I Got to Play an April Fools Joke Before I was Born

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I will start this by saying that yes, I did miss being an April Fool, but only by a tiny margin. I was born just twenty minutes after midnight on April 2nd, and the events of the prior day in my home were quite interesting to say the least.

To get the full story I must go back and remind everyone what medical tests were like in the 1970's, they were improving, but still far from the reliability, and accuracy that we take for granted today.

There were already four children in the house, the oldest a boy, who was seventeen, and the youngest a girl age nine. Two of them from my father's first marriage, and two from one of my mother's previous marriages. I would be the second try for them to have a child in common. The first resulted in a miscarriage when my mother was just three months along.

Since she'd already lost one child, the doctors were watching my mother closely to try to prevent this from happening again, thus they ran every test they had available at the time. My parents were told nothing but good news, there was no reason this baby wouldn't carry to term. To top if off, they said it was a boy and the due date was April 8th. Both of my parents were jubilant and all four kids were excited about gaining a new little brother. They quickly chose to name me after my grandfather, George.

Now, we fast forward to April 1st, as my mother's due date is nearing. My parents were planning to attend a function at a local club where my father was a member. Before leaving, they decided they had the perfect opportunity to play an April Fool's joke on the kids, they would pretend my mother was in labor and they were really leaving to go to the hospital.

The kids had heard them talking about the evening out in previous days so they weren't falling for it, they told them that they knew perfectly well it was April Fool's day and the baby wasn't even due yet. Trying to keep up the game, my mother still pretended to be having contractions, and they got in the car, and left the house.

Then suddenly a big surprise did hit! My mother's water broke in the car on the way to town and my dad had to turn tail and race for the hospital. After getting my mother checked into the maternity ward, he tried calling the kids to let them know what had really happened. At this point, their brilliant April Fool's trick totally backfired. The kids still refused to believe him, they told him to go back to dinner and stop trying to fool them.

My mother labored through the night and finally, I entered the world at twenty minutes past midnight on April 2nd. Here came another surprise, their chosen name of George wasn't going to work, I was a girl. They hadn't even pondered a girl's name since they were so sure the baby was going to be a boy, but that is a tale for another time.

Once again, my father tried to call home and let the kids know about their new baby sister, but they still refused to believe him. They told him it was almost one in the morning, so April Fool's day was over, and on top of that, they knew the baby was going to be a boy, not a girl. They all said goodnight to him, hung up the phone and went back to bed.

Realizing how badly their attempted joke had backfired, my father had to drive home, roust them all out of bed, grumbling and tired at two in the morning. Then he drove them all to the hospital so he could prove to them that it wasn't still an April Fool's joke.

Needless to say, the story of my birth and this April Fool's trick was told many times in my family as I was growing up, and to this day my Dad says it was the best April Fool's joke he ever thought up.

Verleen Wonderly is a published, freelance writer and has worked for the website since it's inception in 1999.

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