís left leg kept that same kicking for many months. I also remember that she was fascinated by her own socks and shoes at an earlier age than I thought babies were even aware of those things. She particularly liked her purple suede shoes.

She was calmed by the blinking of the beacon atop the cable TV tower which "winked" at her every night through her window. I used to tell her that the light was winking just at her and saying "go to sleep baby Sarah, it is ok. I will stay right here with you through the night."

Sarahís first name came after discussing and considering many possibilities. I remember driving through the Grove City, IL cemetery where Ida Cecil, my paternal grandmother, is buried. From the tombstones there, we gleaned several different possibilities. By consensus, "Sarah" won out. "Wilson" is in honor of Jillís uncle, Paul Wilson and his wife Ė Jillís aunt Ė Beverly. They are and have been special people to our family and Sarah will forever carry the mark of their love.

This page last edited: 12/16/2000 05:55 PM