Apr 162024

After reading yesterday’s blog, regarding the day my daughter Tiffany was born, several folks wanted to know what made it so hectic. So here’s the story.

In April of 1982, I was running several small town newspapers on the Pacific Northwest coast, with our headquarters in Aberdeen, Washington. Tiffany’s mother had gone to the hospital the day before with the plan to have a cesarean section at 10 the next morning. But Tiffany was too impatient for all that nonsense, and at 7:30 A.M. her mother called me to say that she was in labor and the baby was coming fast. I told her I would be there as quickly as I could and hung up the phone and started getting dressed.

Five minutes later, the phone rang again, and it was Roy, the young man who was responsible for picking up our paper from the printing company near Seattle. He told me he had gotten into an argument with his girlfriend and she told him not to come home, so this was his official notice of resignation. He was moving to Portland, Oregon to stay with his brother. He told me where the van loaded with newspapers was parked and that the key was in the ashtray and hung up. Perfect timing, right?

I called Laurel, my secretary/office manager, told her the situation and asked her to round up as many employees as she could so they could get the papers distributed to the various stores in the county. She told me she would handle it, just be with my wife and new baby. I knew she was on top of it and I didn’t have anything to worry about. Well, at least that’s what  I thought.

It was a rainy day, as many days are in coastal Washington, and when I got to the hospital, they said the labor had stalled so they were in a holding pattern, trying to decide if they should go ahead with the cesarean section or wait for a natural birth.

Meanwhile, Laurel and several employees had caravanned up to Olympia, where our delivery van was parked, and they were splitting up the delivery route to get everything done in a timely manner.

There’s a rather steep hill on US Highway 12 coming into Aberdeen from the east, and that morning a small slide occurred on that hill, littering the wet pavement with rocks and mud. Laural was driving a company-owned Chevy Impala, and when she hit that patch of road, she spun out and rolled the car.

Meanwhile, I was upstairs in the hospital’s maternity ward and they had just taken Tiffany’s mother in to do the cesarean section. This was before the days of cell phones, so I didn’t know anything about the accident Laurel had been in. When they got her to the emergency room downstairs, she told them to please contact me and let me know what had happened.

I was sitting with a couple of other fathers waiting for their babies to be born when a nurse came up and said, “Mr. Russell, they need you downstairs in the ER.” I asked her why and she said she didn’t know, she was just relaying the message to me.

So I went downstairs and told a nurse in the emergency room who I was, and she said. “There’s nothing to be worried about. It looks like she may have a couple of broken ribs and a broken nose, but she’s going to be fine.”

Totally confused, I asked what she was talking about. My wife had a broken nose? My new baby had a broken nose and broken ribs? How? Why? Did they drop her or something? She told me no, according to the sheriff’s deputy she spoke to, when the car rolled she wasn’t wearing a seat belt, and that’s how she got so banged up. But not to worry, she was going to survive, even if she was going to be uncomfortable for a while.

And just then, someone from the maternity ward called downstairs to tell me I had a brand new baby girl and asking if I wanted to come up and meet her. Wait a minute? The baby’s upstairs and her mother’s in the ER? What the hell is going on?

Eventually it all got sorted out, I got to meet my beautiful little girl, and I was able to see that Laurel was bruised and battered, but she was more concerned about the wrecked car and the newspapers getting to where they were supposed to be.

Yes, it was quite a hectic day in that little town that rainy April morning when Tiffany came into the world.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.

Thought For The Day – My dream is to cut all ties with civilization, but still be on the Internet.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  One Response to “A Wild Birthing Experience”

  1. Thanks for the post, nice to know the story.

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