Sunday, August 9, 2009

And Then Along Came Doah, Child Number 4

Doah was a surprise (well, so were the other three) who quite fortuitously was predicted to be born in Pittsburgh, PA around Christmas Day 1977 -- semester break from my studies at near-by Renboro University. However, it was my grandson, Nathaniel, who ended up being born on Christmas day. Doah was born quite early, messing up both my teaching schedule and studies (and creating quite a lot of subsequent havoc due to all his medical issues -- 30 years later, he is still creating havoc, mostly due to his overly inquisitive and highly extroverted nature, coupled with some serious mental challenges).

I don't remember all my labors, but I do remember Doah's. I went into labor while teaching a foreign language class! I managed to make it through the class (my stubborn nature, which does not always serve me well) and asked one of the students in the "college over 60" program to stay after. She had given a report in the foreign language on her five grandchildren, so I assumed she knew something about childbirth. I asked her if a fourth child might be born prematurely if the first three were on time, and she said, "Yes, indeed; in this business, anything is possible." I suggested I might wait a little to see if the labor progressed because I did not want to "bother" my doctor in vain, and she responded, "Trust me; your doctor wants to be bothered" and marched me to a pay phone, waiting until I had talked to the doctor and got the same information from him. (It turns out that my student was a retired obstetrician!)

Told to come in by the doctor, who was ten miles south of where I was at the university, I first drove 30 miles east to our home area to pick up Lizzie from school, Noelle from her nursery school, and Shane from his day care center. With all three kids in the van and no way to reach Donnie, this being days prior to cell phones and he always working at various AV sites at various hotels, never knowing where he would end up on any given day, I called my mother-in-law who agreed to watch them; however, she was at my sister-in-law's, which was ten miles west of the university, and I would need to pick her up and take her to her house, which was ten miles south of the university but fortunately just a few blocks from the doctor. Having done all that driving, I stopped and filled the car with gas enroute to the doctor's office, getting there very near the end of the day. He confirmed that I was indeed in labor and should get to the hospital immediately. Seeing the keys in my hands, he asked if I planned to drive myself, and I said yes, explaining the situation and the reason that it had taken me nearly three hours to get into the office. He was not happy at all about that! So, I was driven to the hospital -- and five days later Doah was born. Not a labor I would want to repeat!

A premature birth is always a difficult one. Doah was not allowed to room in with me -- but I did get a taste of it when the staff brought him in to nurse and we both fell asleep with the blanket covering him completely. With the change in staff an hour later and no Doah in his little incubator, there was quite a panic at the hospital. No one wanted to tell me until they found him. So began a vicious circle, in which, of course, no one learned that he was sound asleep snuggled up against my warm body! I am sure that I am not the only one who remembers that night!

See posts about Doah.

Photos of Doah, in order:
1. Doah, himself
2. Doah on lawn mower at Sue Scott's place
3. Horse riding (or at least, leading)
4. Doah and Sue Scott's son, Taylor


Doah celebrated his 30th birthday party in November 2009, together with friends from church, family, friends from Morocco, and Fr. Ed. Here are some pictures that he took:

Some of the group:
On the left, counterclockwise: Doah, Marie, Mary, Lola, Bennie (all from our church), Hameed (from Morocco)
On the right, from back to front: Donnie, Lemony, Nikolina (in baby carrier, unseen), Susana (wife of Moroccan), Beth, Fr. Ed
Missing: Shane, Nathaniel, Benissa, and Madeleine (believed to have been in the game room)

Benissa and Madeleine, children of our Moroccan friends

Nikolina on left; on right, back-to, Fr. Ed and Beth

Doah, Madeleine, Fr. Ed

Doah and the pizza makers


  1. What a sweet face Doah has...My 3 year old daughter thought he was her cousin...Little "Big" George.

  2. Thanks, Lisa! That's funny about your daughter thinking Doah is her cousin!


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