Jan 24, 2014

My Birth Story (as told by my mom)

So here we are. I'm 30, which means today I'm officially another year older (and hopefully wiser). I'm in a new age bracket and I'm most definitely not as hip as I used to be. But I'm so much more than I was in my 20s. I'm a mom and I'm a wife, which are two things I treasure more than anything. I've traveled the world and I've experienced so many things, and thankfully, I don't have any regrets. Life hasn't just been sweet for the past three decades, it's been beyond wonderful; I'm so blessed, and I'm excited to see what this next decade has in store for me.

Today I have a special post for you, written by an extremely important person in my life, my mama. I asked her to write a guest post for me, and after I told her the topic and heard her pick her jaw off the floor, she obliged. "I'm not a writer," she told me, but oh, I beg to differ. If you can put your thoughts into words, then you're a writer.

Birthdays are always important, but up until this year I never truly realized how paramount it is for the mother. Mama, thank you for keeping me safe for those nine months and for literally giving me life. Thank you (you too, Papa), for raising me into the woman I am now, 30 years later. Love you!

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January 24, 1984, started out like any other morning. I got up at 6:00 am to get ready for work, but as I started making my way to the bathroom, I felt some liquid running down my legs. I really didn't think I was peeing my pants, so what in the world was going on? Hmmm! I soon realized that it must be my 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.

Not believing what was going on, I asked him,'"What do I do now?"  He replied, "You've read all the books, you should know! " Not exactly sure what to do, I gave my doctor's office a call and they told me to head into the hospital. Okay, well then, it looks like I'm NOT going to work today; looks like I'm going to have a baby today!
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 breath 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.

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Thank you, Mama! 
Now it's time to celebrate! Happy Friday, friends :) 


14 comments:

  1. Happy, Happy Birthday! I truly was blessed to become your mother 30 years ago! I hope you have a wonderful day!

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  2. Happy Happy Birthday!

    And your parents and grandparents are freaking adorable. I LOVE this.

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  3. Happy Birthday! What a sweet idea to ask your mom to share your birth story! Too funny that they were expecting a boy! :) I hope you have a wonderful day!

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  4. Crying for birth stories is normal, right? This is the absolute sweetest idea to have your mom tell the story of your birth! Sounds like some things were different, but feelings were SO similar back then. Your mom clearly loves you so much! Happy happy birthday, friend!

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  5. Best idea ever. I love it! And um...may steal it for my birthday, if that's okay. :)

    Happy birthday!!

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  6. Love the story and the pictures! Your mom looks so radiant and happy! My parents thought I was going to be the third boy in the family...nope, I was the first girl! They were definitely shocked :)

    Happy birthday!!

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  7. Aw, I love that your mom shared the story!! Happy Birthday!

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  8. This is so great! It's cool how your mother/daughter voices in writing are similar. It's so sweet that your mom guest-posted for you!

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  9. Happy Birthday! What a great post! Also I had that clown lamp in my room as well, although it scared it for some reason! lol

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  10. This is great, I love it! I was supposed to be a boy too :)

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  11. I love this. What a great story.

    I should have my mom do this. After the recipe disaster, I'm kind of obsessed with making sure the important stuff - stories, pictures, recipes - are kept safe for future generations.

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  12. Um, this is the best idea ever and the cutest post! Happy [late] birthday!

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Thanks for leaving some love! I read every single comment and appreciate your kind words :)