The year 1996 was full of new beginnings for me. It really began December 30th, 1995 when my husband and I were married. We were expecting our first little one sometime around the end of April or beginning of May. The original due date based on my last cycle was May 7th, but after a sonogram the doctor put it at April 27th. In January of 1996 my new husband went off to Marine Corps Boot Camp in San Diego. We figured we had it all set; his ten days off after boot camp and before his next set of training schools was right when the baby was due.
Since he would not be around for birthing classes, a friend of mine from work said she would be my labor coach. I chose the Bradley Method because after much research I found about 97% of moms using the Bradley method succeeds in drug free natural child birth in comparison to around 70% of Lamaze. I, for one, was very weary about someone putting a needle into my spine. My coach and I enjoyed our classes, and I sent all the information I could to my husband in boot camp.
April 19th was hubby’s boot camp graduation. I was in Greeley, Colorado at the time and being so far along in my pregnancy I could not fly to his graduation. The doctor said driving that distance wouldn’t work either, so I got train tickets.
Once in San Diego I met up with my husband’s parents, and we all headed to MCRD San Diego for boot camp graduation. It was really quite amazing, and I was pregnant.
We all took a train back to Colorado where hubby’s parents stayed a few days, hoping to get to see the baby’s birth. They left back for New York before the baby was born, and my husband ended up having to head back for more training before officially becoming a dad as well. Hmmm…
The doctor finally decided that if I did not go into labor, he was going to induce on May 7th, which in the first place was my original due date anyway. If only we had arranged my husband’s 10 days off around that date.
It was at night in May 5th that I went into labor. Not too bad, I figure it is rather late, so I should try and get some sleep at home before going into the hospital. That was Monday at about 6 o’clock in the morning when my water broke. I called my friend Christi and told her to take the day off work that day instead of the following day.
Christi got to my house around eight in the morning and decided we take my car to the birthing center instead of hers. Then after the baby is born she could have a friend pick her up and bring her back to my place for her car, and when I get discharged, I will have a way home myself. Makes perfect sense, but I drive a standard. Well, instead of asking if she can drive a stick I said, “Sure, I’ll drive.” Yes, in labour, I drove myself and my labor coach to the birthing center.
Once there, we were all checked in by 9 o’clock in the morning. I spent most of the day in the Jacuzzi and eating ice chips. The doctor was in and out checking on my progress throughout the day. I remember watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. Finally, after those two shows the end got nearer. They told me I am at 10 cms and I did not have the indescribable urge to push. This is a feeling you miss out on with an epidural.
The doctor had an intern with him, so he had her deliver the baby. I had my labor coach on my right holding that leg up, with a nurse on the left holding up my other leg. That way I could sit up as I pushed, the doctor was convinced I had to see this amazing act. As soon as the baby’s head was there, he took my hand to feel it. It was a miracle.
The head was finally out. No episiotomy was done, that would have been the time since there were no drugs. Then it was time for the shoulders. My baby got a little stuck. I remember the doctor telling the intern to try and turn the baby the other way. She was finally born, and I did tear on her shoulders.
I immediately took her to my breast. Ahhh…I was a mommy. As they gave me a local so they can stitch up my tear I called my parents. I have to gloat that I truly had a drug-free child birth; no one thought I would actually go through with it. I then called my husband to let him know it was a girl, and he is a daddy. Well, I actually had to call the Red Cross to get through to him, but it was 9:30 at night, 8:30 where he was, and they wouldn’t call him.
The next day my husband finally got the news. Our new family had begun. I must admit, while I would have loved to have my husband there for the birth, there is nothing I would change about that wonderful experience, the beginning of my family.