time for the annual re-telling of Sarah's birth story. Sarah's home for her birthday this year. Much better, IMHO, than last year.|
Sarah’s birth really wasn’t planned to be anything other than the normal go to the hospital and have her already. I began having labor pains that were painful and regular on Monday, August 29th, while I was at work. My boss, a single guy who was afraid of pregnant women, made me go home immediately because he didn’t want any baby born withing a 10 mile radius of him. LOL
I went home, made sure I had my bag packed, walked around our block about a zillion times, made sure I had someone available that evening for Katie, who was 3 at the time, and I called my parents to let them know that the time was now! Finally decided I’d had enough of being home and my dh (who is now my ex) drove me to the hospital. This was an Army hospital, as I was in the Army at the time. And the hospital was a 25 minute drive normally. But I couldn’t deal with being in a moving vehicle and having a contraction at the same time, so we drove for 3 minutes and would stop for 2 minutes. I’m sure we looked funny. Oh well.
Once at the hospital, I’m put in the exam room and a midwife comes in to examine me. Yup. I’m having contractions. Yup. They’re regular. Yup. They hurt. But they really aren’t organized, you know. So they’re not doing anything. I’m only dilated to a 2 or maybe a 3 and the golden number to get to stay is 4, so I’m sent home. We pick Katie up from daycare and head home to walk some more. Katie thought it was great fun that mom was walking with her all over the place and that mom needed frequent rest stops so that she could explore every pebble on our route.
We put Katie to bed. We have a single friend come over to spend the night, so we don’t have to bother Katie in the night. About midnight, I’m ready to kill anyone who comes near me and I’m regretting having let my family know that I was in labor. One more phone call will result in a letter bomb being sent! So, since I’ve probably hit the bitchy phase of labor, we head to the hospital. New midwife on duty. Same news. My labor is real, but disorganized. Dilated to a 2. Go home. Rah.
Tuesday August 30th is spent being grouchy and bitchy. I’m not eating much of anything because I know I’ll just throw it back up right before I deliver. I live in freakin’ hot Texas, so walking isn’t being done outside anymore. And pacing isn’t my thing. I can’t sleep because I hurt. I can’t lay down because I hurt. I can’t sit because I hurt. I can’t abide people because I hurt. My dh does deserve an honorable mention for not losing his temper at me this entire time. I go back to the hospital in the early afternoon and am told the same story. I may start removing heads soon.
That evening, I’m sobbing hysterically. I’m telling dh to just get a knife and do a home c-section. I don’t care. I must end this now! He loads me in the car for our fun, go-stop-go, ride to the hospital. Go back to that damn exam room. New midwife. She looks at me, examines me, and then sits down beside me and holds my hand. She explains that disorganized labor is a common thing. Then this blessed angel of mercy tells me that sometimes having a glass of wine or taking a hot bath will either stop disorganized completely or help speed it up.
Well, she said the magic words: hot bath. In my world, there is NOTHING that a hot bath cannot fix or make better. We drive home and I even deal with contractions while driving because I want that hot bath that I haven’t been allowed to have since I lost my mucos plug. It will be the best bath ever!
Once home, dh goes to sleep on the couch so I can make noise and pace and bathe in the master bedroom and not bug him. I understand because one of us should be well rested. I draw my bath. Must be plain, because of lost plug, but who cares! It’s a bit after 1 am, I can see steam rising from the water in the tub. I climb in and lay down in the hot, hot water and just relax. This is the first time in days that nothing hurts! This is a good thing! I’m pretty sure I’ve stopped my labor, but I don’t care.
I lay there, reheating the water as needed, for about an hour. I get out of the tub, wrap myself in my beach towel, and go lay down on the bed and immediately fall asleep. More bliss, as I haven’t slept much in days. Around 4:30 am, I’m woke up by MUCH stronger contractions. I’m excited because surely these puppies must be doing something. But, because I hurt so bad, I decide that another hot bath is in order to get my pain down long enough for the drive to the hospital.
I start filling the bathtub. I sit on the toilet to take care of matters. I watch the tub filling. I begin to have diarrhea. I can’t leave the toilet. I watch the tub filling ever closer to the top. The cat comes in to investigate what’s going on. I finally stop cramping enough to stand long enough to stop the water, but I can’t seem to walk. I sit back on my toilet and immediately throw up into the wastebasket.
Lightbulb comes on. I feel down below and feel a head! Holy shit, Maynard! I’m having a baby right here. Right now.
I reach up into the cupboard above the toilet and grab a few towels. I scooch forward on the seat and push really hard and out pops this cute little head. After a little more pushing, out comes the shoulders and she can get to her thumb, which knows the way to her mouth already. Another big push and there she is! It’s a girl!
I wrapped her up in a couple of fuzzy towels and just sat there and stared at her. She stared right back while sucking her thumb. Cat came over to see what I had just done. Cat started licking her off. I shooed the cat away. I hollered for that husband. He came back, bitching that this better be important. He about died when he came around the corner and saw her in my arms! ROFL
He called 911, then left me the phone and went out to direct the ambulance. We lived in a sort of rural area. I called my mom. After she told me that she was chapped that my ex hadn’t called her to let her know the minute Sarah had been born I filled her in that the cord wasn’t even cut yet and I’d had her in the bathroom and she was about 3 or 4 minutes old! I wish I could have seen her expression!
Paramedics came. They were silly with excitement. Apparently they needed a happy call. They took Sarah long enough so the placenta could be birthed and taken care of. They let me cut the cord. They checked Sarah over, then wrapped her in an aluminum space blanket and gave her back to me. She hated that blanket. She wanted her fluffy towel back. Screamed for a very long time about that blanket!
Paramedics held her while I took a shower, then I walked out to the living room to get on the stretcher for the ride to the hospital. Practically the whole neighborhood was in my living room cheering! Funny way to start the day.
When we got to the hospital, the angel of mercy midwife was thrilled for me. We laughed at how well her advice worked. I needed no stitches or anything. I got a private room, which was unheard of for an enlisted person in a military hospital back then.
Sarah Beth was born at about 5:00 am on August 31, 1988 in the master bathroom of my home in Kempner, Texas.