Then comes baby! {Tuesdays with Tina, Part 22}

This entry is part 22 of 22 in the series Tuesdays With Tina

Tuesdays with Tina is where I chronicle my Italian mother’s story, from being born in a bomb shelter in World War 2, to meeting and marrying my US Navy father. It is an unlikely love story that has lasted almost 50 years. If you missed any part of the story, you can catch up here.Tuesdays with TinaMe: [to Hugh] What was your work? What was your job at that time?

Hugh: Before we got married I started training for flying to become air crew. It was six months and I qualified but I always had to fly on my days off from my regular work. We worked at a place called NALCOE [Naval Air Logistics Coordinator Europe] and what we did was every day all the bases in Europe would send us an all hand report of all the mail, cargo and people they had on hand to be moved. And then NALCOE would direct VR-24 to send a flight, NAS Sigonella to send a flight to pick up cargo or people and move it around. That’s all we did. One week we’d work 7:00 to 3:00, another week we’d work 3:00 to 11:00 and one week we’d work 11:00 to 7:00. Every three weeks you’re back on days. When I was on days I couldn’t fly because I was working 7:00 to 3:00. Our flights would usually take off at 7:00 and we’d get back around 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon. When I’d work the afternoon shift, I could fly out to the boat and then come back and work.

Me: So you’d fly in the morning, then come back and work in the evening til 11:00 at night. So basically you’d work two shifts. Then you’d go to sleep. Then back to work. And you did that why?

Hugh: Because I wanted to fly!

Me: So you had to have a certain number of hours before you could do that as your job?

Hugh: No, you had to be trained.

Me: So you had to get trained on your own time?

Hugh: You got trained on your own time and you flew on your own time. They had it good with me because they had a guy who would train on his own time fly on his own time.

Me: So it’s not like you got extra pay…

Hugh: Oh I DID get extra pay! I got flight pay. I think it was a hundred and something dollars a month extra.

Tina: Besides all the other stuff you did! [Enter a long discussion of some other activity here. Ahem.]

Tina: Everyone tried to stretch their pay.

Me: So then when I was born, I know it wasn’t customary for you to be in the room, were you at the hospital? Were you working?

Tina: He brought me to the hospital and I remember that you were born at 10:07 pm and I had been in labor since 2:00. They gave me this shot, but I didn’t know what it was. I was laboring and then I didn’t feel any pain. I was totally in the dark. I didn’t understand what was happening.

Me: There was no one there who could translate?

Tina: No. No and they didn’t even try. They gave me this shot without asking. In fact later I asked your father if they had asked him and he said no. So they gave me the epidural, I didn’t feel any pain and they were telling me to push. Remember this is my first child and I was also very naive. So they tell me to “Push! Push!” and then they said, “She’s born!” They had bet that I was going to have a boy from the heartbeat they thought they could tell. So when they said “She’s born” I wanted to see because I was expecting to have a boy! I didn’t believe them. I was sure I was having a boy I was afraid they were going to swap babies! Afterwards, they brought me to my room and that night they made me get up to go to the bathroom so I could get cleaned up and I passed out. I had to stay in the hospital for a week because I was in pain, my head and my shoulders, and I couldn’t lift my head from the pillow. In fact, I couldn’t even have a pillow. I had to lie flat on the bed. I couldn’t nurse you because I couldn’t sit up. Your father would go visit you in the nursery but they wouldn’t let my mother in. They were very severe. After a week I was able to go home but I still wasn’t great. Since I suffered so much with these pains, when it was time for David to be born, I told them no, I didn’t want the shot because I didn’t want the same problems.  When I was in the hospital, a girl would come in (we were in a double room), she would give birth and leave. Another girl would arrive, give birth, and leave. I was there for a week! I wasn’t well. So I decided I wanted to give birth naturally like so many millions of women have done, and then at the last minute, “Ack! Help!” My waters hadn’t broken; they had to break my waters because I was having so much pain. I remember it was on a Sunday at 11:30 at night. “It’s a little boy!” and I was sure I was having another girl because all they symptoms were exactly the same.

Hugh: She told me it was going to be another girl because it was just like the other one!

Tina: Exactly the same! Saliva, I liked coffee…everything the same! The same movements. When they said, “It’s a boy! It’s a boy!” I didn’t believe them! “I want to see! I want to see!” It took three days to decide on a name because we hadn’t picked out boys names! It was supposed to be Sharon Christy. Oh boy! So we agreed on David because it was easy enough for the Italian family and the American family.

Hugh: You had to pick a name that they could pronounce.

Tina: Yes, like ‘Jonathan’ or ‘Jacqueline’. Those were too hard.

Hugh: ‘David’ is ‘Davide’.

Tina: Even ‘Sheila’ has always been easy. So your father said, “You pick David and I pick the middle name.” And he picked Jack. 

Hugh: And she chose ‘Sheila’ and I chose ‘Kaye’.

Me: I never knew that!

Tina: Yes, this was the origin of the names!



Series Navigation<< First Comes Love; Then Comes Marriage; Then Comes… {Tuesdays with Tina, Part 21}

About Sheila @ Making the Most of Every Day

I'm a wife, mom, and a homeschool teacher. I'm always behind on housework and paper pile sorting. I'm fond of this crazy life but not of melted cheese. I want to follow hard after God, making each day really count. I like to run, read, cook (and eat!). Thanks for joining along on my journey!

2 thoughts on “Then comes baby! {Tuesdays with Tina, Part 22}

  1. How wonderful you are chronicling this story – and how much you will treasure it later. I need to spend time and catch up on it. And, share it with my mom – she loves history and WWII stories.

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    1. I have been enjoying doing it! Since I am recording the interviews, I’ll also have an audio version of it which = priceless! I’d love for you to share it with your mom! My mom’s friends are really enjoying getting to know this side of her, too!

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