Birth of my Firstborn
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 by Frank Shortt
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Men are renowned for wanting their first child. I was no exception as my wife, Sharon, grew rounder and rounder! There became less and less she could do at keeping our home in order and I picked up the slack. I was happy to do so as I wanted this child in the worst way! Getting some sleep was beginning to be a problem!

To begin with, I was in not too good a shape as the two month mark came for the birth of my first daughter, Leanne! I was working two jobs, both stressful, as I had to get up each day to be ready for my job as a professional house cleaner. This was from 6am until 2pm. After this I had to go to my next job as a school custodian from 3pm until 11:30pm.

When the first birth pangs came, I was a wreck! I had on an outfit consisting of a blue seersucker shirt and off-white Bermuda shorts. Water broke for the baby at around 7am on November 21st. When we arrived at the hospital the labor pains were increasing, but the baby would just not come. After being there for quite a while, the nurse told me I should maybe go home and get some sleep. I proceeded to do so, and after resting a short period, I had a call from my mother-in-law urging me to go back to the hospital! “You shouldn’t leave that girl alone” she intoned! So, being a very obedient son-in-law, I grabbed the same outfit and proceeded to the hospital. When I approached the nurse’s station, the nurses must have thought I was a vagrant! Anyway, they looked at me kind of strange when I asked how Sharon Shortt was coming along with the birthing process! They said that nothing had changed and the birth pangs had stopped, suddenly! I was both confused and a little chagrined at my mother-in-law for disturbing the only sleep I was able to get in the past several hours! Mom Delores had a heart of gold, even with her sometimes jagged edges.

Unbeknownst to us, the doctor had informed the nurses to keep Sharon at the hospital, since the water had already broken, even though the labor pangs had stopped. She slept the rest of that night and around 9am the next morning, Sharon was wheeled to the birthing room and the nurses began to induce labor. Actually, the baby was trying to be born two weeks early, the only problem being the broken water. At around 2pm that day, the baby finally arrived. I knew what a battle Sharon had fought as I was right there fighting with her. I felt each shriek, even though I could not experience the physical pain. Leanne weighed 5lbs. 13 ounces, and was acclaimed by the nurses in the hospital as being the prettiest baby that had been born there previously. Nurses were invited from different floors to see this beautiful child! My mother-in-law’s neighbor, Rose Cardoza, was a floor lady at the hospital at that time and she brought the cleaning staff up to see the baby that all the floors were talking about.

 We moved on to my mother-in-law’s house after the birth staying there for over a month while Sharon mended. Yep, you guessed it! I still had on the same outfit when we arrived there. I was given a break to go to our apartment later to freshen up and get some things we would need. Bermuda shorts and blue seersucker shirts became a joke in our family after that.

At the same time Leanne was being born, another baby ‘Leslie’ was being born to the Holmes family. Sharon’s family had known the lady’s family, the Carlo family, where they had lived in Warms Springs, Ca. It turned out that the Carlo girl, now a Holmes, ended up in the same room as Sharon. Her husband, Mark, was a San Jose fireman and lived not too far from where we lived. Funny how things happen sometimes!

Leanne is now over fifty, still as beautiful as ever in character, as well as, physical qualities. Even though almost a ‘premmie’ she grew up to be a very energetic, assertive, and sensitive lady. She has raised for us, two very industrious grandsons and is still wife to Ed Lee, keeping the family fed and the house immaculate!