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Remembering the Trials and Triumphs of July 27

a heat wave, five days overdue, two sprained ankles, a severe sunburn - and a baby!

Today is my daughter Priscilla’s birthday. It was an extremely HOT summer day when she was born back in 1987. (You can do the Math!) Obviously it was ‘eventful’ in that she was born, but there were several other incidents that took place, as well. Let me tell you my tale…

At the time, we lived at Crystal Lake, a small lake resort in Saskatchewan. Several family members had property there, but my husband and I were living at my parents’ cabin while we were renovating our tiny house in a nearby tiny town called Hyas. (My folks owned the golf course at Crystal Lake in those years.)

I was sitting in a lawn chair on the beach at my sister-in-law’s place, watching my two year old, Lydia, play in the sand. It was difficult for me to move around much since I was already five days overdue, but that’s not the only reason. I had a severe sunburn AND I had also sprained BOTH of my ankles not quite four weeks previous. That incident happened on July 1, which is Canada Day.

I was helping in the club house that day. There were lots of Canada Day celebrations going on, so I think everyone else had gone to the festivities. I pretty much felt like a balloon, so I didn’t go, but opted to look after the clubhouse instead. (My husband and two year old were driving a golf cart in the parade in Stenen, another nearby town, on behalf of the golf course.)

Anyway, I was about to serve lunch to some patrons. There was a little step down from the kitchen area into the ‘dining’ area which passed by a large stone fireplace. Whoever built the thing thought it was a good idea to make the hearth slightly lower than the floor. I stepped right on that ledge and twisted my right ankle. I went tumbling – me, the plates of food, everything. Being eight months pregnant and the size of a whale, I landed awkwardly, twisting my left ankle on the way down! It all happens very quickly, but somewhere between standing and hitting the floor, ! heard a terrible ‘SNAP!’ and was sure I’d broken something. Fortunately, my husband and brother were just back from the parade. The patrons had to run out of the clubhouse to find them, but they were back, thank goodness!

I have to give credit to my husband, Gerald. He’s not a big man, but he had to carry my very pregnant self to the car, and get me into it. We sped off to the nearest hospital in Canora, about a twenty minute drive away. X-rays revealed no broken bones, but both ankles were completely black and blue. I could not put any weight on either of them, so crutches were out.

I was sent home with a bed pan, which didn’t work out too well. (YOU try getting onto a bed pan when you’re eight months pregnant and can’t put any weight on your legs!) I ended up sleeping on a mat on the floor, so I could just roll off the mat and then crawl to the bathroom – also not easy since there were several steps involved…

I finally managed to use crutches a few weeks after the incident (a whole other picture… whale woman with two sprained ankles trying to use crutches) but by July 27, I had thrown them away in favour of hobbling on my own. It meant I spent a whole lot of time just sitting, which brings me back to the beach at my sister-in-law Judy’s place. (Okay, I admit, I spent a lot of time there, anyway!)

Did I mention already that it was an extremely HOT July? I’m sure we had record temperatures that year. Unfortunately for me, I burn easily, and a few days before, I had spent too much time in the sun. As a result, the fronts of my legs were severely burned. I mean REALLY bad. Another reason for not moving too well…

It was about four-thirty or five in the afternoon, and all of a sudden I felt a twinge. For those who’ve been in labour, you’ll know what I mean. But I wasn’t in any hurry. I’d done this before, and I knew (or thought I knew) that there would be plenty of time between ‘first twinges’ and delivery.

Home from the hospital and on my own two feet

Well, apparently not so. My husband (who also thought he knew better) wasn’t in any hurry either, but I finally convinced him we needed to get to the hospital – NOW! (It was in another small town called Norquay. You’re getting a rural Saskatchewan geography lesson, here, too.)

Priscilla was born at 9 p.m. – just four hours or so after the first twinge. There was really only a half hour at the most of any pain worth talking about. All my children were born fast once they decided to arrive, so I learned after that not to wait around too long.

Priscilla at Judy s beach the following summer

Strangely, the hospital staff seemed more concerned about the sunburn on my legs than the fact that I was in labour! It was pretty severe. And of course, my ankles were still discoloured. I think they were wondering what on earth had been happening.

In any case, July 27 turned out to be a good day, despite a heat wave, sunburn, and two sprained ankles. Priscilla is an amazing, capable, hardworking, loving, practical, smart person and has three kids of her own now. (Not to mention an entire menagerie of animals!) Love you, my girl! Happy day!

10 Comments

  1. Dale O’Hagan says:

    Wow! Glad it all worked out! Happy birthday to Priscilla! Dale

    1. tracykrauss says:

      Makes for good folklore…!

  2. Priscilla says:

    Thanks Mum! Love you too….. what an ordeal! So glad none of my kids came in such a ‘series of unfortunate events!’

    1. tracykrauss says:

      You were worth it and it makes for a good story! Love you LOTS.

  3. Sharon Espeseth says:

    That is quite a story, Tracy. You are one tough lady to go through all that and deliver a lovely,, healthy baby. You took me on a trip down memory lane. I was born in a small house on a small farm not far from Norquay, I don’t know why I never asked my parents why I was born at home my sisters were born in a hospital–maybe two of them in the Norquay Hospital. My sister Shirley, born on January 2, was the New Year’s Baby one year. Mom and Dad were married in Hyas, An aunt and uncle lived in Canora. And Stenen, well we just knew about Stenen, because it went with the other “capital cities” of your story. Oh, and Crystal Lake. We lived in Edmonton at the time, but we went with our cousins to Covenant Bible Camp at Crystal Lake. I wasn’t old enough, when we lived by Norquay, to call it my “stomping grounds,” but it is a place that still has some of my roots stuck in the ground. (I enjoyed your story on a couple different fronts.)

    1. tracykrauss says:

      Wow, wow, wow, Sharon!! Then you know EXACTLY what and where I’m talking about. Small world!

  4. Holly Hutchinson says:

    Happy birthday Priscilla!! I remember this tale well!!

    1. tracykrauss says:

      Yes, I’m sure you do. It’s good to have witnesses, because some people might not believe it’s true!

  5. Gerald Krauss says:

    Yes that was an excellent Canada day parade. Just kidding. Having our 2nd daughter arrive on the 27th of July has been a blessing. And that is how it all started. Now after 3 daughters 1 son and 3 son-in-law’s, one daughter in law 5 grand children two more on the way. All I can say is That God is good.. It only makes sense that after 40 years you should have a few stories to tell.

    1. tracykrauss says:

      You’re looking good in that picture, too!

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