What An Entry

On this night a quarter of a century ago Russ and I could hardly sleep. I because I was two weeks over due to deliver our baby, he because he was on UK time. We were due to be at Durham Regional at 6am to check in to be induced.

We were there early. They kept us wait around and eventually got to a room. Dr. Fried came and and told me that they were going to give me drugs to induce labor and if the baby didn’t come by three they would stop, admit me, and try again the next day. I looked at him and said, “You made me wait to be induced until I was two weeks overdue. Today is the day I am having this baby.”

So they gave me the drugs and not much happened. Russ worked on his computer as I lay around. I have six different cords attached to me in all sorts of places. My hospital gown covered the front of me, but was open in the back, allowing some of the cords to get to the places they needed to be.

After a couple of hours the monitors that all those cords were attached to started blaring. Russ and I were alone in our room and a nurse and Dr. Fried ran in and told me the baby’s heart rate was going down.

“Turn over and get on your hands and knees and put your head down.” This is much easier said than done by a large heavily pregnant woman with six cords attached to all kinds of places in and in my body while on a small hospital bed, but I did it. With my hospital gown laying on the bed and me with all my glory sticking up in the air, the monitors stop blaring and apparently the baby’s heart rate went back to normal.

I was allowed to roll back over, again a Herculean feat. Dr. Fried said everything was fine, but I was not dilating enough. The labor did begin. The contractions were few and far apart. They started to get stronger so I had an epidural. Then they went to nothing. But the monitors blared again. I was already rolling over when the Nurse got in the room. By the time the Doctor was there the machine had silenced itself, but I asked how often this might happen.

Even though I was getting better at turning over with the wires wrapped all around me, I was not feeling much thanks to the epidural so I was worried I might fall right off the bed.

After the second incident Russ went to the pay phone to call my mother and explain what was going on. Back then you were not allowed to use your cell phone in the hospital. While he was gone the monitors blared again. I was alone, flipping over getting on my hands and knees, with my gown laying on the bed and the Doctor and two nurses ran in.

“We are taking you for an emergency C-section, stay in that position.” So without my husband who would have looked out for me, they rolled me out in the hall on my bed. No one thought they should throw a sheet over my naked backside. As they rolled me down the hall to the operating room a group of pregnant women and their partners came down the hall on a labor and delivery tour. I could feel the horror coming from them seeing me. Certainly not one of them wanted to come back and deliver here after seeing my naked very pregnant self out in the hall.

Once in the OR, they told me to roll off my bed and on to the even skinnier operating table. Dr. Fried asked where Russ was just as he came in the room. As soon as he was by my side they cut into me and delivered my perfect baby girl.

Her heart rate was fine. She just wanted to make a grand entrance. She gave us quite a story to tell. So tomorrow she turns 24. I remember every moment of her birth as if it were yesterday. If I had not had so much public display I might not have, but she has been worth any indignity I had to suffer. Love you Carter. I would do it all exactly the same way for you!

One Comment on “What An Entry”

  1. beth says:

    very dramatic!

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