Friday, January 20, 2012

Mom's Birth Stories: Fifth of Eleven

The following is my Mom's fifth birth story. For a little background, check out my first post about this series, Mom's Birth Stories, her First Birth Story, Second Birth Story, Third Birth Story and Fourth Birth Story.

Her story is broken into 4 sections: Pregnancy, Labour and Delivery, Breastfeeding and Reflections. I have also provided some of my comments and reflections at the end.

I got pregnant while nursing #4 (then weaned #4 at 11 months) probably because I had introduced juice as well on Doctor’s recommendation.

This was the only baby that I really didn’t have the right sense for. I thought he was going to be a girl. Perhaps it was because I really want another daughter and sister for my first girl. He turned out to be the smallest/lightest boy but is now probably the heaviest and tallest!

Labour and Delivery
My contractions started a couple of days before on the 2nd of July but he wasn’t born until July 4th at 9:58 AM. We had gone to City Park to wait for the contractions to be steady and stronger before going to the hospital and I was definitely in labour when we checked in but after a few hours the contractions stopped. The nurses said they’d keep me overnight but all was quiet into the 3rd of July. After my husband left for the evening chores (on the farm) I decided to do some serious walking and kept walking for hours until contractions began again. It wasn’t until early morning that I knew it would probably be impossible for my husband to be by my side. The irony was that this time he was planning to be there for the birth. This was before cell phones and before my husband could leave his work so by the time he came in the morning after chores I had already had #5. I remember a doctor walking by who had been in the delivery room an hour before and looked at me propped up in my bed smiling (I was thinking how my husband didn’t have to go through that delivery experience and that we had another healthy son) and he commented, "You just look too happy to have just had a baby!"

My husband had no idea that the baby had arrived since no one had told him so when they directed him to the recovery room where I was he asked me if I had had any more contractions yet. Perhaps they thought he knew or it was another shift of nurses, I don’t know and maybe because I still had a bit of a belly right after and the sheets covered me and of course baby was taken to the nursery, he didn't have a clue. I laughed and said. "Oh, they didn’t tell you? Happy early birthday it’s another boy!

Baby #5 weighed 7 pounds 6 ounces.

While in the hospital I met a lady, J, who was expecting her fourth child as well. She had three girls and was looking for a boy. I had three boys and a girl and was looking for another girl. After when we met at the nursery, she told me that she had another girl and I told her I’d another boy. We both laughed because we were in the same boat. It turned out that her husband was an engineer on the ferry which I had to take to get to the hospital. We met again years later and she did end up having a boy as her fifth child and I eventually had another girl too...and then some.

Baby #5 was lying transverse like #3 and had to be turned so again I had a lot of brusing and again I don’t know if they used forceps or not. That whole business was painful and I guess I hollered out in pain because J asked what time I delivered which matched up with hers and she said she could hear me in the next room and asked if I was always that noisy. I said not usually, but it helped to scream a little while in extreme pain.

The labour length was 4 hrs of false and 8 hrs of real. An epsiotomy was cut as usual. Like #4, this was another drug-free birth.

I weaned #5 at 10 months because I was pregnant with #6.

Mom's Reflections
The best part of this pregnancy was staying in the hospital after false labour and finishing the job (unlike baby #3's false labour). The worst part was the painful delivery.

The sad story was big sister wanted a sister and big brothers wanted a brother so it was like a game and the boys cheered when they were told, but sister cried. She was very excited to help care for the new baby though and grew to love him regardless of his sex.

My Reflections
Mom said this birth was very similar to #3 because of the false labour and because of the baby's transverse position.  It's funny, however, she also explains that not one birth was the same as another. Each were very unique experiences.  She must have experienced a lot of pain with the transverse adjustment, but powered through without drugs!

I find it funny that when my Dad finally could attend and had prepared himself to be at the birth, the timeline didn't work out and he needed to tend to the farm (the cow's needed to be milked). Also, it's funny that he walked in the next day not knowing baby had already arrived! Mom is quite the trooper for going through these births on her own.

Keeping tabs:

Baby #1 - Boy - October 5, 1972
Baby #2 - Girl - February 24, 1974
Baby #3 - Boy - June 10, 1975
Baby #4 - Boy - November 23, 1977
Baby #5 - Boy - July 4, 1979


  1. Okay, your mom is seriously a superhero. She should have her own comic book. I really like the fact that they admitted her and let her stay overnight even though contractions had stopped - you'd never get away with that today. I guess some women do prefer to labour at home, but for me I always felt relief when I was finally admitted - it felt like I could finally relax and just focus on the work of delivery, knowing I was here to stay.

    I also just shudder at the matter-of-fact way your mom mentions she had ANOTHER episiotomy. This is probably too personal to ask, but after so many...isn't scar tissue an issue? Did she find it harder and harder to heal each time? Did she ever get to have a birth without one? Guess I'm jumping ahead there :).

  2. I've never written either of my birth stories but your stories have inspired me to get cracking! Maybe before the third is born ;)