Thursday, November 8, 2012

#26 ~ April 1976 ~ Elizabeth

Winter slowly turned into the spring. Felix was working, I stayed home and took care of baby Masha. She loved playing outside, and one of her first words were:"One, two, three, jump!" Oh, my baby could speak English...
I watched TV in the afternoon when Masha was taking a nap. I could not understand most of it, but when I caught a word or a fraise, that I knew, it was so exciting. Our landlady Dorothy helped me with so many day to day things. She gave me a book with recipes and I was learning what some of the items meant. I was trying to make sense out of oz, cup, pint, quarts, gallon...
Our friends were coming to visit every day. And every time they would bring something for me, for Masha, for the house or for the soon to come baby.
One night Felix said that it was time for me to learn how to drive. It was a scary thought. Before coming to America I was inside a car only twice in my life. Now that we had our own car, I felt that it's probably possible, but still it was very scary for me to think that I will be able to operate this bid car. Well, let's just say that after the first lesson, Felix said that I need a lot of help. And we decided that I need to take driving lessons. And I did. The teacher came down to pick me up. It took several lessons for me to relax and trust myself. I was shaking and did not see where we were going when I actually driven a car for the first time. After 3 lessons my instructor said that I am ready to take an exam and get licence. I studied, and passed the written test easily, but the driving test was a different story. I don't think I did very well, because the officer said that he will give me licence if I promise not to drive by myself for a while... I guess he felt sorry for a young pregnant woman who did not speak English.
Finally the day came and Felix drove me to the hospital. I was in pain, but every step of the way I could not help but comparing my experience with my first baby and this one. Hospital in Vinnitza looked and felt like prison. And how we were in the hospital, with beautiful, bright, clean rooms, and everyone so friendly and calm. Thankfully labor did not take long, and in a few hours after being admitted, I held my beautiful, healthy baby girl! With big blue eyes, dark hair, perfect tiny fingers and toes!!!! And exciting thing was that Felix was right there with us. He did not have to wait a week to hold his new baby!
1976 ~ Hartford, CT ~ Newborn Elizabeth
They put me in the room which I shared with another woman (I think her name was Linda). We had our babies practically at the same time. We started talking and I was telling her how I had my first child. She kept asking me questions and then telling the stories to all the nurses. So I had visitors all the time. Nurses and even women from other rooms loved to hear about how I had my first child: the rooms, shared by 18 women, lack of fundamental hygiene items, having robes that were so old that they had holes in them and shoes that were 5 sizes larger. That we were not allowed to bring anything from home. "It was not sterile..." Visitors were not  allowed in the hospital, so we showed our new babies through the window from the 4th floor. I was fascinated by every little thing: meals at your bed, special table with the mirror, call button, our own bathroom with the shower, recliner. I can't even remember most of the things that were so mesmerizing...But I had big happy grin all the time. I kept saying "thank you, thank you, thank you".
1876 ~ Hartford, CT ~ Our happy family

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