My labor with H started on November 22nd 1996 at around 4 pm in the afternoon. I was sitting on the couch and felt wetness all of the sudden. I went to the bathroom, and sure enough more trickling. I called Phil at work and told him my bag of waters had begun to leak. Cathie (whom I called "Mom" and considered her as such, was one of my mamma's best friend's and her sons and I grew up together) had been at a premiere Star Trek movie. I called her as well. I told her to call Dad (her Husband Dave) to let him know I was headed to the hospital with V (my son) in tow, Andy (her down syndrome son whom I consider a little brother) and Phil. We had previously arranged for Dave to come pick up the boys when I went into labor, and bring them to a lady named Beth from church who had 2 small boys near V's age. (Beth later turned out to be a very close friend)
When I arrived at the hospital, Dad (Dave) had gotten there before we did, and was waiting for us at the check in counter to retrieve the boys. When they got me into a labor room and did some test strip, it registered that I was indeed in early labor. Mom (Cathie) arrived at the hospital as well. (She was to be my coach) and made some joke about that she knew it was going to happen today, and I believe she had even mentioned that when she had left that morning, LOL.
About 4 hrs went by with only 1cm progression, so not much was happening. As inn most (but not all) hospital births, they had me strapped to the bed, gave me pitocin, and I had monitors pinning me down and I was flat on my back.. I wanted to get up and move around, they wouldn't let me. I mentioned I was hungry, they told me I couldn't eat. Phil and Mom ordered pizza and I STILL was not allowed to eat. They brought me ice chips...
More hrs went by and I was told I was a 7 at about 11 pm. They told me they wanted to give me an epidural because I was in pain. I remembered that it had taken away all the pain for V's birth so that is what I agreed to. It didn't work! It did however make my contractions stronger, come more often and more painful.
The intensity of the pain caused me to cry alot and whine. I was told to relax. HOW COULD I RELAX???
My ob/gyn was not on call, so his partner was tending to me. I had never met this dr at all, so I was very apprehensive. Anyway, labor progressed, and at around 3 am they told me I should start pushing. I did.
Around 4:23 am H was born. Mom cut her cord, and they took her across the room to poke prod and examine. I was not given her to hold at all. She was crying the whole time. I kept asking how much she weighed and they finally told me she was 6 pounds 3 ounces. Finally after about 25 minutes, they handed her to me. She looked like a porcelain doll! She was so tiny and beautiful! (I forgot to add about V, that he was 6 pounds 5 ounces at birth and was the sweetest thing I had ever set my eyes upon at the time)
Before H was born I had read about the importance of a birth and hospital plan, so when Mom helped me make one I wanted it clear that she was to room in with my the whole time, not leave my site for anything, and requested that NO BOTTLES OF FORMULA be given to her. We had a little message taped to her bassinette that said, "No bottles please, I am exclusively breastfed." (Mom's idea) The rest of my stay was very nice. They didn't try to take my baby from me for any reason, and preformed any "tests" on her in my presence. We were released to go home when she was 2 days old.
The first night H was home, all she did was cry. She would nurse and nurse and still seemed hungry. I got frustrated after 3 nights of no sleep and non stop crying, so I gave her some formula in an avent bottle. She didn't like that and it seemed to upset her tummy. So, I continued to just nurse her 24/7, which Mom told me was normal. I have never been so sleep deprived in my life! LOL
V didn't seem to like his new sister. He seemed so withdrawn, jealous and angry. I tried to spend time with him. He acted out alot, which I didn't understand at the time was his way of trying to get some attention. My poor V! His babyhood had been robbed!!! :(
When she was 6 days old I took her to her pediatrician. He said she had severe jaundice. She was soooooo yellow!!! He had her admitted to St. Joe's Hospital. They allowed me to stay with her but told me I could not sleep with my baby or hold her alot. I tried to nurse her but she was so sick and they told me that my breastmilk would only make her worse. So, I opted for formula in an avent bottle that Mom brought over, but continued to try to "pump and dump". I felt so sorry for my little H. She looked like a baby full of mustard, LOL. They had her in this incubator with her eyes covered with a soft little mask to protect her from the bright lights they had on her. I remember putting my hands through the incubator and just rubbing her gently and touching her with love and concern.
The woman in the bed next to me had a 5 month old son. I heard her arguing wit the nurses alot. They kept telling her she could not lay with her son on her chest because it was against hospital policy. She said she knew her rights and whatever she had to sign to not make them responsible she would. They brought her a paper to sign and that was that. She never let go of her son nor did she put him in the crib next to her. She was also breastfeeding, and I noticed that whenever her son made the slightest peep, she popped him on the breast. I thought that was awesome!
Her and I started talking and I was telling her how they informed me I could only hold H at feeding times. She shared with me that it wasn't true and that I had rights they didn't want me to know about. I did nothing at first, but then asked the nurse to sign a waiver so I could hold my child more often and have her on me sleeping. I was too timid and shy for too long, and didn't know how to stick up for my rights, even though I had them. The woman apparently owned a second hand children's boutique (which I wish I could remember the name of) and after she had been discharged with her baby, she came back to visit me and brang H some really cute dresses. I never saw her again, and sadly lost her number, but she inpacted my life as a parent.
Well, that's it for part 2. Here is a pic of Me, V, and H shortly after she was born.