Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mom's Birth Stories: Sixth of Eleven

The following is my Mom's sixth 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, Fourth Birth Story and Fifth 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.

This pregnancy happened while nursing #5. All thoughts of having that second daughter seemed unlikely because this baby was big and long (up under my ribs in the last month). I told my daughter my suspicions so as not to get her hopes up.

When I was about 4 months pregnant with this baby I was having my hair cut in a friend’s home salon. An older lady waiting her turn noticed my bump and asked me if I was pregnant again. I said yes to which she replied, “You bad girl!”  I was shocked at her comment because I was married and I thought I was taking good care of the ones I had already. She had four adult children of her own. I explained that we felt very fortunate to be able to have children which we loved because many young couples are infertile and desperately want to have children. She concluded, "That’s a very good way of looking at it”.

Labour and Delivery
Due date was December 20th. I figured about the 23rd. Born Dec 22, 1980 at 1:10 pm.
Labour length 4 hours. He was induced.
Weight - 7 lbs 11 oz.

My doctor (OB) was going on holidays and wouldn’t be around after the 22nd so he asked me if I wanted to have this baby before Christmas. I said yes so he said come in Monday morning at 8 am. When we got into town my husband was starving so we went to a restaurant and he ate a big breakfast in front of me. I wasn’t in labour and was hungry but didn’t see the point in eating and then having an enema later. It was a vivid memory.

The nurse started an IV drip in my arm but nothing really started until 9am. The labour pains came on very similar to natural labour but progressed quickly. The delivery was very similar to my previous pregnancies. An episiotomy was cut as usual.

This was my husband’s first time in the delivery room. I remember squeezing his hand during the intense pains. It was like night and day to have my husband there beside me and to both share the joy of our baby’s birth together.

Hospital stay was only 2 days this time, returning on the 24th, Christmas Eve.

Breastfeeding the same day with no problems. I breastfed him for 11 months.

Mom's Reflections
When I got home from the hospital my only daughter said, “Mom, I just want you to have one more, a girl”. I sure didn’t feel like it right then but I said we’ll see.

I remember sitting in the rocking chair (in the playroom while the children played around her) the day I got home and nursing the baby and I inadvertently exclaimed (while suffering severe afterbirth pains) that maybe I shouldn’t have come home so soon. The children in unison said, "We’ll help Mommy, please stay home.”

I asked Mom to elaborate on Dad's presence at birth for the first time. Her response:

Dad was very supportive. He said it was stressful to see me in such pain but it was less stressful than not knowing what was happenening before. He realized that once fathers were allowed in that it was only right that they should share in their child's birth. Before then, he felt that he shouldn't be there because he could be in the way and he wasn't a doctor or nurse. He remembers feeling happy that the baby was healthy and that the pregnancy had come to an end (long time). He was relieved that it was over.

My Reflections
Starting with this pregnancy, I notice the beginning  of Mom's memories of lovely "comments" from others (like the one at the hair salon) about her family size.  I love how she never fights back but simply answers time and time again that she is blessed. I don't think I could be that strong against criticism.

I cringed when I first heard about her induction because I've learned that medical inductions for a non-medical reasons are very scary and can turn ugly. I find it funny that her OB could get away with going straight to an IV strictly because it was the holidays and he was going on vacation.  But Mom agreed and was ready to have that baby so it was her choice. I am so glad that she lucked out and didn't have any set backs or problems with this birth because of it. 

Can you believe Dad's nerve eating that big meal in front of her?  I guess it was her choice not to eat, but she was preparing for her sixth enema.  I still can't believe they continued to give enema's every time back then.

A couple people asked about her repeated episiotomies. This was her sixth birth and six episiotomy.  She had the same OB (a male) for birth 1-3 and then again the same OB  (a male) from birth 4-6. This was standard procedure for these OB's.  Mom said she didn't have any issues with scar tissue and since she was always healthy she healed quickly.  Her body had a sufficient amount of time to properly heal between each birth ranging from 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 years apart. I am happy to report that this was her last episiotomy, but you'll have to read the next birth stories to find out more!

I also had to laugh at my Mom's comments as she was surrounded by all six kids in the playroom on Christmas Eve.  It must have been an overwhelming time for her.  I already have this feeling with baby #2 on the way!

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
Baby #6 - Boy - Dec 22, 1980


  1. I have a question - when your mom and dad went into the city for the birth, who took care of the other kids? That always fascinates me because I dream of having super involved neighbours/grandparents/friends who would love to come over and sit for my three hooligans while I get a haircut. It's a pipe dream :).

    My mom also was induced for her first delivery because her doctor was going on vacation. Unfortunately hers did not go so well. I'm so happy to hear that your mom had no problems and the baby was healthy and happy. It's really great you are recording these - just noticing how times change is so worth it.

  2. Thanks Lynn. They were lucky to have a support system, although I think they only ever called on them approx every 1 1/2-3 1/2 years haha! This time the 5 kids went to stay with a family friend and neighbour who had 3 kids around the same ages as my parents oldest 3.