water breaking! I was not due until February 3rd, and this was 10 days early!! I woke up my husband and told him what I thought was happening.
|My mom, just before she left for the hospital. (From the post “maternity photos“)|
(Now you need to keep in mind that this was 30 years ago, so I may have forgotten a lot of the finer points, and I know medical technology has also improved in the last three decades. I also think everyone is more aware of what procedures are being done to them now, but back then I pretty much just did what I was told, when I was told, how I was told, and without really asking many questions. I think today I would ask a lot more questions about what they were doing.)
The nurses at the hospital confirmed that yes, my water had broken, and that I was, indeed, in labor. I remember they put IV’s in and strapped some monitors to my belly. I felt both excited and very scared at the same time; I had no clue what was going to happen. Before that day, I attended a few Lamaze classes, so I “knew how to breath,” but that was about it.
When I found out that I was finally pregnant (it took us three years to get pregnant, including all
kinds of testing; it was just never the right time), I told my OBGYN that I should be able to handle labor, because I had such severe cramps with my periods that it hurt ALL the way down my legs. I distinctly remember that when I told her that she just looked at me and chuckled.
Anyway, after I got all hooked up, nothing happened. NOTHING! I just laid there waiting. After a few hours, they decided to put something called Pitocin in my IV. I can actually feel my heart rate
increase right now just by typing that word. Oh my, it sure made my contractions extremely INTENSE!!
My husband would watch the monitor and let me know when another contraction was on its way. Speaking of my husband, he actually had the nerve to leave me to go get something to eat! I know he was hungry, but it sure irritated me at the time. Also speaking of my husband, you know how they say some women will cuss during labor? I don’t remember yelling at him, but I did…..umm…bite him! It was during a really bad contraction and I was trying to do my special breathing. I was focusing very hard on a single object—a flower on the wallpaper—when he started to very gently massage my forehead. His hand got in the way of my flower, and because I was trying to breathe and had a contraction at the same time, I couldn’t talk, so tilted my head up and bit him! He quickly moved his hand away, thank you very
much, and I continued with my breathing and focusing on my flower!
I’m not sure how it is now, but back then they wouldn’t let you get an epidural until you were around 6 cm dilated. I stayed at 4 cm for hours. They said that if they gave me an epidural it could either slow down the labor or it could allow me to relax more and help me progress. It was worth a shot and around 10 pm (after being admitted since that morning) they gave me the epidural. Oh, it was such a relief and I was able to rest! After they gave me the epidural, I remember they put some kind of monitor on the top of the baby’s head.
They checked me a few more times and then, all of a sudden, they said that I was ready to go! They got my husband all gowned up and we headed to a big room that looked like an operating room. They didn’t have those nice birthing rooms back then. They got me all set up, and before I knew it, they said it was time to push! Unfortunately, since I had the epidural not too much earlier, I tried as hard as I could to push but wasn’t doing a very good job. I remember them talking about using forceps and some vacuum thing to help get the baby out.
And then, before I knew it, at 11:50 pm, on January 24, 1984, we were told that we had a beautiful daughter! WAIT! WHAT? A daughter?? I thought I was having a boy! You see, back then we didn’t have any ultrasounds, so the best way to “guess” was by the heartbeat. I had been told the whole entire pregnancy that the heartbeat meant most likely we would be having a boy. Luckily, we picked a girls name just in case. I must admit it did take me a few days to stop calling her a him!
|12 hours old.|
|12 hours old with my mom, my dad, and grandparents|
It had been a very long and exhausting, but exciting day, and we felt truly blessed by the birth of our first child, Jessica Lynn.
Thank you, Mama!
Now it’s time to celebrate! Happy Friday, friends 🙂