Finding out that you are expecting your first child is unlike any other feeling in the world. The miracle of creating another life is exhilarating. Then come the months of trying to decide on a name. Family traditions sometimes take away that choice. I knew if my first child was a boy, he would be named after his father, grandfather and great grandfather, but if he were a girl I could choose her name. (Photo of the first of my four sons.)
Being pregnant was exciting but also challenging as I suffered from morning sickness during the first few months of my pregnancy. My normal diet was replaced with dry soda crackers and 7-up to drink. Gradually my queasiness subsided as my middle expanded. New clothes with room to grow were needed. My sewing skills learned in high school came in handy. How hard is it to make a smock or sack dress? By the time I was eight months along I was ready to give birth to this squirmy little one who never seemed to stop moving especially at night when I lay down to sleep. Longing for the day when my first child would arrive, I didn’t look forward to the delivery.
No one ever explains about the actual process of childbirth, just as in my day no one ever mentioned the other word that brings this about. What to expect? I had no idea although I had worried about it for the nine months of my pregnancy. When the reality of those increasingly stronger pains came, I found out that there was no way out of the experience but through it. Even though I wanted to run away, I was stuck in the delivery room. My doctor had discussed with me different types of anesthesia. Since I was not a “I’m going to do this birth all natural,” I had agreed to use “ether” commonly called “gas.” The options were few in those days.
Having some anesthesia helped me with the pain. I was somewhere else for a while. Soon the doctor wanted my help and consciousness in pushing out this new little creature. Muttering a few choice words that I didn’t know were in my vocabulary and with the help of forceps, my new baby was born. It was a “he” and alive though sleepy from the anesthesia I had taken to escape the painful reality of childbirth. I thought the most difficult part was over as I smiled at my first newborn.