I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say the story of my birth is pretty epic. Okay, maybe not epic, but I think it's a pretty good story. In fact, in high school I had to write a autobiographical story and chose to tell the following tale. My teacher said she would have thought it was fake if she didn't know my cousin and heard great Novak tales from her.
It all started one July evening around 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. My mom was at home with my brother (age 6) watching reruns of the Brady Bunch. Her water broke and it was action time. Grandman Dorthy picked up my brother and my mother headed to Novak Liquor to get my dad and they could go to the hospital.
My mom rushed into the store in a panic. She was ready to get to the hospital and get this baby out. My dad was calm and collected. He told her not to worry and that they had plenty of time. Dad had my mom sit behind the counter while he kept the store open and helped customers (it's a one man opperation). So there they sat, timing contractions and talking to customers until 9:00 p.m. when my mom had had enough. She wanted to go the hospital and she wanted to go right then!
For the first time in Novak Liquor history, the store closed early. In my lifetime I can only think of two occasions where the store closed, for the funerals of my grandparents who had opened the store.
Instead of heading to the hospital, my dad stopped at his parents' house that was right across the street from the store. He did this every day he got off work to visit with them. They chatted casually until my mom was fuming with anger. Grandma Rose suggested that he might want to get her to the hospital.
They finally made it to the hospital around 10:30-11 p.m. The night nurses got her settled in and my calm, collected dad started to panic. He kept trying to leave the room. My dad is squimish when it comes to pain. My mom refused to let him leave and to keep him calm would laugh whenever it hurt rather than scream or cry out. I mean, if you've ever seen any sort of real birth, you're familiar with the terrible sounds that emit from a woman. Imagine instead loud bursts of laughter. And David Letterman because that's what they were watching.
Around 12:30 a.m. the nurses were frantically calling my mother's doctor to come in and get this birth underway. He told them not to worry, I probably wouldn't come out until 6 or 7 a.m. This doctor did not understand how badly I wanted out.
At 1:10 a.m. on July 24, 1987 I came into the world. The nurses were in a panic. The only delivery doctor wasn't available because there was another couple who had gone into labor an hour or so before me. They had to get me out themselves. My dad was so excited he couldn't remember the weight and length so a nurse wrote it down for him on a post-it. He still carries it in his wallet to this day.
This story may not seem very epic right now, but if you ever hear me or my parents tell it in person you'll understand why I think it's so great. I mean, I was almost born in the liquor store. If my dad had waited until closing (11:30 p.m.) it would have been too late.
In 9th grade we had to write a short autobiographical sotry of your life and I chose this one. My teacher said that if she hadn't known my cousins she would have thought it was a work of fiction.