The Day You Were Born
I was forty-one weeks and one day pregnant, lying in an uncomfortable hospital bed, wearing a hideous pink gown, and counting the minutes until my next contraction. Apparently, you were very comfortable in my tummy because there was no sign of you making your appearance any time soon. I was having plenty of contractions but was not dilating; our doctor was looking for a count of at least 60 on the room monitor, but I was only in the mid-20s. Before long she ordered that Pitocin be administered to induce productive labor. It seemed to work-- after only twenty minutes, my contractions went from the twenties to the eighties and continued to increase after that. A few more long hours passed. The doctor returned to our room to check on my progress. Surprisingly, after the initial dosage of Pitocin, I had only slightly progressed during the intervening hours. The doctor told me I should have advanced toward your delivery much more than I had and determined that my inability to relax my body was the reason why the process had again been slowed. I was so excited to meet you that I couldn’t help but cry, thinking that you would never show up. A wonderful nurse then came in the room and sat down to talk with us. She assured me that every woman, and every pregnancy, are different. She promised me that I would not leave the hospital without you in my arms. She introduced herself as Nurse Pam, and called herself “The Pitocin Queen.” She told your Daddy and me all about her days as an Army nurse. We became instant friends. In order to get things moving along a little more quickly, she encouraged me to undergo an epidural to help me relax. Your Daddy was very supportive, holding my hand and reassuring me. Accepting pain medication, he said, did not mean that I was a failure; it just meant that plans had changed. After forty hours of labor, I was willing to try anything to get you to come into the world. After another long hour passed, the...
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