My mom came to visit over the weekend. This gave me a great chance to grill her on the details about her pregnancy and my birth. I had gotten enough of the story growing up to keep me a virgin until after high school and have little interest in having kids. Her story scared the crap out of me as a young girl. At least I know there have been great improvements since the mid ’70s and things have changed for the better. So here’s the story of how I came into the world:
I started at the beginning with my questions- how did you know you were pregnant?
My mom starts off with this: “I didn’t. I was young, I had never had sex before and I thought I was dying of pnuemonia.”
Whoah! Let’s back it up there mom. This is not the story of the Virgin Mary. I know darn well how babies are made.
So she back peddles a bit, mumbles something about not having very much sex and then says she was sick for the first couple months and found out afterwards. Not very enlightening.
Fast forward to the gory details:
She said she went to the hospital three times before she went into labor. Every time she’d get there, she’d start freaking out so much she said I “sucked myself back up in there” and then she’d go home.
On the third time it was the real deal so she was finally admitted. She said they gave her an enema and it was the worst thing she’d ever had done to her. I told her about how nowadays they let you just poop on the table. She said that sounded a hell of a lot better than what she went through.
They told her to stay in bed, but she felt another round of the poops coming on so she get out of bed and went to the toilet. It was there that her water broke. She promptly fainted and fell off the toilet. She woke up to the nurses holding smelling salts under her nose and telling her to get back in bed.
She was in labor for about 16 hours with no medication. The wouldn’t let anyone in the room and she just remembers screaming for her mom the whole time. She said the nurse holding her hand bitched “She breaking my fucking hand.”
Finally near then end she said they put in an IV and pumped in some Valium. One last push is all she remembers and then she blacked out. She said she faintly remembers holding me and thinking I was very warm and she heard the nurses giggling and saying “she’s peeing all over her.”
Then she woke up in a room lined with beds. All she saw were bodies covered with sheets and she thought she had died and was in the morgue!
Afterwards she was in the hospital for a week recovering. She described her nether regions as being pushed “inside out” so bad that they had interns come in in groups to view the damage.
I asked why she didn’t breast feed and she said she was “too young, too embarrassed and it hurt too bad.” She tried but nobody would help her, and she couldn’t get any milk to come out. So they gave her meds to dry up the milk and then wrapped a tight bandage around her breasts. She described the effect as “knives going through your nipples.”
So after all that, she never wanted to have a kid again and she didn’t.
I honestly think if she had had a good birth experience, I would have wanted to have kids earlier. But her terrifying stories and general attitude about how horrible pregnancy and child birth were really scared me to death. I went through a period of not wanting kids at all. And by the time I found out it’s not always a nightmare and got over my intense fears and anxiety, I was getting up there in age.
I just keep telling myself- it’s got to be better than mom’s experience!