Happy 1st Birthday Kate!
Today I’ll write what I’ve been meaning to since last year — how it all began.
My water broke on Sunday 2/21 at 5:30 A.M. Pat and I were so excited we figured soon I’d start into labor, we’d time the contractions, etc. etc.
Well, we waited and waited. At 9:30 A.M. I called Dr. Finley to tell her; she said call back when contractions are 5 minutes apart. By 6:00PM no contractions yet. Called Dr. Finley again - she told us to meet her at the hospital. She examined me and suggested we go home and wait. The baby (that’s me!) was fine, but still very high in my belly and wasn’t really ready to induce labor. We went home barely sleeping all night — called Dr. Finley at 9:00 A.M. — still no contractions. She decided she’d induce labor and asked us to be at the hospital at 1 P.M.
Pat + I checked in at B.— Memorial Hospital at 1:00 P.M. on Monday, Feb. 22. (The day was cold, but bright + sunny.)
I was immediately given an I.V. and soon after pitocin to induce labor. Unfortunately, the labor came on hard + fast (45 sec. long; 2 min. apart). They stopped the pitocin and my labor began on its own. I remember feeling so out of control. Pat really tried to keep us together. In Lamaze class (The LCCE in me is so proud of my baby parents!) you learn how to breathe etc. for each stage of labor; however, we really couldn’t figure out which stage we were in, so we just huffed and blew. It’s weird how so much pain can be minimized by the cause of it. I mean, knowing that soon there would be a child to show for it somehow reduced the agony.
Towards the end of labor I felt as though I had to go to the bathroom. I knew I was going to have the baby soon. Vera, the head nurse (she was great!) didn’t believe me and disappeared for five minutes. I kept telling Pat to go get Dr. Finley. I knew the baby was coming.
Sure enough, Dr. Finley came in, gave me an internal exam. 9 cm. dilated almost ready. Five minutes later (about 6 PM) I was given the OK to push. Whew! Pushing was work — but also easy. For the first time all afternoon I felt in control. At 6:35 PM I was wheeled into the delivery room. I think I pushed about 3 more times and her head was out. Pat said she looked like his grandfather. (Thanks, Dad) One more small push and there she was — my beautiful girl! When Dr. Finley said it was a girl, all I could think of was “I gave them a girl” meaning my mom + dad. Their sixth grandchild and finally a girl! 6lbs 6oz 20 inches.
Being stitched up after the delivery was the longest and most irritating time. Pat was off phoning in the news, the baby was being examined and bathed, and I was lying there alone, excited, tired, and thoroughly elated.
I was wheeled into the recovery room where I saw Pat again. He was so happy — we were so happy. We were so happy!
After an hour I went to my room where practically immediately I was greeted by Pat’s whole family! They had all come over to see the baby. Pauline (my grandmother) was beside herself with joy.
The first time I really saw Kate was 9:00 P.M. She was brought in to be fed. Nursing came pretty easily for both of us. God was she incredible! My baby.
Pat got very sick that night and was unable to come see me (actually, he came once on Tuesday) for the rest of my hospital stay. Thursday morning we were released off to start a brand new life together.
My mother wrote that story on my first birthday. Last night I asked her to tell me about it again.
The following recording is our story. 30 years after she told it the first time...