My Work History

40 Years of Experiences
1978-2018

Douglas R. Bayliss

I began my career, I’m proud to say, as a bean counter. If you don’t know what that is, it refers to someone who intently and thoroughly keeps bookkeeping records, counting every last bean as it were. I worked in accounting for 20 years and progressed from full charge bookkeeper for an SMB to accounting manager to director of finance for a multi-national business.

Then quite suddenly, and through no fault of my own, things changed and I was unemployed. It was the 90’s.

Looking for work, I noticed most of my contemporaries, vying for the same position, were highly educated with many of them being CPA’s. I’m enough of a realist to know they were a force to reckon with and would the selected candidate before me. Especially at the salary level, I had attained. It was time for a  career change.

Kudos to me for successfully charting a course through a mid-life career change. It was the mid-1990’s and I set off to discover a new technology simply referred to as “information.” It was a good move.

Various paths led me to Apartment Services, Inc. in Baltimore MD, where I’ve been since 1999. ASI is one of the areas largest multifamily housing management companies. While still in IT, my accounting background is helpful since I work within the finance group.

One path along the way I was outsourced to a bank to help get a project organized. With a team of bank employees and other Tek-Systems’ consultants, I was instrumental in leading this project to completion. The bank was so happy they gave me an analyst position until my next assignment came up!

Other assignments in the 90’s:

Middle River Aircraft Systems: Audit purchase orders against take off drawings. Survey government contractors to determine their level of Y2K readiness.

Dupont: Managed a team of computer 18 mobile technicians in an assigned geographic area, and inventoried tens of thousands of electronic parts for a major US Telecom. I often think fondly of this assignment and the monthly data consolidation meetings in Morristown, NJ.

Before the “Information Age:”

TREMA North America, Randallstown, MD – Design and supply of air pollution control equipment – Responsible for procuring parts and steel fabrication,  shipping industrial chemical processing equipment globally.  Managed budgets and kept detailed job cost records, including project cash flow forecasts. In addition, I supervised a full charge bookkeeper and an office manager.

Nielson-Wurster Group, Somerset NJ – Forensic Engineering  – Accounting Manager. Converted a detailed manual bookkeeping system to a [then] state-of-the-art computerized accounting system. Supervised a bookkeeper.

Bayliss Industries, Flemington NJ – Design of chemical processing systems. Full charge bookkeeper also worked in the Research & Development pilot plant, testing chemical processing equipment configurations.  This was my Dad’s business in the 70’s and early 80’s.

While the 80’s were “lost” too many of my contemporaries, these were some of best years on record for me.

The Voyage Of William White

A Fictional Ocean Crossing
Based on historical facts concerning my Paternal Grandmother’s lineage.
by Douglas Bayliss

After an unsettling dark and stormy night, in South Hampton, England, William White gathered up his wife Sarah and son Resolved, and along with their 2 servants, hurried to the pier where a boat was waiting for them.

It was August in the year 1620 and they were at long last, after many delays and negotiations, about to board a ship known as the “Mayflower.” It would take them to the new world. America.

She was a beautiful sailing ship. Small only 100’ long but she had 4 masts and three levels, and they were so happy, after months of setbacks, to finally be setting sail.

Cargo ship known as the Mayflower
Cargo ship known as the Mayflower

They were happy for another reason too; Sarah was 6 months pregnant with their 2nd child. How exciting this must have been! What strong conviction and faith they must have possessed, to set out on such a journey!

It was a rough start. Their companionship, the Speedwell, kept taking on water and both ships would turn to dock. 1st at Dartmouth, where it took another 2 days for repairs and after setting sail, they had stopped again, this time in Plymouth England. The Speedwell was sold at auction and its passengers, the Separatists, later to be known as Purists, joined the London merchants aboard the Mayflower.

Mind you the Mayflower was a cargo ship not made to transport people. Holed up in the middle level. They crammed into space about 90’ long just 5 ½’ high. The space was made to hold crates and boxes. It must have been very uncomfortable.

Soon their voyage over the North Atlantic Ocean became fraught with danger and fear. Storm after storm-tossed the ship about and they lost their bearings.

A stormy night a sea.One night in particular. Strong gale-force winds ripped across the decks of the Mayflower, causing its timbers to be badly shaken, the protective grout between the wooden planks crumbling away, thus allowing wave after crashing wave to spray the passengers with cold north Atlantic water. They lay wet and cold even their bunks. A crew member and one of the White’s servants were to perish.

How strong a woman Sarah White must have been to endure such seemingly insurmountable hardships -and with a baby due just weeks away!Tried as they might regaining their course for Hudson Bay proved impossible as the North Atlantic, especially at this time of year, was unforgiving.

They took refuge in Cape Cod Bay. it was November 1620.
They lived on the ship during the harsh New England winter while building their homes on the land. Taking row boats or wading through the shallow water 1.5 miles back and forth from ship to shore caused them to become very sick. Nearly half of passengers and crew died.

It was during this time William’s wife Sarah gave birth to another son, they named Peregrine White. Peregrine is from the Latin ‘peregrinus’ which means pilgrim. Peregrine’s father, William died in February 1621.

Sarah White with her new-born son Peregrine and her 5 yr old son Resolved, became the only surviving widow out of the many families that perished that 1st winter.

She married widower Edward Winslow, a Plymouth colony NOTABLE and had 5 more children. Peregrine also went on to become a person of note in the Plymouth colony active in both military and government affairs. He lived well into his 83rd year after building houses for his many children.

The ‘Boston Newsletter’ of Monday, July 31, 1704, gives the following obituary: “Marshfield, July, 22 Capt. Peregrine White of this town, Aged Eighty-three years, and Eight Months; died the 20th instant. He was vigorous and of a comely aspect to the last; Was the Son of Mr. William White and Susanna his Wife;’ born on board the Mayflower, Capt. Jones Commander, in Cape Cod Harbour. Altho’ he was in the former part of his Life extravagant, yet was much Reform’d in his last years; and died hopefully.”

Obituary of Captain Peregrine White, 7/31//1704
Obituary of Captain Peregrine White, 7/31//1704

Today, 35 million people are direct descendants of Mayflower passengers. I am one too; 5 generations ago my great, great, great grand mother’s maiden name was Aseneth Jane White, born 1826 in Pennsylvania.

Honored that I am a direct descendant of Peregrine White, the first child born to the pilgrims in the year 1620.

Pilgrims giving thanks to God in spite of their hardships.
Pilgrims giving thanks to God in spite of their hardships.

The Tumultuous 1990’s

My Tumultuous 90’s
by Doug Bayliss

For me, the 1990′s were very tumultuous, but in the end, because of my fortitude, it was a successful decade. I ultimately navigated through several life-changing events.

First, we were blessed with the care of an angel from heaven, our daughter, who desperately needed our love and care especially in light of her medically fragile condition.

The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. ― Ernest Hemingway, Men Without Women

Secondly, during this time I also worked through the hard breakup of a very successful family business. As a result, I managed my very own mid-life career change!

Thirdly, through all of this, I succeeded in staying married to a mean, rotten old witch who constantly tormented me! Strike that! To the kindest, most caring, beautiful loving woman that ever graced the earth!

Okay, so this was just a quick snapshot of what the 90’s were like for me.  I’d like to revisit someday and expand, I’m thinking there are some good stories here many being motivational.

Sharing your life story can be an astonishing affirmation. Have you thought about the things in your life, that re-affirm that you are capable to do anything thing that you want to do?

Word of the day: Tumultuous adj. characterized by unrest, disorder or insubordination

Generation Jones

Are You “Generation Jones?”
by Doug Bayliss

Generation Jones is a term recently coined for the generation born between 1954 and 1965. As a generation raised in the shadow of the older baby boomers and foreshadowed by a younger generation X, some of us in this date range might feel a little overlooked.

However, this generation, as the up and coming largest population segment, is being noticed by advertisers!

As you may have guessed, I am “Gen-Jones,” and I’d like to tell you a little about myself.

I love being outside and enjoy camping, going for walks and star gazing. I think this came about during my early childhood. At that time I spent a great deal of time visiting my grandparents who owned a small country airport. A favorite memory is riding with my grandfather on a big tractor while he mowed the airport runways!

 

The kind of tractor I would ride on with my Grandfather as he mowed the runways.

There was also a swimming pool and a wooded area for exploring so I’m pretty sure this is where I learned to love the outdoors.

I did an Internet search on the airport and actually found an article with a photo from 1953.

Sky Manor Airport
Sky Manor Airport circa 1953.

In high school, I was a member of the chorus and in my senior year I was honored to be invited to join the coveted Madrigal group, which was acapella and I enjoyed that very much. Today I am a member of the Hanover Barbershop Chorus in Hanover, PA, and the Heart of Maryland Barbershop chorus in Catonsville, MD.  It’s a great hobby for acapella singers!

I started work as a bookkeeper at my Dad’s engineering company in 1978! When computers hit the scene in the early 1980’s I converted the handwritten and popular “one-write” books along to a computerized accounting system, which I enjoyed doing very much. I did this type of conversion for several other companies.

I advanced throughout my career and became Director of Finance for a company that sold very expensive air pollution control

In the late 90’s I successfully managed a “mid-life” career change due to the collapse of my employer’s business. After obtaining Microsoft certifications I became a full-time computer technician and today continue to gain knowledge and experience supporting this crucial facet of any business.  I currently manage computer systems and projects for one of the areas largest property management companies located in Baltimore, MD.

I am married and helped raise 3 wonderful children. Our firstborn daughter, recently married and a graduate of the American Art Institute has given us 3 beautiful grandchildren.  Our Son, a senior at Penn State is studying structural engineering.

Our last child, Erica, was born in 1992 with a severe disability.  Developmentally her brain remained 2 months old and presented us with many challenges. It, however, united us as a family and we are much stronger and compassionate people from this experience. Our story about life with Erica is here.

To fill the void of so much time left on our hands, we started a home-based hobby business and provided music and MC services for events held in and around Gettysburg, PA.  For 10 years Bayliss Entertainment was a successful venture but we have since slowed down due to my own physical limitations.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

Traveling With Children

Child’s Play
by Doug Bayliss

The holidays. The most traveled days of the year.

Let us reflect on why some parents dread family road trips. Is it filling up the gas tank?  Paying Tolls?  What to eat along the way?

No -it’s the thought of the whining…, the poking…, the cries of…   “Are we there yet?” All from the little angels crammed into the back seat!

Luckily, there are ways of keeping kids happy while riding for hours in a car. To demonstrate, I’ve created a cast of characters to show you just what I mean. They are about to embark on a trip to Grandma’s house.

I will let the family introduce themselves:

“Greetings all. This is Dad.”
“Hello everyone, I’m the Mom.”
“Whatever, I’m Bobby.”
“Can I stay home? I’m Nancy.”

Narrator: Let’s listen in as our family gets ready to leave…

Okay everybody. Ready to go to Grandmas house?
Yay Grandma’s house!
I wanna stay home and play with toys!
Bobby we know you’ll have lots of fun once we get there.  Everybody in the car!

Narrator: They hop in the car, and after buckling up, “Over the River and through the woods to Grandmother’s house they go!”

This should be a terrific day.
I just hope there’s not a lot of traffic.

Mom Bobby is looking at me — Am not — Are too — Am not –ARE TOO!

Now stop it children… Are we there yet? No… I’m thirsty. I wanna drink of water.

Kids kids! Enough already!  Let’s play a game called “I Spy.”
I’ll start. I spy with my little eye something orange.”  The sticker on the window! Is that right?
Yes Nancy, good. Now it’s your turn.  “I spy with my little eye something… Yellow.
The check engine light! Haha! I spy something blue.
High bean light!  I spy something red.
Seat belt clicker! I spy something gold.
Mom’s necklace! I spy something green….

Narrator: Everyone is looking around but nothing green seems to be visible…

There is nothing green.  It was a sign we passed way back there. Hahaha  I win
You don’t win, you’re a cheater.
Am not. You always cheat.
Do not.
Do too.
Do not!!!
I’ll stop this car!
Okay okay lets try a different game.  This one is called horses.  Just count the horses you see on your own side of the car.


If we pass a cemetery on your side, you lose all your horses and have to start over.
That’s not fair.
Yes, but if you hold your breath all the way past the cemetery, you can keep your horses. Dad will let us know if we come up on one.
Sounds like fun. First one to count 50 horses wins!

Narrator: Our family no sooner starts playing when they drive by a field of what looks like 100’s of horses.

A Million-Zillion horses. I win I win!
That’s not fair. How come she always gets that side of the car?
You’re just mad because I won.
Am not, you always get to sit behind Dad.
Look Bobby, see what’s ahead?
Oh Boy look at all those horses on MY side! I got more than you – I win!
No you don’t I won first!
Did not.
Did Too.
Look kids a cemetery up ahead. And look, it’s on both sides of the road! Remember, hold your breath or lose all of your horses!  Ready? Here it comes… 1.., 2.., 3…

Bobby is breathing through his nose.
I am not.
That’s cheating.
I am not breathing through my nose.
You are too.
Oh yea, well you’re breathing because you’re talking to me!
Am not I can hold my breath and still talk.
Well so can I!
You’re both talking and breathing. You both lose your horses!
No fair.
Yeah no fair.

Okay this game ends in a tie. Let’s try a game where we can make up a story.

It’s called “The House on the Hill.”  On your turn make up stories about people who live in the houses we are driving by.

Can I go first?
Okay Bobby, you go first.
See that house over there? Really old people live in there… and they eat children!

You’re  scaring me.
You’re a baby.
AM not. AM too. AM not. Yes you are.
Waaaa I’m not a baby.
I’m losing my patience with you two… I will stop this car!!
Look kids, let’s try another game. This one should be no trouble for us at all. Remember the Minister’s Cat ?

Make up words to describe the minister’s cat using letters of the alphabet. Nancy you can go first starting with “A.”
The minister’s cat is an Apple cat.
What kind of cat is that? There is no such thing.
Is too!
Is not!

It’s okay maybe the minister’s cat just happens to likes apples. I’ll go next. The minister’s cat is a beautiful cat. Your turn Dad.
The minister’s cat is a cautious cat. Your turn Bobby.
The minister’s cat is a dead cat.

Waaaa Bobby killed the minister’s cat!
Did not.  did too.  did not.
Then why did you say he’s dead? Because he got runned over by a car. Waaaa!!

That’s it I have had enough! I’m pulling this car over!

Narrator: To everyone’s surprise, Dad pulls the car into a rest area and stops the car. Mom and kids are wide-eyed and full of nervous anticipation:  Dad has never actually pulled the car over before. He turns his head towards the children and yells:

Chinese fire drill!
Yea let’s go!
Weeee fun!
Oh lord help us!

Narrator: With this latest round of excitement the kids fall asleep and mom and dad have a nice quiet ride for the rest of the trip to Grandma’s house.

[end]

Note: From the Toastmasters Advanced Speech manual “Interpretive Reading.”  The project is to portray several characters in one reading using voice changes as a movement.

Introduction: “In this original composition, “Child’s Play,” Doug will share some games to play during long car trips in hopes of making the ride less stressful, especially if traveling with children.”

Above & Beyond

Looking back on my work life I have come to realize I have some exceptional experiences. The more notable ones I will try to relive here for your amusement.

Going Above & Beyond
by Doug Bayliss

Let’s go back to 1988 and look how shipped goods made it to New York City.

1. Everything crossed the Hudson River to NYC by barge. Pushed and pulled by tugboats.

2. Goods unloaded and stored in large warehouses.

3. To keep tug boats competitive owners wanted to decrease wages and eliminate some positions such as the cook. Union said no.

STRIKE! New York City was gripping with a tugboat strike.

1. Many industries were not affected by the loss of having tugboats. By now pipelines, bridges, and tunnels were in place, and truck and trains picked up the slack from the striking tugboat operators.

2. Made possible by the invention of shipping containers. You might have heard of the term “intermodal,” which means they transfer directly from the ship to trucks or trains. The containers are their own warehouses and can be stored outside. Huge indoor warehouses (and tugboats) are no longer needed.

At least one industry was affected. (I knew because I was an assistant project manager for a design project). We were modifying some structural steel in a Titanium Dioxide manufacturing plant to fit some new equipment.

Manufacture of the “whitest chemical,” is a billion-dollar industry.
TiO2 in Paint
TiO2 is essentially the white base in every color. From paint to car parts, to your clothing you “touch” it every day.
4. Acid waste is one by-product of the manufacture of TiO2.

 

Enter the 1988 tugboat operator’s strike.

5. Tugboat strike stopped barges from hauling acid out to the ocean.

6. Afraid the levy would break and flood a local development with acid.

7. Send Doug and a co-worker out to survey depths of the pond around the edges.

Perth Amboy, NJ
A waste-acid pond near the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey.

GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND

  • Rubber boots and gloves.
  • Aluminum row boat
  • Burning runny nose, itchy eyes
  • Really, really bad smell
  • Measuring stick ate by acid
  • Oars ate by acid!
  • We measured what we could and got out the hell out of there!

That is one time I certainly went above and beyond!

Eulogy for Jeff Bayliss

April 14, 2014

Today was the memorial service for my younger brother Jeff. It was nice to see so many family and friends, I even recognized some of Jeff’s old fraternity brothers and a friend or two of his from high school.

When the floor opened up for folks to say something, if they were so moved, several people got up and related a story or two.  However, I did not feel “right,” in doing so after other family members and friends were formally introduced to speak. It was an “open secret” that Jeff and I were not friends, to put it politely. I did, however, have a prepared eulogy and will share it here.

“It was a late Wednesday night. Michelle and I were walking into an Arby’s restaurant, in Gettysburg, where would often go for diner after our semi-monthly Toastmaster’s meeting. Toastmaster’s is where you practice giving and evaluating speeches in front of a peer group.

The phone rings. It’s Jeff. Gee I haven’t spoken to him in a long while I wonder what’s up.

Hey Jeff. How’s it going? My heart sinks, and I could barely speak, as he telling me he has cancer, and that it is bad.

All I could muster was “Oh Jeff. I am so sorry,” as I let tears roll down my cheeks.

To you, my family and friends, in true you don’t know what you have until it’s gone fashion, all I can say to you now is:

Reach out to your brothers and your sisters, your friends and neighbors. Even if for some reason you’re not getting along. Reconcile. Call your fathers, your mothers, your sons, and your daughters… if only to say; “Hi, how ya’ do-in?”

The life given to us by nature is short. The memory of a life well spent is eternal. Like my brother Jeff, lets make sure our lives, are lives well spent.”

Jeffrey Bayliss.
1962-2014

My Wedding Ceremony

For our 30th wedding anniversary, and as a public speaking project for Toastmasters, I decided to relive my wedding day and publicly reveal the final moments leading up to the words “You may now kiss the bride.”   It’s performed as if standing at the altar, everyone in place waiting for the Bride’s grand entrance.

My Wedding Ceremony.
A Mono-Drama by Doug Bayliss

I.

This necktie is so tight. I feel like I’ve been standing here for hours.

Is it hot in here? [looks at watch]

Where is Michelle?

She should have been here 20 minutes ago.

[looks around the room reassuringly nodding at guests]

Did the car break down? Flat tire? Engine trouble? I love that old Cadillac her Dad drives but it’s not in the best of shape.

What if it overheated?

II.

Look at everyone, they are starting to think she left me at the altar. Whispering in other’s ears.

I can hear you, you know!  Where is she? What could have happened?

Maybe she is leaving me at the altar! Maybe I should leave HER at the altar!

“Excuse me everyone. No one knows where my Bride is, I guess she left me at alter. Thank you for coming but the wedding is off.”

Oh boy, that would surely shock the hell out of everyone!

A Bridesmaid peaks around the corner from the back of the church to catch my eye. She looks worried.

Where IS she? [looks at watch again]

Damn her. This is getting ridiculous.

III.

I can’t believe how many people are here. This church is packed with friends, relatives and a Barbershop Quartet who is going to sing later, along with my best friend who is singing w guitar accompaniment by a gracious 2nd cousin!

IV.

What’s that I hear? The organ? Could it be? Yes! She must be here!

The bridesmaids begin their walk…

Look here comes Veronica our flower girl. So cute. And Michelle, walking arm in arm with her father  -get the tissues.

Damn her Dad looks good in that tuxedo.  I’ve never seen him dressed so formal.

But Michelle… What a vision. What a heavenly angel. Long flowing white dress. So pretty. So young. You sly dog you, what a cradle robber!

Look at her beautiful green eyes sparkling… and check out that cleavage! I can’t wait until tonight!

[nod to Father of Bride, shake his hand]

V.

[sound of organ]  Wa wa wa-wa…wa..wa.. waaa…

You may now kiss the Bride!

Doug & Michelle – Sept. 24, 1983
Doug & Michelle – Sept. 24, 1983

 

Erica Lucille Bayliss

Our “Liss-Kid”
May 2, 1992 – April 5, 2001

April 5 is the anniversary of our daughter Erica’s passing in 2001. She was soon to be 8  years old. Her passing was on by complications relating to her debilitating disease, Lissencephaly.

kids1999
Catherine, Erica, Jared & Anaise

The “gang” pictured above enjoyed a sunny afternoon of miniature golf. Ever try to get a wheelchair around a miniature golf course? It ain’t easy, but you know what? It was more than well worth it.

You can learn about our life with Erica at our memorial page. It was very therapeutic for me to build the memorial page. I cried often but it was, in fact, a great healing process.

Out story is found here: www.bayliss.com/erica

On A Wing & A Prayer

On A Wing and A Prayer
By Douglas Bayliss

Bringing new-borns into the world must rank high among those events that can cause stress. Here three shorts describing our three stress inducers.

Did you give birth to a Smurf?

Although we arrived at the Hunterdon County Medical Center, in Flemington, NJ without incident, what ensued was something neither one of us was prepared for. We probably should have taken that Lamaze class!

After getting checked in, my wife Michelle, the soon to be the mother of my first child, was all tucked in. As we sat and watched some old black and white movie, I thought to myself: “This isn’t so bad.”

Then I noticed Michelle literally crawling around in circles on the bed. “Are you okay?” I said. She replied something like “No I’m wanna go home.”

This goes on for awhile. Actually a long while, the nurses couldn’t calm her down, and I apparently couldn’t say anything appropriately soothing.

At one point, with a nurse on one side of the bed and me on the other; to keep her on the bed, Michelle tried to crawl right up over the headboard! Well, after that she finally got her wish for a shot of painkiller!

The nurses were against it because it was too close to the delivery time, but she got it -right in the butt!

After a short while, it was baby time! I was standing back out of the way when suddenly … out slips a baby.

It’s a girl! No wait! It’s a Smurf! Why is she blue?
I don’t know!
Why isn’t she crying? I don’t know! Smack her butt! Make her cry!
A sense of panic fills the air (the late pain killer had stopped our new daughter’s breathing)!

Suddenly the nurse turns around holding the little newborn!  She was so cute and wait— listen— you can hear a tiny “mwaaaaaa,” our 1st delivery on a wing and a prayer!

The Reluctant Mother

Now we are in our apartment in Ellicott City, MD where Michelle is pacing the floor. Back and forth, and back and forth. It’s been 3 years but I recognize the panic. “Michelle,” I would say, “we should go to the hospital.” “Nooo,” would be the reply, “I’m okay.” “No, you’re not, we should go.” “No, I don’t wanna.”

Finally, I called Judy (our neighbor and friend). She comes over, and taking one look says right away, “Michelle– you’re going to the hospital!” Judy kept our 3-year old, Catherine Lucille, and off we go.

Mind you at this point I’m pretty scared. Michelle is having a baby and I’m driving 90 miles an hour down the outer loop of the Baltimore Beltway, to get to St. Agnes Hospital ASAP.

I always wanted an excuse to drive fast “woo-hoo!”  Reel it in there Speed Racer; your wife is having a baby! “Hold on Michelle no, no, do not push!”

Arriving at the front door, we scurry up to the front desk as I exclaim “we’re having a bab!” It must have been obvious because the receptionist yelled out, “You’re having a baby!” In seconds someone is there with a wheelchair, we’re in an elevator,  I’m tossed a hospital gown, Michelle is whisked into a room.

“Put that gown on and you can come in.”

In my clumsy, hurried attempt to get the gown on, precious seconds are ticking. I no sooner get in the “delivery room” and out “pops” a little boy. “You want me to cut the umbilical cord?” Umm, no thanks. But I am curious about something and ask the doctor: “What’s the big bump on his head?” The Doctor replies: “That’s where his head was bouncing on the seat of your car!”

First Full-Term Pregnancy

This memorable day starts off as any other normal workday but it doesn’t stay normal for long. As I come downstairs for that nice first cup of coffee I find Michelle crawling around in circles on her hands and knees. By now we are in our new home in Catonsville, MD.

Otoh, I think to myself, pausing for a second to reflect; yep that’s the terror crawl I  remember from the 1st delivery. Michelle’s sister was staying with us because we knew the day was near.  I call to her: “Cathy! Where are you? You gotta’ come and see this!”  She takes one look at Michelle and states she is going to the hospital. What do you think Michelle says? Yep. “Nooo, I’m not going.” “Yes, yes you are.”

This was the first pregnancy to go full term. Catherine, our first, was one month early.  Jared, the 2nd one, was two months early! This one? This one was pretty much right on cue.

We get to the hospital without incident (maybe only 80 mph around the beltway this time), Michelle was checked in and declared to be in full labor.

The doctor wasn’t allowing any shenanigans from Michelle. All I could do was watch as Michelle, obviously in great discomfort, endured her longest delivery yet. I remember not enjoying the sight of Michelle in so much discomfort. After about 4 hours we had our 3rd baby; a darling baby girl.

Jared holding his new born baby sister Erica.
Jared holding his new baby sister Erica. 5/2/92

All said this was the most “normal” of the three deliveries. Little did we know, however, our 3rd “wing and a prayer” was the beginning of a truly unique and frigtingly challenging chapter of all our lives. But that’s another story.

Keeping it real

More information on how we kept our young famiy united and turned heart-breaking challenges into a fun adventure can found here:   http://bayliss.com/erica/