Backing up a bit here, it was July of 1971 and the boys were two months old. I pretty much had this mom thing down to a science by now, and we decided to go to the beach with our friends. The boys first time and our friends chose which beach we would go to. "Thousand Steps in South Laguna. I had never been there but it was right across the street from the hospital where the boys were born so hey, this will be fun. We walked down a little public sidewalk between sweet Laguna Beach Cottages and there it was, the beach below, way down there...down a thousand steps perched on the side of the cliff, no hand rail, just steps. I froze inside, vertigo. After much coaxing and gripping the babies in a death grip, we made it to the sand. We set up our stuff and stuck the unbrella in the sand and the guys hit the water. I "volunteered" to stay behind with the babies:) It was hot and trying to nurse my babies and cover up so as not to offend anyone was becoming quite the challenge. Out of nowhere, a sweet woman came up and asked if I would be more comfortable in her cabana. CABANA? Like in comfortable shade CABANA? I looked behind me and about 20 feet away was her cabana up against the cliff, next to the "elevator" that went up and down from her house above!!
Ummm, okay, how sweet is this? She helped me with my things and led me to her "Oasis" in the sand. She set me up in a lounge chair and said to go ahead and feed my babies. No one would come close enough to see me or bother me. Wow, I'd died and gone to heaven for sure. But, someone DID see me and came over and checked out my boys and my new friend was surprised at this. I apologized and told her this lady was my natural birthing teacher, Dionne Wright. Dionne reached in her bag and got out a notebook and pen and wanted me to tell her all about my birthing experience for her records. I think she forgot that we only made it to three of the eight classes before the boys got here. So, I sat there nursing my boys and recounted the details to her as she madly wrote them down. She asked who taught me how to nurse the boys (she was a Lamaze Coach too) and I told her it was kind of a no brainer, the milk was there in abundance and the boys got hungry. My "new friend" (cabana owner) sat and smiled as she listened to me tell my story. Dionne was holding her breath as she wrote it all down, until it got to the "back labor" part being so painful that I asked for the NO-NO DRUGS. She gasped and said "you didn't" and I said "oh yes I did!" She closed her notebook right then and there and smiled politely and after ackwardly looking at my boys one last time, she strolled off down the beach! I felt like such a failure at that moment and tears started streaming down my face. My new friend uttered three words under her breath, "What A Bitch!" After what seemed like hours, she asked me to please continue with my story for her. She said the best was yet to come and so I told her the rest and when I was finished, she had tears in her eyes and kept saying "such a miracle". She saved my mind that day. I started to change diapers and she took over one baby and did it for me while I diapered the other. Looking back, I know she was an Angel Unaware for me that day. She rescued my heart like a good mother would and I couldn't thank her enough for her kindness. To this day I feel she had a story of her own that was left unspoken. Now that I am her age, I realize it could have been anything but she chose to minister to me. I never saw her again but will always remember her kindness at a time when I needed it most.
When the guys got back to the sand, Corky was looking around for me and the kids and I waved until he saw me at the cabana. He came over with a huge smile on his face and thanked my new friend for making his family comfortable. We said our goodbyes and gathered up our treasures and climbed the steps, all bazillion of them as I thought of that lady's elevator that glided up the cliff to the street level above.:)
I know, don't push my luck but I know she would have offered it in a heartbeat.
I never forgot how crushed I was at not being able to go natural all the way. When I told Corky about Dionne and her disappointment in me, he got tears in his eyes and told me that I had given him the two most wonderful gifts in the whole world and he was glad when I was able to get relief from the pain when they were born. Everything was such a competition back in those days, organic, natural childbirth, nursing, Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street.:) So much pressure on top of just being a mom and trying to please everyone first. It would be decades until I realized that you can't please anyone all of the time. And who wants to anyway?~sigh~ I think this is one of the big reasons I enjoy following younger moms pregnancies these days and pray for them to make it through. Mine was a piece of cake really, five hours of labor, two perfectly healthy boys, no frills, no NICU, I didn't know what a problem was really. I know different now, and my eyes have been opened to the heartache of others, and I am honored to be a prayer warrior for all who come my way. I have so much to be grateful for and have been blessed so much.
I will close for today and ask anyone of you who are still reading to remember to pray for Kayleigh on my sidebar and for her family in this uncertain time of their lives. Also be in prayer for Kristy as she waits to meet her baby girl, that God will choose the perfect time for her birthday, and Kristy to be at total peace. I will be back tomorrow. I love you guys!
Love and Hugs, Laurie