Thursday, April 4, 2013

Supermom! How I birthed my baby -- Part one

Photo by Petr Kratochvil

I'm starting a new series today and I can't wait to start sharing birthing stories with you! Several moms from the GG community have volunteered to share their unique takes on how they brought their little ones into this world. If you would like to have your story included in this series, shoot me an email.

So far, the only story I can share is my own. I had three babies and each experience was different. All three were traditional hospital births and all three were natural births.

The most unusual thing about my childbirth experiences is the fact that all my babies were LATE. Back in the early 80s, they simply didn't induce as quickly as they do today. 

My first baby was due on August 29, 1980. She made her appearance at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh on September 29, 1980, after 21 1/2 hours of labor. Yes, you read that right. It was a long, arduous labor, but I stuck to my guns and did not use any meds. The end result was a beautiful 7 lb. 6 oz. baby girl who I cared for in the hospital and then placed for adoption. 

My next child was due on May 12, 1982. By this time, I was married and seemingly better prepared for motherhood (are we ever, really?). On May 9, 1982, my 62-year-old father died expectantly. Against everyone's advice, I traveled the 250 miles to attend his funeral on my due date. There was no need to be concerned, however, because daughter #2 wasn't born until June 9th. Yes, you read that right, too. 

When I went into Magee Women's Hospital, it wasn't because I was having labor pains. It was because I woke up from a nap with a numb face, blurry vision and a killer headache. Apparently, my 8 lb. 9 oz. little bundle of joy was pushing against a nerve in my back. The pain in my head was so bad, I didn't even know I was in labor. When the doctor told me to push, I couldn't process what that meant. The pain took away my ability to think. However, the second she was born, the headache went away. Another beautiful daughter.

Baby #3 was due on her sister's second birthday, June 9, 1984. On June 25th, I went into Sewickley Valley Hospital and was induced. Two and a half hours later, my little 6 lb. 12 oz. daughter was born. 

Why was I consistently so late? Were the sonograms off? No. I can say with certainty they were not. I knew the dates I got pregnant. So what was it that kept those buns cooking in the oven so long (pardon the cliche... it seemed appropriate)? The doctors never weighed in on this. I went to different practices with each one, so there wasn't a lot of consistency. But I have my own theory. 

My water never broke on its own. Each time I was in labor, the doctor had to break my water. This became tougher to do with each subsequent pregnancy. So much so, that for baby #3, it took the doctor five attempts before that sharp hooked instrument did its magic! He had the nurse pushing down on my stomach as he was digging around in there with the hook! In each instance, labor was fast and hard as soon as my water broke. 

My theory? I think I had some really tough membranes keeping those babies in. If only I could have broken my water, I'm pretty sure they would have been born on time. And if the doctors had no way of breaking my water, I'd still be walking around pregnant with baby #1. Now that's a scary thought!

So, all three were hospital births, like I said. Of the three hospitals, Sewickley Valley was my favorite by far. I had two episiotomies, but asked the doctor not to cut me with the third. Fortunately, I didn't tear and was spared the discomfort of stitches.

For me, nothing beats the experience of giving birth. Yes, there were problems. Yes, there was pain... a whole lot of it. But I was thrilled that I could go through the process without pain meds, an epidural, or a C-section. If I could do it again, I would in a heartbeat. But this time, I think I'd opt for a water birth, at home.

So, that's my nutshell of a story. I can't wait to share some of yours!



  1. That is very interesting! My son was due March 8th. (A great date) But anyone, my doctor broke my waters on March 13th and then I went into full labor around 3pm. I ended up with an epidural because I had back labour. After a while, he got stuck and the doctor had to use the vacuum. Then he was borne at 9:02 pm. I had a slight tear so I was very lucky as well. He is a year old now :)

  2. Thanks for sharing. I love hearing about birthing in the past and seeing how things have changed over the years. Some things for the better... Some not so much...

    1984 was a good year. Some awesome babies were born then. Myself included! :)

    1. Yes, things certainly have changed! And '84 was indeed a good year.


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