Scratchings in the Dirt

Happy Birthday, Stephen!

Our middle child is now 15 years old. In 1993, Clem came out as usual to help with the harvest. I was nine months pregnant, huge, and very tired, so Adam and I came out to stay with my parents. Thinking back, it may not have been the best idea. Mom was recovering from a heart attack the month before, and they were in the middle of their harvest, too. And, as I already mentioned, I was nine months pregnant, tired, and very huge. Put it down to young and stupid. And nine months pregnant and very tired.

Anyway, it started raining, and Clem decided to go back to Calgary for a few days as it was busy at work. I decided to stay at Mom’s, since I dreaded another five hour drive with a 15-month-old toddler (and did I mention I was nine months pregnant, tired and huge?) and Mom didn’t seem ready to kick us out yet. Sure enough, the day after he left, my water broke. Wow, what a commotion. My great friend, Bernie, agreed to keep Adam, and Mom and Doreen (Dad’s cousin – not sure how she got tangled up with us that day!) took me to Kindersley to get checked out. The contractions weren’t starting on their own, so they put me in the hospital and said they would induce labor the next day if things hadn’t progressed naturally. (Note: if you haven’t had children yet, but are planning to, don’t read this next part. Really.)

I called Clem, who had just gotten back to the city, and told him he had to come back because he was going to be a dad again. I also told him to dig through the boxes in what was going to become the baby’s room and find some clothes, diapers, etc. and bring them along. I think he found a sleeper and a receiving blanket. Honestly, where was he when Adam was a baby? Didn’t he notice all that stuff we had around constantly? He arrived at the hospital the next morning, with the two little items for our newborn-to-be, just as they were giving me “the drip”. This innocuous little term is very deceiving. That little “drip” injects a chemical that commands your body to go into instantaneous, hard labor. I did not like it. It hurt. It really hurt. And when they finally told me I could push, I did, so much that they told me not to push so much. Yeah, right. Try to hold back that freight train. And poor Stephen literally shot out into the (very good looking South African) doctor’s hands, doing no small damage to his mother. They placed the little square-headed thing in his dad’s arms (really, there were corners on that thing), and Clem just said, “Hello, Stephen”. That part still makes me cry. Well, that, and the part about the stitches, but we won’t get into that here. I think I’ve already said enough. Except that I had a small problem concerning blood loss in the next few days, and when the (very good-looking South African) doctor told me he was considering a blood transfusion, I was light-headed enough to think he was kidding. Long story long, I didn’t need the transfusion, and was discharged to the care of my wonderful mother. The rain stopped, and the harvest continued. And we had many visitors at the farm, come to admire the second Schraefel son. And he was a cutie.

(OK, you wanna-be parents can start reading again, or you’ll miss the cute pictures!)

And he stayed cute for quite a while!

Here he is at three, with cousin, Allan, whose birthday happens to be tomorrow!

Hockey begins! Just look at that face – beaming!
Grade Three. Check out the twinkle in those eyes.

Grade Seven. Cuteness is subsiding. Hair is growing.
Speaking of hair, remember this from last year?
He works out, too.

This morning, as he was attacking me with a leaf blower…
and then ignoring me because I had the camera.
He’s turned into a pretty nice kid. Big help on the farm, too. Just ask his dad,

Adam is a big help, too. He doesn’t mind posing for the camera.

And just to end this little trip down memory lane, here’s my favorite photo of Adam, which I couldn’t find in June for his birthday.

Thanks for popping by again. Stay tuned for more harvest reporting!

UPDATE: Clem read the blog last night, and said he cried, too. Then he reminded me that Stephen cried – for six months. Colic. Sort of knocked the rose-colored glasses off my face!
And I also forgot to tell you the part where Bud left the farm – during the day, in late harvest – to come to the hospital and see his newest grandson. That part makes me cry, too.

2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Stephen!

  1. Happy Birthday Stephen!
    Thanks for the birthday announcement otherwise I would not remember…just too many newphews and neices!and am such a lousy correspondent regarding birthdays.

    Great pictures; down memory lane with Stephen.

    You are becoming a very good blogger Chandra; me thinks you may even be surpassing your sister LOL
    well…different life situations, but equally interesting in their own way….
    take care,

  2. Happy Birthday from the USA :)

    Love the pictures and the birth story! I had “the drip” (twice!) and natural, and I have to agree that the inductions were much harder!

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