How do I begin? Where do I start?
Bittersweet moments of my own
retirement flash before me. Two
letters in the mail this week reported
on retirements of two individuals
who have been an integral part of
our lives and family for almost
forty years. Tempus fugit.
I will start at the beginning when
motherhood entered our lives. A
bouncing baby boy (literally) and a
girl of uncommon beauty. (My Dad said so.)
Our nurse-midwife, Elaine, and her
physician-husband, Dr. Waldman, have
plans to retire at the end of this month.
But I thought they would be there forever!
Pregnant and several weeks along (unknown
to me at the time) Elaine informed me that
I was probably about 18 weeks along. My
first test had been negative. As I looked
at a small bulging stomach, I told myself it
was time to lose a bit of weight. So, it came
as a shock to discover I was pregnant and
that far along! Special vitamins. I heard
our son’s heartbeat and marveled. How
could I not have known? My colleague asked
me this several times. No flutters? No kicks?
She urged me to get a pregnancy test at the
pharmacy. I did and then repeated it. When
I asked my internist why the first test had been
negative, he didn’t have much of an explanation.
When I met Dr. Waldman, he said I was so
healthy, I could have ten children. My goodness!
So many special moments recalled at the
office when I went for checkups. It will just
not be the same without seeing Elaine, giving
hugs and showing photos of our two as they
grew. Healthcare professionals are dedicated
individuals whose chosen profession is
often difficult. Getting up in the middle of
the night to deliver a baby who has decided
now is the time to enter the world. Our daughter
was born about 4:20 AM. I decided to let my
husband sleep a bit more this time and
finally awakened him at 3 AM. No traffic on
the road but my sweetheart decided to stop
at red lights. Feet on the dashboard, I yelled
to keep driving and ignore the lights. When
we arrived, I waddled to the Birth Place,
part of the hospital made to look like a
home, and was immediately placed in the
first room. I asked how much longer it
would be until the birth. Nervous glances
between the nurses informed me that it
was a matter of minutes. When our daughter
drew her first breath, I managed to see
who else was there: nurse-midwife, physician
husband and Director of the Birth Place
along with other nurses. Our daughter already
had a devoted entourage. I began this account of
the early moments of our lives with our two
integral part of our family. Now I will conclude that
our lives have been enriched beyond belief by
Elaine and Dr. Waldman (Rich). They allowed
us to call the shots and personalize the care from
a Scrabble game as we awaited our son’s birth (No,
I did not feel the contractions!) and the loving
adoration we felt holding our two and gazing at
them nonstop as all new parents do. We are
overjoyed that these two professionals were an
important part of our lives when we needed them.
We love you and are in awe of you both. Now,
travel and be with your children and grandchildren.
Dote on them just as you did us. Enjoy your retirement
and know that your jobs were well done! Bon
voyage. Until we meet again. Enjoy life!