Tuesday, December 13, 2011

19 Years Ago Today.....

....My only daughter was born.
It was an ordeal to say that least getting her birthed.

Go back to December of 1992.....the Northeastern part of the country was treated to a 4 day Nor'Easter.
From the 10th until the wee hours of the morning of the 13th, rain and storm surges flooded the coast of NJ/NY/MA/CT and heavy snow fell inland....including in the mountains of Northeastern PA where we lived.

Here's a youtube vid to jog your memory of what the weather was like back then....

I had a 17 month old son at the time and I was 8 months pregnant with my 2nd child.  She was due on New Years Day.

Hubby was home sick from work with a raging case of the flu.
We lived in a little house in the middle of a forest in the center of "freaking nowhere near civilization".

It started snowing on Thursday Dec. 10th and continued non-stop for 3+ days.
Hubs had called in sick and laid in bed for those 3 days, from Thursday to Saturday, as he was too weak to get up.
I did my best to chase my toddler around and get some soup and med into Hubs but I was in no condition to go shovel snow.....so it just piled up.
We lost power for about half a day but we heated with a woodstove so we were ok until the power came back on.

On Saturday night, the 12th, after putting my son to bed I watched "Sisters" on NBC.  I never missed that show.lol   I also ate an entire can of cashews while I watched tv and then I went to bed at about 11pm.

After about 2 hours of tossing and turning and not being able to sleep(who the heck can sleep at 8 months?lol)I got out of bed.  I spent a couple of hours getting on the toilet and getting off, thinking I had to have a BM, but to no avail.  I was having belly pain but chalked it up to eating an entire can of cashews right before bedtime.

Now you would think I'd figure out that I was in labor, as that's sort of a sign(having the urge to poop or push).  But I had my water break with the 1st kid, and I hadn't broken my water yet, so I didn't even think I was in labor.  It was just all those damn nuts I ate....LOL

So around about 2 am, after tangoing with the toilet for an hour,  I woke Hubs up and said I thought I was in labor.  The poor man staggered to his feet, got dressed and went outside while I went to call the dr.
As Hubs hadn't shoveled anything during the whole 3 day+ snow episode, he couldn't even push the front door open and had to go around back through the sliding glass door and wade through the snow to the driveway and front stairs to get the shovel.
We had gotten a good 2+ feet of snow....keep in mind that a normal yearly snowfall total for that area of PA is 100 inches.  We were use to snow but not so much in one storm.

Hubs being still sick(not as sick as before but still not fully recovered from the flu)found his shovel was no match for our 100 foot long circular gravel snowfilled driveway.  He shoveled for a good hour before coming back in the house exhausted.  He had only unburied the car and gotten a few feet of driveway cleared toward the road.  Don't even ask why if I was this close to term we didn't park the car down by the road anyway.....because that just makes too much sense, doesn't it?lol

So he called our 70 yr old neighbor who had a snow blower at about 3:30am, woke him up and got him working on the driveway.

I had called the hospital and dr. on call, described my symptons and he said come on down if you want to.  He didn't think I was definitely in active labor so said come in if you want and hung up.  I suspect he just wanted to go back to sleep. ;-)
They I called my neighbor, who I had arranged for her to watch my son when I was ready to have this baby.
She said she was sorry but she couldn't watch my son now.  The reason?....her precious child had a cold.
As I had no one else to take him, I really didn't care if he caught her kid's cold or not at that moment....I just needed someone to watch him so he didn't learn about childbirth up close and personal at 17 months old.lol
But she was adamant about NOT watching him.
Thanks so much!!!

So I called and woke up someone I sometimes paid to babysit my son.  Having to wake people up in the wee hours of the morning is NOT very conducive to get them to do you favors, ya know?lol
Miraculously she said ok. 8-)

So we got the car freed and to the road by 4:30am.  By this time I had no doubt that I was in labor and having regularly spaced contractions.
We piled in the car and took off.
Well, "took off" is a relative term.  Seeing as the roads were the width of a snowplow going in one direction, taking off was more like crawling along.  Did I mention we were driving an old bigass Chevy Caprice Classic....the make/model of car the Beltway Sniper drove.
Here's one so you get an idea of what a LAND YACHT this thing was.

We crept along and got to the sitter's house at about 5:00am....a trip that normally takes 10 mins.  Dropped off son and started out for the hospital-which was an hour's drive away in good weather.

We got as far as 1/4 mile up the road from the sitters house and we got stuck.  The car couldn't get up the incline due to the ice on the road.  Picture my struggling to stay vertical Hubs pushing the car and me with my belly so swollen I can't reach the pedals in the big ass car trying to gun the engine with my tippy toes on one foot with my other leg hanging out the car door.  Too bad no one was taking pictures then....

It took us a good 15 minutes to get up that incline, fishtailing all the way.  We inched along the road 5 miles until we hit the Interstate which would take us to civilization and the hospital.  The problem was up until a couple of hours beforehand, this part of the Interstate had been closed for 2 days because of the snow.  The troopers let us on it as there was no other clear route to get to the hospital.  There was one lane cleared by the plows at that point. 
Our 1 hour drive to the hospital took 2 solid "white knuckling" hours traveling at about 30 MPH.

Hubs parked the car at the ER doors and they made me walk up to the 4th floor to the maternity ward....not even a wheelchair ride!  I had to stop 3 times along the way for contractions.
We walked in the door at a little after 7am, 6 hrs. after we began this adventure, and the dr. on call came up to me, looked at his watch and said, "Gee, I didn't think you were coming...what took you so long?"
Can you believe I am not on Death Row for murder?!?

So after I unclenched my fists and my jaw, we got set up in a labor room.  As I had an epidural with my 1st labor I wanted to try to go natural with this one as long as I could stand it.
Since my water still hadn't broken they hooked one of those external belt monitor things on my belly instead of the internal one and it was beyond annoying!

Hubs went in search of coffee and food.  He always deserted me if he needed to eat or have coffee.

When he left the procession of nurses began.
Seems I was the ONLY woman in labor in the whole hospital that day......so every labor nurse camped out in my room looking for something to do.  I had SEVEN nurses prodding me, adjusting things, taking my temp, asking me a gazillion questions and frankly annoying the shit outta me!  A woman in labor wants to just BE and not be bothered....at least that is how I am in labor.  I sort of go Zen and focus within myself when in labor.  I am not a yeller and a screamer.lol

So the pains weren't awful, I didn't need drugs.  One of the nurses gave me a shot of something to take the edge off.....the edge was probably there because they wouldn't leave me alone dangit!lol    Not much happened from 7:30am until 12:45pm.  The baby was laying sort of horizontal in the uterus instead of head down still.  One of the nurse would massage and try to manipulate her into position but she wasn't having any of that.  The pains went up and they went down.......we watched Sunday morning tv....yuck.lol

Hubs went back to the cafeteria at around 12:15pm for lunch.....what a rat!lol

He had been gone about 15 minutes when all of a sudden the fetal monitor made a massive BOOM! noise.  Like a speaker was blowing out.  I jumped even though I was in bed.lol

6 of the nurses came running into my room.  The nurse who had been in the room saw my baby flip herself over and move her head into position for delivery when the monitor made that noise.

A couple minutes after the BOOM I told the nurses the baby was coming out.  Last time they checked, I wasn't dilated much....

Well, all hell broke loose!
1 nurse flipped my legs up and yelled for someone to get the dr.  She gloved up and told another nurse to run and get my husband, while she stuck her hand up my wooha and told me not to push and to pant or blow.  She rode on the bed with me over to the delivery room across the hall while everyone leaped into action getting stuff ready.  At some point during this time they decided the baby wasn't going to fall out if they didn't hold her in, and I got to pant and blow a lot without the nurse in my hooha.

Hubby got back a couple of minutes before the dr. came in to deliver the baby.  Dr. got into position and told me to start pushing.
Well, I pushed 1 time and daughter shot out like a midget out of a cannon at the circus.  Her amniotic sac burst open as she shot out, making a nice splatter pattern all over the Dr and the wall behind him.
My daughter was already shooting to be the next Jackson Pollock.

The Dr. almost dropped her as she was so gooey and I guess he didn't expect her to shoot out like a Flying Wallenda in one push.

Our first photo together...just minutes after her birth at 1:15pm.....  I don't have a picture with the doctor since as soon as I was stitched up and stable he left to get hosed off...lol

My Daughter has still not forgiven Hubs and I for giving her 2 doses of "classic nose" gene, which is fairly evident in this photo. ;-)

Here is the Polaroid the hospital took hours after she was born....

Yep, she got the family nose....

And the official "leaving the hospital" photo y'all saw already....

She was 2+ weeks early, tiny but perfect.....well, except for that heart murmur thing we found out about later.

5lbs. 14oz.  Barely 19 inches long.  I had to roll up the sleeves on the tiny outfit she wore home so you could see her hands.  I could carry her around in one hand, which is saying something since my fingers are stunted.

Peach fuzz for hair that all fell out within a month to be replaced with even finer peach fuzz hair.  I spent the next 1 year+ taping bows to her head.
She wouldn't nurse so I pumped for 5 months.  She still owes me BIGTIME for that! ;-)

Here is a photo taken in our driveway the following Jan. of Hubs, our doggy, the handle of a shovel and the actual car.  Even though a month had passed not much had melted.....

And here is a classic photo of my son, the oldest, when Hubs brought him to the hospital to visit me and his new baby sister......

Yes, he took one look at her, grunted and climbed in my hospital bed, grabbed the remote control and spent the next hour raising and lowering the bed and changing the channels on the tv on the wall.

Even at that age all I can say is......Men!



  1. This is confusing...your daughter is ten-years-old? The year 1992 was not ten years ago, more like 19, which is the age I thought she was or near that. You had quite an ordeal. I enjoyed the pictures. Okay, I have it figured out. You, like I would, hit the "0" instead of the "9," right?

  2. One of the best stories ever about having a baby!!!! I would have been afraid that she would have been trouble after all of that. Not a lot of good signs!

  3. Awww, now that is a birth story worth telling! Being a birth doula I have attended many, many births and usually when I tell someone I am a doula they immediately start telling me their birth stories, so I have heard quite a few.

    And that one? That is a great birth story!

    p.s. Happy birthday to the daughter!

  4. Better! LOL It was hard to concentrate while I was trying to remember a young daughter of yours that I missed. I actually checked to see if I were reading the right blog! Then, I did the math.

  5. Practical P--got it fixed, thanks!

    SonyaAnn--Well she IS a lot of trouble still! You pegged that one right.lol

    Lisa Pie-Thanks! At the time it was happening it wasn't so great but now?lol I wish I had had the option of a midwife and/or a doula back then but it was just not something available in 1992 here....more's the pity....

  6. Love that story. I mean, I could have done nicely without the BM images or those with having nurses hands up you whoha. That's gonna a take a good brain cleansing right there let me tell ya!
    But I love a happy ending and am glad that you made it through to tell us all about it today.
    Your Friend, m.
    And p.s. Happy Birthday to that precious little baby girl of yours.

  7. What a great story! LOL! Reminds me of my sister's delivery. It was her 2nd child and New Years Eve. She barely got in the hospital room, when the nurse realized that that baby was birthing while they were wheeling her into the room. Someone yelled, "GET A DOCTOR IN HERE TO CATCH THIS BABY!" It may have been my sister, but I think it was a nurse... Because you know you can't have a baby at the hospital without a doctor watching... It's so they can charge more.

  8. LOL that explains so much our daughters are the same age! What an experience gotta love PA in the snow

    Happy Birthday to your little one

  9. Great story! I loved reading it. I gave birth in 1992, also, but in the merry month of May.

    Then in December in 2002 (and a couple in between, too!) Snowstorm births make me shudder - I don't think my husband could even stand to read about it. I would make him read it but he'd wake up tonight in a cold sweat. I hid a little notebook tracking contractions for the better part of a day before I asked him to drive me to the hospital - and he's never let me forget about that to this day! (He wants to know why I didn't tell him about the contractions - HA! LOL...)

  10. Oh yes, and my best "hoo-ha" story is the nurse with big rocks for rings on each finger of each hand doing the hoo-ha check. You know, where they "measure," but I've heard that they actually "help you along." She was mean, too... (anyone who wears those rings for cervical exams is mean just by virtue of that fact)

  11. I am so exhausted now I need to go lay down and have a nap!! Isn't it interesting how you can remember every single detail like it just happened yesterday instead of 19 years ago...and they say we forget - HAH!! what a story!!

  12. I love a great birth story as much as the next mom but the "shoot out like a Flying Wallenda" was one of the greatest lines ever!!
    My nurse for my kid 1 looked identical to Mimi from the Drew Carey show!
    Not funny at the time but hilarious many years later!

    I linked up to you on my blog today. Have a great day!


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