This time five years ago I was enduring a very painful labor, all back labor. I was scared, nervous, and at the hospital.
My nurse was Alice, from the Brady Bunch. I promise you they were the same person, except my nurse Alice was less cheery and more brisk. Her real name was even Alice.
I pushed for almost three hours. My midwife was sick and in the end stages of cancer and kept having to leave the room.
Finally Rosie emerged, ever so slowly. She came out face up. It was after 11 pm. She just barely made it on the 19th of July.
I requested she be placed on my chest instead of the normal warmer across the room. The hospital staff later told me Rosie had fluid in her lungs and needed deep suctioning because I selfishly asked for her to be on my chest. They did their best to make us feel like the worst parents ever.
After Rosie was finally out of me the midwife tugged on the cord and the placenta ripped inside. She reached inside of my uterus, her arm was in me up to her elbow, and scraped around my womb with gauze three separate times to remove chunks of placenta. As a result I lost lots of blood. Lots.
I refused blood transfusions and stitches because I just wanted everyone to stop touching me.
I was too weak to stand on my own for days afterward.
Then they took Rosie for mandatory nursery stays, so my first few hours after birth were spent laying in a room alone feeling dizzy and sick, and wondering if this was all a nightmare.
Thus began the hardest few months of my life.
Rosie right after birth.
6 pounds, 14 ounces, and 19 inches long.
Scrubbed to be disinfected from womb germs, then wrapped from head to toe so that I couldn’t smell her head or see her tiny features.
I had just turned 20 years old a few weeks before Rosie was born. We lived with my in-laws.
I need a t-shirt commemorating my survival of the year 2006.
I knew better when I got pregnant with Ada. I would never let the hospital bully me like that again. I stayed home and it was wonderful, joyous, and perfect. You all know about that.
It makes me sad that Rosie’s birthday is an anniversary of something that was scary and sad rather than wonderful. Of course Rosie was worth it, but it angers me to know the same things are still happening to women at the same hospital, probably right now as I’m sitting here typing this.
Rosie deserved a better first few days of life. I barely held her. I didn’t get to hold her until she was four days old. Not because she was sickly, she was perfectly healthy. It was because of the mandatory nursery stays and Tyler’s family visiting non-stop. As soon as visiting hours were over they would give the baby to the nurses, who would take her to the nursery to be observed for 3-5 hours. Even when I begged for her back they said it was hospital policy. I’m still so angry just thinking of it. I was too dazed and weak to fight back, too overwhelmed with visitors who never left, too exhausted.
Fast forward five years and here we are.
Can you believe it’s already been five years?
Some of you all were reading my blog way back then, when I first realized I was pregnant. It was right after Halloween when it happened.
One day I was a carefree college student, the next day there were two pink lines on this stick and I was 19 and pregnant.
You know what though? I don’t think I would change anything. It was very hard, but I like where we are now. I don’t regret dropping out of college. I don’t regret getting pregnant. Everything worked out in the end for me, for us.
Rosie at 2 weeks old and 7 pounds
Rosie on her 1st birthday.
Rosie on her 2nd birthday.
Rosie on her 3rd birthday.
Rosie on her 4th birthday.
Rosie on her 5th birthday.