It was March 1976. After trying to become pregnant for 6 years I was now in my 7th month with my first child. It had been a difficult pregnancy because I am diabetic and about a month before I was placed on complete bed rest. I had, almost overnight, gained 30 pounds after gaining almost nothing for the first 6 months. I was uncomfortable, cranky, and anxiously awaiting the birth of my baby.
We lived in Westchester New York and my husband worked on Wall Street. Since I couldn’t go anywhere he began taking the car to work so he could get home faster if he was needed. But today I had a doctor’s appointment and so I drove him to the train and immediately went back to bed. The appointment was for much later in the day.
March is a nice time in New York. Gardeners begin to arrive to do the first clean up of the year. We had an acre of property and so we had a crew who tended to the lawns and kept us looking pristine. It was March 19th and there they were, right on time. It was nice to watch them making the property ready for Spring.
I began having some stomach pains. They didn’t seem like much. It just felt like gas. They began getting worse and I didn’t think I would be able to drive later in the day if they continued. My husband called to see how I was and I told him that. When we got off the phone he called the doctor and the doctor said it would be best if I came to the hospital now. He panicked. He didn’t have a car. It would take him over an hour to get home. He called me telling me to call a cab and get to the hospital. I thought that was ridiculous. He was leaving the office immediately and would meet me at the hospital. I called the local cab company but they couldn’t pick me up for at least two hours. My pains were getting worse.
So, I went outside and asked the gardener if he could take me to the hospital. He only had his truck. He called his men and they began pulling all the mowers and other equipment off the truck so they could work while we went to the hospital. He helped me climb up into the truck and we took off. He then apologized because the truck did not have any shock absorbers. The ride was amazingly terrible. My head hit the roof with every pothole he went into. I was sure the baby would get knocked out of me with every bump we hit.
We arrived at the hospital and an orderly was waiting for me at the door and put me into a wheel chair and whisked me away. I never said a word to my wonderful rescuer so I didn’t know that they had assumed he was my husband and had pulled him in to an office to sign some papers. He was a lovely man who only spoke Italian. He kept trying to tell them he was not my husband but they didn’t understand. When my husband arrived he heard them yelling in the admissions office because he wouldn’t sign the papers allowing them to deliver the baby prematurely if necessary. My husband took over and thanked him and he left. He was very glad to go.
Shortly after they did feel they needed to take the baby and my premature son was born. We had our scary moments until he was able to go home but he made it and after about two weeks he was ready to leave the hospital. We named him David but my gardener always called him Gino.