Meet Christine who had her dream baby just before her 40th birthday. That beautiful miracle baby is now in her early 20s.
I had Aunoria three weeks before my 40th birthday. She was the miracle I thought would never happen. I was incredibly thrilled to be pregnant but, I paid the price by having a bladder infection from the first trimester until birth. I had the normal aches and pains as my body adjusted but the hardest thing was having such difficulty in walking when I’m such a walker. Also, my belly button completely popped out and that little sucker hurt!!! I got pregnant for her faster than any woman my age would.
Morning sickness, I learned, is crazy. I was nauseated every other day through my entire pregnancy. In my 3rd month, when I wasn’t sleeping, I was throwing up. One time, I stepped over my cat that was in the doorway of the bathroom. I told him, “This concludes our service, you may go in peace.” The cat looked at me as if to say, “Whatever!!” Emotionally, I loved it. Physically, it was a pain—most likely due to my age.
While I thrilled with every bump, kick, punch, and jab, my body let me know I was no spring chicken. As I advanced along in my pregnancy, I found it harder and harder to walk. I guess she was really low. My doctor was always telling me to rest. And rest I did. As I got into my third trimester, I had a hard time sleeping. I got one of those long body pillows and it worked for a while. In my third trimester, I could only sleep on my left side.
To this day, when I go to sleep, I have to be on my left side. The last couple of weeks, the pillow wasn’t fluffy enough to support my belly and the muscles at the top let me know. My appetite was iffy. I remember being in a store, looking for something to heat up in the microwave to eat for dinner. My ex found one with no problem. I walked up and down that aisle four or five times (no exaggeration). I swear that kid of mine was going, “No, no, oh gah, no, you send that down, you’ll be sorry.” I finally found something, she said, “Well, if that’s all there is, then go ahead.”
She was due July 21st but early in the morning of the 20th, I lost my mucus plug. No one told me it was a tiny sucker, so I went back to bed and slept.
She let me sleep in until ten when I was awoken by the gentlest labor pains any woman could ask for.
I called a friend who had five kids and she sat with me and timed my contractions. They were gentle, typical, and consistent at eight minutes apart. I called my ex just before four pm to let him know I was in labor but would wait until he got home.
Ten minutes later, while closing our kitchen window, my water broke. I called my friend who lived down the block who came and got me. While my friend drove, I was scared. I was always on the outside, looking in when it came to giving birth. I never even accompanied a friend into the labor room. My friend kept the mood light by asking me if I could have a pony as she really wanted one. I told I’d do my best.
When we got there, I was quickly rushed to a labor room right next door to the nurses’ station. I couldn’t remember the Lamaze instruction so I just would take slow, cleansing breaths when a contraction would hit. I brought along a cassette tape of music to the sounds of the rain. It was very relaxing!!! They gave me an enema (I thought they were out of their mind) and looked at the woman like she had lost hers when she told me to hold it for 10 minutes before I went to the bathroom. Skip that, I thought, and went after five minutes.
My pain level at that point was moderate until after I got rid of the enema then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I got there about 4:30 and called my SIL before I left that I was in labor and was being driven to the hospital but Rik, my husband, did not know any of that. So, my SIL met him at the bus stop and took him to the hospital. Lamaze teaches you all about the stages, but when it’s happening, you don’t give a fig what stage you’re in, you just want the baby OUT!!!
I hit a stage I think they call transition because I started shivering like I was in a snow storm. The head nurse told me to calm down as its going to take awhile. You’ve heard that when you’re in labor, your personality changes? Well, I got ultra polite when I should have told her to go bleep herself and that trapdoor babies run in the family (something I did not know until AFTER I got home). Well, not too long after that, I felt what I heard about in nursing school (not Lamaze classes) was an unmistakable urge to push. I had my eyes closed at that point, trying to be calm.
I told myself if it hit again, we were in business. It hit and I said, “I gotta push”, in the quietest, help-me-dear-God voice anyone could have. Nurses, I just kid you not, came out of the woodwork.
The bitchy nurse, who told me earlier to calm down, hot-footed it to the delivery room and said; “Now this is what I like!!” It was 7:30 pm. I had been there three hours.
When I first got there, my doctor came by and jabbed me with what looked like a crochet hook because my water bag didn’t completely break. He said it’s been awhile but winked at my friend so he knew it wasn’t going to be some long drawn out haul. If I had the personality then that I have now I probably would have told the nurse that I was glad I could oblige but I was being a polite little patient.
When they got me situated in the bed, a nurse came along and said she wanted to put a probe on the baby’s head. To which I replied, “Go ahead, what the hell!!” Thus fulfilling something else said in nursing school: at that point, you don’t care what they do as long as that baby comes out!!! My friend kept turning over that music in the rain cassette which kept me pretty calm. It took approximately nine pushes for her to crown.
They told me to stop as the cord was wrapped around her neck. When they took care of that, she came out with a whoosh of water like she was just surfing a really knurly wave.
The doctor immediately put her on my tummy, to which I responded by sitting up, grabbing her, checking to see if she was the girl I wanted so badly, then sat her up. It was then that she took her first breath. I felt this incredible wind go through my fingers when she took that breath!!! The nurse said, “We haven’t washed her up yet.” To which I replied, “She just came out of my body. What can she have that I don’t?”
They washed her up and gave her to me. She opened and closed her eyes a couple of times; then she opened them and leaned in like, “YOU’RE mommy!!” When I said, “Yes, I’m your mommy,” she sucked in her cheeks ever so slightly and I saw her dimples. I’ve been a goner ever since.
Something I’ve only just realized, that staff never helped nurse her while in the delivery room and they weren’t that supportive about that during my stay. And this was a Catholic hospital. One time, a nurse tried to help Aunoria look for the nipple but couldn’t stay too long as she had other patients. I worried that Aunoria wouldn’t latch on when we got home. She instantly realized the bottle wasn’t mommy and she would have none of that.
I was placed at the very far end of the hall and, because I was unable to pee for myself, had to be catheterized. I regret not getting up, putting on my slippers and walking up that hallway to visit my baby in the nursery. I was basically scared to get up and move around. And that extended to taking a shower.
I eventually did but it took a while to work up the courage to get my scared self out of that bed. Overcoming that helped me take a shower at home when Dada went back to work. I kept stopping the shower and listening for Aunoria’s demands for room service. Fortunately, she let me take my shower!!!
One thing nice, though, was the benefit of staying in a Catholic hospital and having a nun coming in, bringing Communion to Dada and I!! We were in the process of making out the birth certificate, making her name official!