This story has nothing to do with the highly regarded, greatest Hollywood actresses of all time ‘Bette Davis’ herself, but the song performed by Kim Carnes, which was released back in 1981.
In March 2008, my daughter decided she wanted to arrive 6 weeks early. I had no indications at all leading up to her premature birth, my waters actually broke whilst I was still at work. 2 days later on the 7th March at the RVI Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne, she was born, weighing 6lb 3oz (which for a prem baby at that stage is still a really good weight!) To cut a long story short, because of her early birth her lungs weren’t fully developed, and she needed to be taken care of in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU).
We were informed by some doctors at the RVI late at night, that they had no room available in their SCBU for my daughter to stay, as they were full. The only available hospital where they did have room was North Tees Hospital in Stockton-on-Tees, which is a good 40 minutes drive from the RVI in Newcastle. We were told she would be transported via ambulance down the A19 early the next morning, I insisted that I wanted to go down with her, but I wasn’t allowed I had to stay to be discharged the next morning, I couldn’t have been more low. When the next morning arrived (not that I slept at all), I repeatedly kept asking at the desk, can I go now, can I go now… but the doctors hadn’t even started their rounds. Eventually I was discharged from the RVI and was finally free to go and be with our daughter.
Needless to say the car journey was awful, all we wanted to do was see our baby. No doctors at this stage had not explained anything to us about her premature birth or what actually was wrong, so we didn’t know what to expect. The only sound in the car was songs on the radio, to be honest the whole journey was a complete blur, I only remember ringing my mam to tell her we were on our way and that’s about it.
Then this song came on the radio…..I had heard it before, but there was something about the song, which at that moment in time was both calming and soothing to listen too ……it was ‘Bette Davis Eyes’
I didn’t think twice about the song after we left the car and ran into hospital, not knowing we were going to be there another 11 days…
The next day my mam and sister came down to see our daughter at North Tees, and delivered the sad news that my ‘Popo’ (my Scottish Grandad) had sadly passed away the morning the day my daughter was born. To say that I was devastated is an understatement, my whole emotions were all extreme already, but now having to deal with the bereavement of my Popo who I absolutely adored was unbearable.
On the way back from walking my mam and sister to the front doors of the main hospital, me and my partner started heading back through the hospital when the hospital radio came on around the corridors, and what started playing next will give me goose bumps for life……… it was ‘Bette Davis Eyes’ Me and my fiancé looked at each other and smiled. Your probably thinking so what… but to me it’s not a song you hear all the time, especially not twice in the space of 2 days. The song had already had an influence on me in the car, it was like trying to get at my emotions again!
Looking back now I would like to think it was my Popo just trying to give me a little sign he was there especially as he has a daughter called Betty! But then again I’m totally into the spiritual afterlife side of things, so I would believe that…
Everytime the song comes on now, tears roll down my cheeks and it takes me back 8 years ago, to all those emotions I went through. I love the song so much, that I have it played on our wedding DVD, we also had the harpist sing the ‘Flower of Scotland’ as a little sign of respect for my Popo for not being around to see me get married, hope he heard them too!