My baby girl turned 20 Sunday. Twenty years and 3 days ago, after laboring for hours in Ziggy’s motel, Sara entered our lives and made the whole world a different place. Ziggy’s motel was not the plan. Well, a lot of stuff wasn’t in the plan. I wanted my child to be brought into the world gently by a midwife. Ron and I were believers in traditional things and what, we thought, could be more traditional than a gently lit birthing center, a loving midwife, Ron singing as our child entered the world and me immediately bouncing back to a size 6 with a 26 inch waist. Yeah, that last part should have been a clue. Suffice to say — the best laid plans of mice, men, and idealistic pregnant people, oft-times go awry.
First there was the hurricane. Hurricane Hugo hit the South Carolina coast with a vengeance and we all, me 8 1/2 months pregnant, had to evacuate. While we were blest to return to a home still standing and a neighborhood with minimal damage, many weren’t so lucky and thousands were displaced. Then there was the labor that would not proceed. Though we rushed the 45 minutes to the birthing center as soon as the water broke, our baby stubbornly decided to hold on and labor trickled to a stand still.
And then — there was Ziggy’s. We didn’t want it to be Ziggy’s. The midwife told us to go to a nearby hotel so that we’d be close when labor started up again. But all the hotels and motels in the little town of Bamberg as well as neighboring ‘bergs’ were filled with displaced Hugo survivors. Ron and I wandered from place to place like characters in a nativity play, with Ron pleading over and over — “but my wife is pregnant and in labor!” But in the end, only Ziggy’s was available. It was available because nobody with ANY option would stay there. We wrapped ourselves up in our own stuff on top of the bed with the suspicious linens and counted contractions. The crickets and other critters rustling about the room on tiny dry little legs kept us unwelcome company. When daylight came and we’d returned to the birthing center it was determined that Sara was firmly butt first and someone would have to go in and get her.
So, finally, there was the emergency C-Section and my tiny 5 1/2 pound baby girl entered the world, looking around immediately with her bright, shiny eyes. I fell immediately irrevocably in love. And I still am. As I sat with my baby girl this past Sunday I was filled with so much pride at the woman she has become and tremendous faith in the woman she is becoming. I’d go to Ziggy’s for her again.