He might have saved himself the trouble had we waited another month. Most of those second-hand furnishings were replaced with the real thing in February. We spotted a notice in the Sunday paper that a North Dallas furniture store was going out of business and liquidating its inventory. We attended the auction and came home with a four-poster bed, a Queen Anne dining table, and — best of all — a Clayton Marcus camelback couch covered in an exquisite white damask fabric. (Flash forward six months to the first time baby drooled on the seat cushion and ruined the upholstery: What on earth were we thinking?)
The month was nearly over before baby showed any sign of wanting out. Jennifer eventually felt a few contractions, and Doug drove her to the hospital. They were more intense by the time we pulled into the parking lot, but she was still determined to deliver without anesthesia. Ninety minutes later, she was wondering how her friends whose labors lasted two solid days ever survived 48 hours of this. “I can’t do it,” she begged, “give me an epidural!” Too late, the doctor informed her. Baby is crowning, so push. That she did and was rewarded with a beautiful son: Jonathan Douglas entered the world May 31 at 3:02 AM. He measured 22½ inches and weighed a whopping 10 lbs 6 oz, with ruddy skin, dark eyes, and a shock of long black hair. His sideburns were so long, in fact, it was all Jennifer could do to resist trimming them on the spot!
Doug began a research job at Southwestern the day after Jonathan was born. He spent the summer in the pathology lab studying rat hearts — poor little rats. Jennifer’s parents were concerned about her being alone while Doug was at work and insisted she shouldn’t be climbing our apartment stairs so soon after giving birth, so we ended up staying at their house the first week of June. Doug suspects this was really just an excuse to pamper their daughter and hold their new grandbaby, but he dutifully delivered his wife and son straight to their doorstep the day they were discharged from Presbyterian Hospital. Our dear friend and philosophy professor, Jim Parker, came over for dinner once we’d moved back home. He brought two pounds of chocolate, explaining that his mother always claimed it made her milk rich. (Eager to test that hypothesis, Jennifer polished off the entire box in about three days). Dr. Parker also brought news of Doug’s biological family, having sleuthed around San Antonio with the information Doug had gathered from opening his own adoption records earlier this year.
September was spent party-hopping. In addition to the baby shower given to us by our friends at Town East Baptist Church, we attended half a dozen events designed to welcome new medical students, introduce them to various clubs on campus, acquaint their wives one with another, and celebrate our embarking on the long educational journey that lay ahead.
With love from the Flanders:
Doug, Jennifer, and Jonathan