Saturday, January 15, 2011

My first baby

Someone left a comment saying they like it when I stroll down memory lane, and suggested I blog about what it was like when my kids were small.  Well, my son really doesn't like me talking about when he was little, so I try to avoid that subject.  However, I think I'd be safe going over the details of his birth.  
My first pregnancy had to have been one of the longest in history:  I went ten days past my due date, which I know was the right time because I knew exactly when I got pregnant; it was the only time we didn't take precautions.  We'd been married about a month when it happened.    
When "that time of the month" came, I only spotted, and kept spotting for a couple of weeks.  I decided I must have cancer or something, so I made an appointment with my parents' family doctor.  Keep in mind that, at age twenty-one, I had never had a pelvic exam;  so it was really embarrassing for me.  The doctor said I was probably pregnant, although it was too early to know for sure, and that the spotting was just "incidental" and probably meant nothing.  
Cliff said when I walked out of that office, my face was fire-engine red.  
I continued spotting for at least four more months.    
Since there was no Internet in the old days, I bought a book called "Pregnancy and Childbirth" by Dr. Alan Guttmacher and began studying it; I also bought Dr. Spock, who has really been given a bad rap, in my opinion.  His advice was very helpful to someone like me who hadn't had a lot of experience with babies.  
We hardly had two nickels to rub together, but I wanted to buy some kind of clothes for the baby, so we went to Wild Woody's and bought a kimono gown for ninety-nine cents.  I still have it around here somewhere.  
I only had morning sickness one time; then I figured out that if I ate breakfast, I didn't get sick.  I never had morning sickness again, with either of my pregnancies.  But boy, did I have heartburn.  I was told that meant the baby would have a lot of hair, but neither of my kids had an unusual amount of hair.  
During my pregnancy we moved to a trailer house on my parents' property.  Now, my mom and I were always like oil and water, but with the raging hormones of pregnancy driving me, it's a wonder somebody didn't haul me away to the looney bin.  One time we were at her house eating a fine meal and she made a remark that we shouldn't be in a hurry to have another baby after this one was born; I stormed out the door:  how DARE she tell me how many kids I could have?  Poor Cliff had no choice but to follow me, and to this day he hasn't forgiven me for making him leave half of a delicious steak behind.
I cried at the drop of a hat; anything my mother-in-law said was wrong.  I also ate constantly, because after all, I was going to get fat anyhow; why not eat?   
Once the due date came and went, people started telling me things that were supposed to make that stubborn baby go ahead and be born.  The preacher's wife told me to eat a lot of beans; that would do it for sure, she said.  I laughed at that suggestion.  
Then one evening, ten days later, I fixed corn bread and beans for supper.  Later on I was taking a bath, stood up to get out of the tub, and my water broke.  
"Cliff," I yelled, "something just happened!"  
We called the doctor's home; his wife said he was at a banquet.  Pretty soon he called and said to go on to Conley Clinic; he'd be there later.  First babies, he told me, usually take their sweet time about arriving.  
So I grabbed a towel to sit on in the car, because I was leaking profusely, and Cliff, Mother, and I headed to the hospital.  
Conley Clinic was an old facility; I think it closed five or six years later.  I was checked in, given a gown, put in a small room, and examined.  Then everybody disappeared and I was all alone.  I heard a lady down the hall someplace groaning and crying, and then I heard her say, "The baby's coming!"  
From somewhere up the hall a nurse came running, and then I heard a baby cry.  
That girl practically had her baby in a room all by herself, and I wondered if that was going to happen to me.  Nobody was checking on me.  I got off the exam table and went to look out the door of my room and saw I was leaving a bloody trail on the floor.    
I was scared.  Really scared.  There wasn't a soul in sight.
This is getting long, so I'll stop here and finish in another entry.  


Paula said...

Love to read your real life stories. Yep things were sure different back then having babies and so many other things.I was determinded not to have too many babies as my mama complained everytime my older sister got pregnant. She ended up having ten. Guess she didn't like that mama advice.

Margaret said...

YOu are a great storyteller! My parents had a late in life baby(when I was nearly 15) so I was very used to babies, but not to pregnancy. I think my husband spent most of the 9 months finding projects to work on in the garage. I was an emotional mess. :)

Forty Pound Sack said...

Love your story ~ can't wait for the next part!