We broke ground for the house my husband wanted to build on the day my sixth child was born. I had to drive over to the building site where a bulldozer was gouging deep furrows in the grassy meadow where our house would eventually stand in order to get my husband to drive me to the hospital. Hannah was nearly a c-section baby, but just before the obstetrician came to prep me for the procedure, her cord, which had been laying across the cervix, and which was in danger of prolapse, moved out of the way and several hours later I pushed her out into the world.
She was only six weeks old when I loaded her up with her five older siblings and drove all the way across Canada, back to New Brunswick, for my sister’s wedding – by myself. My husband had stayed behind to get the house ready for us to move into when I came back. At the time, my parents had an empty basement suite that the children and I could stay in. It was a nerve-wracking time for all of us. My parents were not used to having that many children around at one time, plus the normal bonding that would have taken place had my parents been there from their birth had failed to take place. That isn’t to say that my parents didn’t try, but having six grandchildren all at once was a bit much for anyone to swallow.
I stayed from mid September until the end of October and then drove the children home again. Poor children. I tend to be a focused driver and would drive as long as they and I could stand and then I would stop at the side of a field, and have them get out to run as far as they could and still be in my sight in order to work some of the fidgets out while I nursed the baby. It was a nerve wracking experience trying to find motels that would either let the six children and I be together in one room, or else I would have to find rooms that I could smuggle everyone into and then pray that we didn’t make too much racket getting settled for the night.
I arrived back in BC, but my husband would not let me come home. The house wasn’t quite to lock up and he instructed me to go and visit and stay with some friends in the Vancouver area that I used to be close to. Bless their hearts, they took the children and I in and there we stayed for several more weeks. By this time I just wanted to be in my own space with my kidlets and settling in.