The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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I interviewed my mom in our living room. She described to me the day I was born like it was yesterday, with so much detail I could barely keep it close to 500 words. This memory means everything to my mom as I am her only child and she describes me as “her world.”

It was a brisk Sunday morning, November 5th 1995, when nine-month-pregnant Andrea Appenzeller went down to the basement to put a load of wash in. As she bent over to get the dirty clothes off the floor, she felt something warm run down her leg. Being nine months pregnant she thought, “it’s nothing, I probably just peed myself a little.” She went back upstairs to continue doing regular Sunday morning chores such as the dishes and vacuuming the house.

When she had a moment to sit down, she called her sister-in-law, Roberta, who had just had a child the year previous, about what had happened in the basement. “Roberta, I think my water might have broke.”

Roberta replied, “If it happens again, call the doctor.”

She went upstairs to use the bathroom when the same strange feeling happened again, a warm rush down her leg. Now, 5:30 pm, she decided to call her doctor and tell her what happened. After explaining what happened that day, the doctor urged Andrea “Go into the hospital!”

She next went downstairs to tell her boyfriend Joe, and then waddled across the street where her parents lived to tell them. Her, Joe and her dad all piled into the car on their way to Parkview hospital. But before that of course, she had to curl her hair. It was the 90’s after all.

Upon arrival, Andrea did not understand why the nurses were offering her a wheelchair. “I’m fine to walk,” she giggled at the gesture. The nurses persisted and soon Andrea found herself being wheeled back to a hospital room.

After settling into her room, nurses continued to question her, asking her if she feels the pounding contractions that are reading off the charts on the monitors.

“Not at all,” Andrea said back reluctantly. They then informed her that they couldn’t hear the baby’s heartbeat and urged her to lie on her side instead of her back.

Fast-forward 12 hours later, what was thought to be healthy baby girl, Lauren Alexis, arrived, 8 pounds 2 ounces.

After cleaning Lauren up, they took both baby and mom to a new room where they sat together for a while. Some time went by and then a nurse asked to take her so Andrea could take a shower and rest up.

Shortly after Lauren was taken away, the doctor came in the room with a grim look on his face. “Did you notice a blue tint to your daughter’s face?” he asked

“A little, why?” Andrea responded, now concerned.

“It appears your baby needs to be taken to Jefferson hospital to deal with her low heart rate.”

The next day Andrea was released to go see Lauren in the NICU.

The following day, Lauren was released from the hospital after further evaluation proved it was just an uncommon phenomenon. She was sent home with a heart monitor. Lauren has been healthy ever since and Andrea is very thankful.

November 6, 1995

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November 6, 1995
Philadelphia, PA

I interviewed my mom in our living room. She described to me the day I was born like it was yesterday, with so much detail I could barely keep it close to 500 words. This memory means everything to my mom as I am her only child and she describes me as “her world.”

Decade: 1990s
Rating:
Recorded by Lauren O'Donnell on November 14, 2018
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