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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fruit (10/10/05)

TITLE: A Peachful Summer (Based on a true story)
By Emily Shumack


I stood on the beach holding my daughter’s hands. I lifted her up as the waves lapped at our feet. Ali giggled with delight as once again her feet beat the waves from touching her.

“Jen here are your peaches!” I heard my husband call out from behind me.

I turned to look for Rob and called back “We’re coming!”

“Ali, we’re going now, it’s fruit time” I knelt down to tell my daughter. Then we both let out squeals as the waves finally caught us in a moment when we weren’t looking.

Laughing I said “Let’s go get some peaches Ali”.

As we neared Rob we could see him sitting on our towels with a tray of my favourite fruit.

“Peaches Mummy peaches!” Ali said as she pointed to what Rob was holding.

This was our family treat on summer holidays. Rob and I still joked about how I missed my tray of peaches the summer Ali was born. I had such a craving for them and we joked that Ali was nearly named after this fruit.


I remember as my waters broke calling Rob from the hospital and saying “Our baby is on the way honey, this is the real thing now!”

It had been such a long wait for Ali to arrive, but at the time of her birth she was six weeks early.

Rob and I were both teachers and as we finished up the school year we were looking forward to the long summer break. Every summer we stay in his parents’ beach house and spend our days walking, swimming, reading and maybe doing some fishing.

We had planned to spend our break, just the two of us, relaxing and feeling fully rested before our first child arrived. Well it was not to be.

I had the early signs of labour on the first day of our holidays and spent that week in hospital on drugs to prevent my body going any further into labour. This time allowed for our baby’s lungs to develop.

I felt quite overwhelmed at times as Rob and I hadn’t even considered having a premature baby. During that week of waiting I learnt that I have a life threatening reaction to pethidine and that the steroids injected to help my baby also affected me.
I was glad I wasn’t lying on the beach going for that sexy bare tummy look! Rob said he could hardly recognise me all swollen in my face, arms and legs and asked me “Are you sure you’re me wife?”

Well I’m glad he kept his sense of humour. I needed his jokes to help me laugh when I was so worried about our baby and all the complications that she might have. Rob prayed often too and this seemed to help him maintain a positive outlook. It also helped me to remember that God is in control.

After the specialists finally agreed to take me off the drug that prevented labour, my waters broke twelve hours later. Once Rob arrived he said “Alright honey it’s crunch time! We’ve got to decide on a girl’s name”.

“I’ve been thinking Jen. I know how much you’re craving peaches, so why don’t we name the baby Peach or Peachy? Gwyneth Paltrow called her baby Apple so why not?”

This joke went on throughout the labour process. Finally our little girl arrived yelling at the top of her lungs. She was beautiful and so healthy and had no complications. Rob gave me the gift of naming her and Ali just seemed to fit this small precious bundle.

During the early weeks of feeding Ali I was given a box of peaches by Rob’s parents. I savoured every bite of that first fruit. But after eating them I hadn’t considered how stoned fruit might affect a breast fed baby. Poor Ali screamed for the first two hours after that feed! I’m glad we didn’t name her after the fruit!

We still joke and call Ali our peach baby or peach girl. We celebrated her first birthday at the beach with family, friends and a tray of peaches!

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This article has been read 916 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Yolanda Baker10/17/05
this is a special memory and writen well... hold onto for years to come..andwrite more about your life! I would love to read it!
Julie Beard10/18/05
There's something special about reading true stories... I also enjoyed how you tied this in with this week's topic! Well written!
Alexandra Wilkin10/18/05
Having had a premature baby I can certainly relate to the nerves and worries you relate! This is a lovely and well told memory, and as sweet as a peach! God bless.
B Brenton10/19/05
Wow. This is true? You have a well-written exciting life. Whens the autobiography coming out on paperback? ;) :D
Julianne Jones10/19/05
This is beautiful and as others have said, special for being a true story. I'm asuming this is your own story and I hope you'll share this with your daughter when she's older. Well written. Keep writing.
Suzanne R10/21/05
What a lovely memory.

I like the way you went from the scene at the beach with Ali to the story of her birth.

I wonder if you could somehow bring it back more strongly to where you started? Just an idea. Maybe more description of juice dribbling down your healthy little girl's face, sticky hands washed in the salty ocean water etc?

But really, this was great! I just offered an idea because you did ask for feedback. Keep writing! I look forward to reading more.
Anita Neuman10/21/05
Hey, great story! You have a delightful "writer's voice" and I look forward to reading more of your work as you develop. There were a few punctuation errors - a peer editor could help you tidy those up. But all in all, this was a wonderful story!
Amy Michelle Wiley 10/21/05
Charming story! I, too, think the beginning could have been stronger, but great story!
Garnet Miller 10/22/05
What a precious story! Very well written.
Cassie Memmer10/23/05
Delightful story of your hopes and fears. Thanks