Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Tripping Down Memory Lane
I can't believe my first born is turning forty-one this year. It doesn't seem possible.How can we be the same age? :) I was thinking back today about what made me start writing, and I realized it was all the material life has provided me for plots and stories. At this time in March 1967, I was almost nine months pregnant and looking forward to the birth of my first child. We'd waited three years to have a baby, and I was so excited to be a mom. Little did I know what waited in store for me. I had no idea I would eventually be the mother of the first punk rocker in a red-neck community, nor did I have even a clue that I'd someday be sharing my eye make-up with a teenage-boy as he dressed for his first prom. He and his girlfriend wore matching outfits from the goodwill. Nothing you'd find in a fashion magazine, I assure you. But I digress...
Okay, so I gained a little weight during the pregnancy, but did people really have to keep asking, "are you still pregnant?" I felt I've been that way forever. My ankles and feet were swollen beyond the tops of my shoes and not even my biggest maternity top covered my stomach. I swore if one more person asked that question, I was going to jail for murder.
The doctor's had already gotten my hopes up for an early birth. They started telling me in February, "Don't go far from home. The baby's coming any day now." Right. March 17th, was my due date and it was right around the corner. It came and went!
Talk about misery. Heartburn the minute I lay down and now my hands and fingers were swelling. I was beginning to doubt I was really pregnant.
On a visit to the doctor after my date had passed, he had no explanation except, "Babies come when they're good and ready." That didn't do much to ease my growing discomfort. Now, my bladder had developed a mind of its own and I was wearing a 'pad' everyday. This was before 'Depends'. I had to get my labor started and end the agony, so I walked around the room until I couldn't breathe, asked hubby to take me for bumpy rides and even considered sex, but nothing worked. I gave into my desperation. No, not sex, a orange juice/castor oil/baking soda cocktail. The doctor said it was okay to try it. It didn't start my labor, but I did spend the entire night in the bathroom. Something moved, but it wasn't the child.
Finally, on April 17th, the doctor admitted me to the hospital. My blood pressure soared and I was showing signs of Toxemia. I was the only pregnant woman in the maternity ward. Doc said if I didn't start labor within a few hours, he was going to induce me. I guess that scared me, because I started having pains. Too bad, my little twinges kept my 'new mommy' roommate awake, because I got moved to the labor room far too early. Nothing says stress like listening to other women groan and scream. My first roommate claimed, in a very loud and aggravated voice, "the baby is coming." "Just breathe," said the nurse. "You aren't ready to deliver yet." A few minutes later I heard a baby cry. I guess Momma knew better than the nurse. Was that going to happen to me? My heart pounded like a drum as the pains intensified.
A thin curtain separated me from my labor room mate. I caught a glimpse of my third one when the nurse left the drape open for a fleeting minute and noticed she looked Hispanic. That certainly explained why she played her fingers like castanets with each pain she had. Me, I choose to wring water from a wash cloth into my face. I couldn't understand how the doctor I saw across the hall could stretch out on a couch and read a newspaper when so many of us were dying. I changed my mind. I didn't want to have a baby, after all.
When I ran out of water, I squeezed the closest thing to me--my call button. That didn't last long because the nurse came and removed it from my bed. She also performed the roughest shave job of my pubic area one could imagine, gave me an enema and slapped paper slippers on my feet and sent me scurrying the length of a football field towards the nearest toilet. Punishment too severe for pushing a call button too many times, I thought.
I've always had an aversion to anyone hearing me make 'bathroom noises' but imagine having an enema and doing your business in a two car garage-sized room with only a toilet in it. I'm sure the echo was heard in the gift shop. I was appalled, but relieved.
When my labor finally advanced, they moved me to the delivery room. I was instructed to sit up on the side of the table and not move a muscle. Sure thing. My body is having bearing down pains that could move a school bus across an intersection, but I'm supposed to sit perfectly still. I don't know how I managed, but I think it was the enticement offered by the spinal and the promise the pain would go away.
It did, and so did any feeling beyond my waist. I guess that 5'2", ninety pound nurse should have asked me to put my line-backer legs in the stirrup before I went numb. The only thing I could do was root for her. After that, everything was a blur. I pushed, but didn't feel it, or at least I gritted my teeth and thought I did. It must have worked because within a short time, I had a slippery baby boy laying across my stomach.
Finally, after ten months of pregnancy, Scott Allen Jones was born on April 18, 1967 and weighed in at 9 pounds 9 ounces and was 22 1/2 inches long. Compared to the other babies in the nursery, he looked three months old. Of course, he was the most beautiful one there.
I felt so slim as I stood and stared at him through the window. But when they weighed me, I'd only lost nine pounds. How in the hell does that work???? But it didn't matter, I was finally a mom. Surely it was my calling in life. Or so I thought. Stay tuned for more about my little punk rocker. I never knew what a trend setter he'd turn out to be. Wait until you hear about the birth of my second son. Oy Vey!