Monday, March 1, 2010

March 2, 1988 - A Birthing Story

It was leap year and I was nervous all day February 29th.  I did not want my child to be born on that day.  I mean it would have been cool to be only five years old this year, but then again, no it wouldn't.

Delivery was imminent, I had been experiencing bouts of false labor.  A doctor's visit on March 1st, it was a Tuesday, confirmed I was in fact in labor, but the very early stages.  After the doctor's visit we went shopping where I had a hissy fit and then melted into inconsolable tears - ah the joys of hormones.  I managed a nap that afternoon and then had sporadic cramps, especially in my back for the rest of the evening, well actually for the rest of the time.

That night I could barely sleep and then asked to go to the hospital.  UGH!  I wasn't ready and they made me walk the halls at midnight.  Eventually I was sent home, but I never got much sleep.

March 2nd was the women's final in figure skating (1988 Olympics).  Perpetually uncomfortable, I found that a rocking chair was my only relief.  I would rock like a madwoman during each contraction.  They were getting close to five minutes apart, but the skating wasn't quite finished so I insisted we stayed until the end.  (Ironically, I'm writing this as I watch Olympic figure skating - Thursday night)

At a military hospital I didn't have the luxury of a proper birthing room, but I did have a room to myself as I progressed through labor that afternoon.  It was a blur as I progressed.  By evening I lost all modesty and was seeking comfort.  I was hot so I kept tossing the covers off.  Since there weren't any other women in labor, I was the focus of the entire staff, including penny bets as to the time, size, weight and sex of the baby.

I was wheeled into a proper delivery room and I really don't remember much.  I do recall as I was being cleaned up that the doctor complained that he had just bought his shoes and now they were ruined.  oops!

My little Amanda was born just before 10:30pm, all nine pounds, five ounces of her.  All of the newborn clothes we were given would only last for few weeks for she would move right into 3 month old clothing before she was a month old.

Baby Amanda was no different from fetus Amanda, just a lot louder.  She was active and alert.  I remember her first smile and no, it wasn't gas.  She was a happy baby and as she grew she was quite capable to keep herself occupied, something that was a blessing when her brother came into the world.

With the exception of her toddler years (she sprouted horns, I swear) she was a fun, silly little girl who enjoyed reading, animals, and dressing up.  She was actually a pleasant teen and she's turned into an adult not much different from the baby I knew so many years ago - happy, self content, curious, silly, fun, and loud (surprisingly loud for a shy person).

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