Birth Day: October 27, 1982

When I woke up in recovery after my caesarean section, I distinctly remember asking the nurse “what did I have?” I remember her saying, “you have a daughter and she’s just fine”. Then I remember asking “Well, if I had my baby, why am I still having contractions?” That’s when I was told they were giving me pitocin to help contract the uterus to prevent bleeding. And back to sleep I went.

After all, I had been giving birth for the past 32 hours. I was tired.You would be, too.

I remember being wheeled back to my room and being asked if I wanted to be wheeled past the nursery to see my daughter. I told them not to bother; I couldn’t keep my eyes open anyway.

After all, I had been giving birth for the past 32 hours. I was tired. You would be, too.

I remember my father and my husband coming back from having gone to dinner across the street at what was then a Lum’s. I’m pretty sure they asked me if I had seen our daughter. I’m pretty sure I said no, not yet. I’ve been sleeping. I’m still so tired.

After all, I had been giving birth for the past 32 hours. I was tired. You would be, too.

Finally, at some point, the nurse had once again come in and asked if I were ready to see my daughter. I’m pretty sure I said no. But I remember my husband firmly telling the nurse to just bring her. I think my husband was really afraid I was not going to bond with my child; that I was purposely rejecting her. I knew that wasn’t it. I was just bone tired.

After all, I had been giving birth for the past 32 hours. I was tired. You would be, too.

And then the nurse walked into the room, turned the corner around my corner, holding a wrapped bundle with a head full of dark hair sticking out and I burst into tears. Love at first sight!!

She was beautiful. She had all her parts. She had a lot of hair. And she was huge! Eight pounds, 2 ounces. And she looked enormous to me. At least that’s what I remember thinking at the time. No wonder I had to have a caesarean section! And no wonder I had experienced all that heartburn! Look at all that hair!

My roommate was an experienced mother from a previous c-section, and provided me with two reasons to love her forever, even though I don’t know who she is. First, she told me to make sure I walked a lot so that the gas from abdominal surgery would have a chance to escape and not cause intense pain. I took her advice and had absolutely no problems. Second, her son weighed over 10 pounds. When I saw him, he made my daughter look so small by comparison that, in my mind, I was able to take home a tiny baby instead of the enormous one I first saw!

I don’t remember breast feeding my daughter at that first encounter, but I specifically requested that the hospital not feed her sugar water; that I would take the baby and nurse her whenever she needed it.

I do remember the nurses coming to ask if it were ok to give her a pacifier, because they said she had a strong sucking reflex. I said sure. It was good enough for me; it was good enough for her. Apparently, she was distressed enough in her tiny glass crib that she kept inching herself so that her head kept butting up against the front of the crib. The pacifier did the trick and kept working for the next two years!

The nurses also asked if I wished to have my daughter in the room with me. I said no. No, not because I was rejecting her again. I had two good reasons. First, this was still back in the old days when visitors weren’t allowed when the baby was present. I didn’t want to create a hassle, making visitors wait while my daughter was removed. Second, and more important, was that I wanted some time to myself. I knew I was going to have her 24/7 when I got home. Why not let the hospital do what it was being paid for? Besides, I was still hurting from the c-section.

That first night of my daughter’s birth day, the nurses came in at 11 at night, allegedly to change the sheets. Tell me, who changes sheets at 11 at night? Nonetheless, I had to sit up, then stand up, then sit in a chair while the sheets were changed. Did I say stand up? Well, if standing constitutes being on one’s two feet, you could say I was standing. But up? I was hunched over like an old lady. It felt like all my insides were going to spill out onto the floor. Not a good feeling at all.

But surprisingly, nothing happened. My abdomen didn’t pop open and spill my guts all over the floor. The stitches held nicely.

And the worst of the pain was now past.

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~ by Heather on February 17, 2011.

2 Responses to “Birth Day: October 27, 1982”

  1. Adorable, and lovely not to mention that your mother was in China and not there to offer succor. Love, Mom

  2. Yuck. 😛

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