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MY TRIP TO NEW ORLEANS

(March 19 - April 8, 1994)

Which is really about Dallas






2001

Tom drove me to Omaha on March 19th to catch an American Airlines flight to New Orleans. Amy was due to have baby Dallas on March 26th but her last working day was March 18th so she planned to spend the week with me before having the baby. I think I got down there about 6:30 p.m. Amy and LaKeisha met me at the airport.

Amy had a fun day planned for us the next day (Sunday, March 20th) as New Orleans would be having another one of its famous parades. This one was to be the Irish-Italian Parade. I am not much into parades, but I certainly enjoyed this one. You have not seen a parade until you go to New Orleans. The wild and crazy thing is, people actually pay to be in these parades as it is a status symbol and from what Amy told us, there is a very expensive entry fee, plus all the stuff you have to buy to throw to the people.

This parade lasted more than 3 hours but we left in 1-1/2 hours because I was getting too hot and was already starting to sunburn my neck and Amy’s bag was full of goodies, and it was a good sized bag. I think she had at least 4 heads of cabbage in it and I am not even sure she likes cabbage. There were lots of floats, as well as people who walked. From what it looked like to me, the Italians were the ones who walked with great big floral arrangements, doubloons, and beads. (They pass out these “Mardi Gras” beads at every parade they have, I think.) But anyway, there were lots of men dressed in black, with red, white and green flowers fixed into a spiral arrangement. I noticed that when they gave a flower to someone that they kissed their cheek, I did not want a flower that bad. Smile.

The people handed you heads of cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes, bananas, oranges, green peppers, celery – as well as toys and games, puzzles, stuffed toys, doubloons, Mardi Gras beads and all kind of fun stuff from the floats. I even got a kazoo. Ha. Now I can start my own band. I had to laugh when I got it because our local senior citizens have a “Golden Oldies Band” and most of them play kazoo’s and I have been ask to be in their band. I don’t know how to tell them that I would rather die. Ha. I know they have lots of fun entertaining at nursing homes, hospitals and at special occasions at the site and I salute them, but as for me, I would actually be embarrassed to be part of it. It is okay for them, but not for me. But anyway, I brought my kazoo home to show Tom that I had my instrument and was ready for them. We had a good laugh over that.

Okay, that takes care of Saturday and Sunday. The fun started Monday when Amy woke me about 5:30 a.m. to tell me that she had been having gas pains since 1:30 a.m. so she was going to run out to the store to get some shredded wheat as she thought that would move things along. She was gone quite awhile but she had run another errand to her office while she was “out”. She dropped off some papers, her last official business before her 3-month leave.

She was not home long until we realized she needed to get to the hospital immediately. Her ultrasounds had shown a little problem, as the placenta was not where it belonged and can cause hemorrhaging in some cases so I became a “basket case” about this time. I was so excited and scared that I nearly started out with LaKeisha and I still in our pajamas. Amy had drawn me a map the day before, and taken me on a trial run to the hospital so I would know where it was. But of course at that time, I was not really concerned and did not pay a whole lot of attention since Dallas was not due until the 26th and LaTraia would be home on the 24th and could take care of this. Right? Piece of cake, huh? Well, our little Dallas had other plans.

Amy was so uncomfortable and she and LaKeisha were in the back seat and I was driving down a 6-lane highway, about to have a nervous breakdown! I am definitely not a city driver and I hate it. Then I realized that Amy was panting – then panting again! God help us! I asked, “Amy, are you in labor?” She said, “I think so.” That panting was too close for comfort and I nearly “went over the edge.” All along I am looking for a place that I could receive help in a hurry if I needed it. You will never know how scared I was and I do not know how long it will take to get over being that afraid. It was about 6:45 a.m. when we arrived at the hospital. They said her pains were 2 minutes apart – and dilation had reached 3cc.

Actually, I had plenty of time (but I sure did not have any way of knowing that as I raced down busy, strange streets on the way). Dallas Alysse was not born until 8:55 p.m. by C-section. Even with inducement, Amy only dilated to 8cc and you have to reach a 10, I understand. However, once she was taken to her room, she was given an epidural and she was in labor the rest of the day in comfort. The monitor showed a very strong heartbeat of the baby; right to time of delivery so all went well. I had called LaTraia just before we left the house and he caught the next flight to New Orleans, arriving just before noon so he was with Amy the rest of the day.

Amy had a room where we could all stay with her. LaKeisha was just wonderful through that long day. I am not saying she was perfect because there were times she was far from it but this little gal is not 3 years old yet and she was at the hospital for over 15 hours, I believe, before we were able to go home. She was able to see her little sister before we left. About noon I tried to take her out to a restaurant and I found out that no way was I going to get her into that car seat. She screamed and kicked and stiffened and everything possible so I changed my mind and took her back into the hospital and fed her from the vending machines. There are always two ways of doing things. Actually, there was yet another way and that was to paddle her butt but I could not do that because she has screams that can crack stone.. If someone had seen me smacking her and making her go with me under protest, they would probably have had the police questioning me for kidnapping. Whew! But bless her heart she was confused, and probably wondering what was happening so she did not want to be far away from her mother.

Amy was dismissed Thursday afternoon and had to go home without Dallas because of jaundice. She had to run back and forth to the hospital to nurse the baby but she had friend’s to drive her this time. Later that night, LaTraia had returned again from Arkansas and would be able to stay home for 10 days or so. Dallas was dismissed Friday as she was in better health by then. When Amy took her for her 2-weeks check up she still had some jaundice so the doctor wants to see her again in 4 weeks. Amy had her own check up also and the doctor wanted to see her in 3 weeks so the plans we had made earlier for them to come home with me fell through as I felt she should stay where she could receive the help that she needed in case anything else developed.

I felt so bad as they had planned to come and stay 6-7 weeks and we had prepared for them with the things we needed such as a baby bed, changing table, diapers, baby wipes – I had made a cute mobile, etc. Amy said we had done too much for her to give up the trip but I finally assured her that anything we did was to make it easier on her and to give her a hand in the care of these two little ones.

So I feel that even a better solution developed from it. LaTraia was to fly back to put us all on the plane but instead he will be flying down and taking his little family back to Arkansas with him in their car. He lives in a one-room efficiency apartment, while working in Arkansas but it will be cozy and they will be together. He can take care of them. They seem to be so much happier with this solution that developed because of the failure of the first one. God is so good. He opens a door when one is closed and so many times it is after we exhaust our efforts and then He shows us what is best.

Friday morning, I started for home – and it was wonderful arriving back. As I got on the plane in New Orleans, I could not help but think, “I am going home,” even if this place does not make it, I will be going home one way or another. Whatever the Lord wills. Three weeks is a long time to be away and right now I hope I never have to leave home again.

While Amy was in labor, she heard about the sudden death of her first husband Bob Provo. He had died the day before so this was upsetting to her as he was just 38. He just sort of drank and smoked himself into a heart attack. He was buried the day she came home and since she had to go home without Dallas, it was not the best day of her life, bless her heart.



Written for Dallas by Grandma Mary