Thursday, June 18, 2009

Birth Story No.1, Pt.1

I've never thought of myself as someone with good skin, but I had really great skin during my first pregnancy. However, I can't credit any hormonal phenomenon for this fact. It was the anxiety.

I was so out-of-my-mind anxious for those seven-and-a-half months that I wouldn't even scratch a blemish for fear that some horrid virus or bacteria under my fingernail would make it's way into my bloodstream and, through any number of terrible scenarios, harm my unborn baby. I felt like a complete lunatic, but I'm guessing I'm not the only pregnant woman ever to have thought such things. A quote I came across at the time said it all, "Worry is the work of the pregnant woman." That made me feel just a little bit better, like maybe I wasn't alone with all my worrying. Still my skin remained flawless.

Yes, you read correctly, my first pregnancy did not go to term. In the midst of the 34th week, my bag of waters ruptured prematurely and, at 2 AM on a Monday, just hours before I was supposed to get up, get ready, and go teach my class of first graders, I found myself sitting wrapped in a towel in the passenger seat as my husband, Tom, drove us the 20 minutes to the hospital birthing center. It was not supposed to happen that way. We hadn't completed the birthing class sessions!

The ultrasound performed just after I arrived indicated the baby weighed about 5 lbs. She was so little. That whole day, in my birthing suite, hooked up to the fetal heart monitor, terrorized by every germ infested surface, that thought kept popping up: she was so little. No one could give me any reason for what was happening. (Not even anxiety.) There were no signs of infection. And if I didn't go into spontaneous labor, I would be induced on Thursday. So scary.

Phone calls were made. Tom reluctantly had to leave for a few hours to take care of some things. Nurses, food service, orderlies, doctors, and interns flurried about. But everything in my world had stopped. All except for the heartbeat of that very tiny baby inside me.

I tried to read the copy of Birthing From Within I had just opened two days before, but I just couldn't relate. I tried to work on some booties I had begun to crochet, but couldn't concentrate. I spent a lot of time looking out the window at the light blue barely springtime sky, just waiting. She was so little. We weren't ready.

For Pt. 2, please read Thursday's post!


  1. Sara thank god I know this outcome, if not I might have to get you for writing something scary to someone who's about to hit that 34th week! However, I have faith that even if I did go into labor tomorrow....things would be OK. All I do is stress about every movement (or lack of) and worry about every bit of everything I put into my mouth....YIKES pregnancy is SO scary!

  2. You got me hooked Sara and then what happened? Shock is a fascinating human response. It is incredible what our bodies and minds can withstand when we enter into it. Everyone seems to react a little differently as well. As I recall we spent the day watching Walker Texas Ranger reruns while Katies contractions ever so slowly took effect. Somewhere between the mundane nature of the show and the beautiful view of Mt. Lassen out the window she was able to rest her mind while she waited.