Monday, May 28, 2007

Inducement or induction/

Balboa Naval Hospital, May 28,1971
Early morning.

It seems to me that the first attempt to induce me was some kind of pills under my tongue with no success.

Then the doctor broke my water, with no success.

Finally a petocin drip was started and I remember the success was fast and hard and strong. There was another mother in the same labor room with me who was having a hard time with her labor and was screaming loudly. I was focusing and breathing because of my self help Lamaze and was refusing any drugs. I was praised many times by the nurses and doctors. Soon I was transferred to a gurney wheeled into the delivery room. I broke down and consented to an epidural. And right soon . . . . .IT'S A GIRL!!!

I heard someone say they bet she would be a record 2 feet. I was wheeled into recovery and told to massage my uterus. I asked a nurse when I would get to see my baby. She told me, "At least eight hours, but probably not til the ten o'clock feeding. But, if they ever make a mistake I hope they will for you."

Then I was taken to the ward to join the other 40 new mothers. I followed all their instructions to the letter and counted the hours til I would see my baby. At 6am a train of babies were wheeled in. I laid in my bed so bummed that I would have to wait another four hours. Then I heard my name being called. I sprang up to a sitting position. They laid her in my arms. This beautiful memory is causing me to tear up as I write this. She was incredibly gorgeous with lots of long dark hair on a beautifully shaped head. I put her to my breast and she started to nurse. She and one other of the 40 babies on the ward nursed. A nurse that had been helping the other mother who was having a difficult time, came over to help me and was surprised I wasn't having any trouble at all. I waited as long as possible to return her to the train of carts that would take her away from me til the next feeding. The babies were brought to the mothers for feedings every four hours starting at 6am, except at 2am when the babies were fed in the nursery. I had requested they not give my baby anything but water, because that is what was suggested by La Leche.

My beautiful baby girl was 9 pounds 6 1/2 oz and was 23 1/4 inches long. I went in on Friday and left the hospital on Monday. I actually weighed less than I did when I got pregnant and was the only new mother leaving that day wearing clothes. All the others had to wear their robes or maternity clothes because they couldn't fit into 'real' clothes. I have always been quite proud of that.

When we got her home my Mom and I gave her a bath and while I was drying her off in my lap she stood up!!! She slept in a bassinet and would scootch up til she could go no further because she was so long. And her feet corresponded to her length, so all the beautiful booties my Mom had knit for her were too small. All her nighties were those 'Sweetpea' things I loved so much that tied at the bottom. She wore them for such a long time with the strings taken out. But, then she also wore cloth diapers.

She has become a most amazing woman.



  1. Aww, that's so sweet! I had Luke in an Army hospital in Germany (Landstuhl)- NO nursery! They had a 'transition' room, which meant if you were going to the bathroom or taking a shower, they would watch the baby, 15 minutes tops!

  2. I had pitocin too. It is a very effective drug.

    My daughter also took one look at my bobs and knew just what to do. Which is good because i sure didn't.

    Sweet story.

  3. My middle daughter was the exact same weight. That hurts coming out!

  4. what a lovely story. i know it's different now, but it would have been hard to have been seperated right after birth...i can't imagine that an

  5. toni- Luckys brother was born seven years later in Germany at Flugplatz Hahn.

    meno- I think Lucky took to it so quickly because she was starving. In the picture taken in the nursery right after she was born she is sucking on her wrist.

    deb- the 9# 6 1/2 oz wasn't so bad because she was so long and skinny!

    jen- it was torture and I was so glad for my grandchildren that it has changed so much.

  6. Hi Lady, its hard to believe how different things were back then.

    i ahve always wondered howmany kids were messed up by the separation, and how many post partum depressions were triggered by it?

    I live in San Diego county, and can almost see that little house over San Clemente canyon!

  7. I love this story.... Made me sad that they wouldn't let you have her right away. You have an amazing daughter.

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