Warning: Possibly Sentimental (Definitely Graphic) Post Ahead, Fasten Your Seatbelts
Twenty-nine years ago, this day, I gave birth to a perfect baby girl. The last of my four children, and if she’d of been my first, she’d of been an only child.
Not because she was a terror, quite the opposite, she was (and is) a truly beautiful, smart, funny, talented, and amazing girl.
No, I’m speaking of the nine months prior to her birth.
It started with puking, there was puking in the middle, and in the end there was more…puking.
I was the Kate Middleton of pregnancy, before there was a Kate Middleton.
And, in those days there were no fancy terms for “she-who-pukes-constantly-during-pregnancy”.
Nowadays, it’s called something Latin that I cannot pronounce.
I couldn’t stand the smell of any food. I couldn’t eat, and if I dared, I couldn’t keep it down.
Except tuna salad.
And only at noon.
I could eat one tuna salad sandwich every day at noon, and keep it down. The rest of the day, even the smell of tuna sent me running to the bathroom.
My poor doctor was at a loss, but he did bring me in to his office every couple of weeks and hook me up to an IV filled with this dark, thick stuff that was a vitamin concentrate. It took 30 minutes to empty the bag. I’d go home and feel decent for long enough to think I could eat and then realize (too late) what a mistake that was.
The very last week of my pregnancy, when I’d barely gained 20 lbs., I went in to see him and stepped onto the scale.
The only time in my life I remember desperately hoping I’d gained weight.
I had lost 5 lbs.
It was a Friday, and the doctor looked at me and said, “Monday”.
I replied, “What about Monday?”
“If you haven’t gone into labor by then, we are going to induce you.”
“Doc, I’ve had false labor for two weeks straight, and I’ve puked for nine months. I’m about to go insane, so I’m with you. Whatever you want to do.”
On Saturday the contractions began and were fairly regular. I figured the baby had heard the doctor, so she was going to get serious about getting here.
Early Sunday morning, they stopped.
On Monday morning, they started again. This time in earnest.
We drove the 50 miles to the doctor’s office, and after examining me he said, “You’re only dilated to about a one. Now, you can either go home and wait. Or, go to the pharmacy, get a bottle of castor oil, take it and walk, walk, walk.”
I chose the latter.
We went to a local mall, and saw the movie “Ghostbusters”; though by then the castor oil was doing the job it was designed to do and I missed half the movie.
The contractions grew steadily stronger during the day.
I walked and walked and walked some more.
We went to a favorite restaurant and hubby ate dinner.
We walked some more, then decided to go to the hospital as the contractions were now regular and about five minutes apart.
When I got there, and settled in, the attending came in and examined me.
“You’re only dilated to about a three, so I think we will send you home.”
I suddenly became the world’s largest bee-yotch, screaming at him that there was no way I was going home until this baby was born.
He grew pale as I became more angry and loud.
“I’ll go call your doctor.”
“YEAH, YOU DO THAT!”
He came back in a few minutes and told me that my doctor had said to just let me stay. God bless that man.
As my labor progressed, the anesthesiologist came in to give me an epidural. On his first try, he missed. My blood pressure plummeted and I passed out. I’m told that I nearly fell off the bed, but was caught by my husband and a nurse. I don’t remember that part. What I do remember is that after the successful epidural I felt no pain.
I also was never charged for that epidural. Apparently, the doc that missed had felt so bad he was nearly in tears when he left me.
During the delivery, I was on a bed that tilted up so I was nearly sitting. This allowed gravity to help. It also caused severe friction burns to the backs of both thighs. They were so bad, a nurse from the burn unit had to come down and treat them afterwards.
Once she was born, and I held that beautiful baby girl in my arms, everything was forgotten.
Okay, not completely. That puking memory stayed with me a while.
I was in the hospital a few days longer than most people because of the burns, and the general rundown condition of my body from the lack of nutrition during the pregnancy.
During those days I ate.
A WHOLE LOT.
Suddenly, I was no longer pukey and nauseous and I couldn’t eat enough to fill me up.
I also slept almost constantly, only waking to eat or have someone poke and prod me.
The docs weighed me as often as they weighed my baby, and on the first day it was discovered that from pre-pregnancy to post-pregnancy I’d lost twenty-five pounds. So, although I’d gained twenty pounds during pregnancy, the minute she was born I lost forty-five.
My system was so run down, I spent the next year and a half catching every little virus that came along. I was constantly sick with colds, strep, you name it.
Eventually, I recovered and as I’ve watched that baby girl grow up to have baby girls of her own I can tell you this…
I wouldn’t trade a minute of the puking for all the tea in China.
Maybe for gold, or cash money, but not for tea.
So Happy Birthday my darling baby girl, and I know you were a precious gift from God who continues to brighten my world.