"Fledgling Bird Watcher"
My Favorite Video Blogs
New on My
Support liberty and justice for all
CAUTION; ICK FACTOR AHEAD
7 November 2005
Men may want to skip this entry. "Female stuff" included.
Someone asked me recently if Walt had been in the delivery room when Ned was born. I had mentioned that I was convinced that everyone including the janitor had been there for that birth, and recalled how there was another woman about to give birth at the same time, and that as soon as Ned was born, they stuck him in an isolette, left me still strapped down to the delivery table (because they strapped you down in those days) with my legs still spread wide apart (I think they covered me up, but I couldn't swear to it), and ran off to the room across the hall to deliver the next woman. I remember Ned crying and me unable to do anything for him, and I remember someone else in the room emptying garbage cans. I'm sure it wasn't really the janitor, but it makes a better story to say that it was.
They didn't allow fathers in the delivery room at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland until I was expecting David. In retrospect, I'm sure Walt was not as excited about the prospect of being in the delivery room as I was at the prospect of his being there to take a photo right after delivery. But he agreed to come into the delivery room and then we found out that the only way he could get permission to be there was if we took a LaMaze natural childbirth class.
Now this was pretty silly, since I had already given birth to four children using natural childbirth, but rules were rules and so we enrolled in a LaMaze class.
We missed the first class because of a scheduling mix-up. I taught the class on breastfeeding because by that time I was a La Lache League instructor and I knew more about breastfeeding than the La Maze instructor did.
I can't remember how many classes there were in the course, but we missed the second to last class because I went into labor (David went with us to the last class as a show-and-tell artifact).
So I think we actually attended only one or two classes total, but that qualified Walt to go into the delivery room.
Only it didn't quite work out that way. In those days, Kaiser didn't have a pre-register option, so you registered for the hospital when you arrived. David was in such a hurry that for awhile, I was afraid he was going to be born at home. Things progressed so quickly that we couldn't wait for my friend Char to arrive to take care of the other kids. We knew she was on her way and would be there at any moment, so we just left 6 year old Jeri in charge and started to leave. Char was driving up just as we pulled out of the drive way (and says that to this day she will never forget the look on my face as Walt hit the bump at the end of the driveway just as another contraction hit).
We got to the hospital and they wanted to have me sit there and fill out paperwork and I kept telling them they had to get me up to delivery now! Finally they rushed me into the elevator and Walt stayed behind to check me in.
When I got into the labor and delivery area, I told the nurses that I was in transition (the part of labor right before delivery starts).
They essentially patted me on the head and said "there, there, dear, you just get into bed like a good little girl and we'll tell you when you're in transition."
So I did as I was told and when the nurse came in to do an initial exam, all hell broke loose.
"Get this woman to delivery NOW!" she yelled, as they transferred me to a gurney and wheeled me into the delivery room. A doctor I'd never met materialized out of somewhere, frantically pulling on a gown and gloves.
Walt arrived and they were hurrying to get HIM into a gown and into the delivery room and when he ran in, with camera in hand, the doctor yelled "GET THAT CAMERA OUT OF HERE!" (even though we had previously gotten permission to have it there...but who was going to argue with this guy at that critical moment?).
Walt went out to take the camera to the other room and while he was gone, David was born.
So he didn't see the birth.
And we didn't get delivery room pictures.
But at least he was in the delivery room to scratch my nose after David was born because I remember that every single time they put me on a delivery table, where they strapped down your arms and legs (that seems so barbaric now that I've worked in ob/gyn offices and know how deliveries go these days), my nose would itch. The main support service nurses provided to me personally during all five births was to scratch my nose!
So we didn't get a chance to practice our LaMaze training, or have Walt see his son being born, or anything else that we had planned...but for once I didn't have to sit there while having my nether regions stitched up and unable to scratch my nose.
If we had had a sixth child, things would probably have gone differently, but that seemed a silly reason to have a sixth child!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
All 10 lbs of him.