First Baby, Hospital Birth With A Midwife

Justine was born on Oct. 30, 1986. I was 21 years old, and my desire for a home birth was overshadowed by the fear and ignorance of my MIL and my husband, G. I decided on a hospital birth with a Certified Nurse Midwife in attendance.

On Oct 29, around 7pm I felt what were the faintest of contractions. I kept quiet because I wasn’t sure that things were really happening. I had been walking around for nearly a month dilated to 2 cm and 100% effaced, so I knew that things could happen rapidly.

Finally about 9pm, I announced “I’m in labor!!” Unfortunately, no one believed me because I wasn’t doubled over in pain. I walked and talked for a while and called my mom who lives out of state to tell her that her first grandchild was on the way. At about 10:30pm, G. and I decided to walk down the block to where there was a car lot and try to occupy ourselves by looking at cars while I contracted and breathed and walked.

At about 11pm, while I was peering through the window of a sporty little car, I was hit by a MONSTER, drop-to-your-knees contraction. I was kneeling down by the car when I was in the spotlight of a police cruiser who had been making rounds. They thought I was trying to steal the car!!! Nope, just a laboring woman and her husband. After that contraction, we made our way back to the house and I called the hospital to let them know I was on my way.

We got to the hospital at 11:30pm and the nice lady at admitting told us that we’d save $800 if we didn’t get admitted until after midnight because we’d be charged for a full day if I were admitted so much as a minute prior to midnight. Well, I’m all for saving $$$, so I sat in the ER waiting area calmly breathing through my contractions, which were about 4 minutes apart and lasting about 60 seconds. G. was pretty much useless, but I was doing fine by myself.

After getting admitted, I was asked to give a urine sample and I got into bed and strapped to the dreaded monitor. I was checked and found to be 5cm dilated. Things picked up quickly, and I started to shiver. G. asked his mom “Mom, you can die having a baby, huh?” I kinda got upset, grabbed his shirtsleeve and said in a evil voice “THAT is something you could have kept to yourself!!”

I was checked again, at my request, at about 1:30am, and was complete. My midwife, Annie, arrived and was telling me not to try to go too fast, as she didn’t want me to tear. I pushed for just a short while and Justine was born at 1:43am. I had a small tear that required 2 small stitches. Justine weighed 6lbs, 3oz and was 19″ long. She seemed so tiny and wrinkled that she was dubbed the Lizard Baby by me.

I really felt that my first birth was a positive experience despite the monitor that I didn’t want strapped to my gut the whole time. I went home later that day. We actually moved the day she was born into our new house. I stayed with my in-laws for a day while G. and our friends got our new house in order. Justine was nursed for 5 weeks, then I went back to work which was really hard, but my job provided our insurance, and that was important.

-Val

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