Labor Days

Posted on May 19, 2011


Thanks to Newsweek, I now know that laughing gas is being touted as an aid during labor (the kind that ends in childbirth, rather than the kind that ends in a paycheck). 

This got me to thinking about my own labors, in 1975, 1976, and 1980.  This was shortly after husbands began routinely appearing in labor rooms and well before they could assist in the delivery, while Skyping it at the same time.


Delivery Date: 4 weeks early

Preparation: 1 childbirth class

Length of Labor: 45 hours

Severity of Labor: Comparable to a mid-size sedan driving over my lower back. Repeatedly.  

Activity During Labor:

35 hours pacing, chain smoking, watching The Sonny and Cher Show                                      

10 hours on my back, most of it wishing I had a cigarette

Position of Baby: Incorrect

Meds: Not enough

Memorable Moment: Asking the nurse in the labor room if I could have a cigarette

Prognosis for the Future: Labor continued until Baby was age 20


Delivery Date: 6 weeks early (12 months and 3 days after the first delivery)

Preparation: Signed up for childbirth classes.  Never made it.

Length of Labor: unknown

Severity of Labor: See above

Activity During Labor: Watching the Academy Awards

Position of Baby: Out With No Warning

Meds: None

Memorable Moment: Watching the doctor catch the Baby in a spontaneous mid-air delivery.

Prognosis fortheFuture: Baby became a lawyer and does things her way. With no warning.


Delivery Date: 2.5 weeks early

Preparation: None Even Attempted

Length of Labor: Unknown

Severity of Labor: comparable to an annoying backache

Activity During Labor: Being at a listing appointment, aware of a nagging backache

Position oftheBaby: Normal

Meds: None

Memorable Moment: (during Leboyer zen-like birth: lights out, Baby cradled in warm water).  Listening to the nurses say, “Gosh, we’ve never heard a baby scream when he was put into the water.” Baby stopped screaming immediately when they pulled him out.

Prognosis for the future: Three years after birth, Baby fell into a swimming pool in November, fully clothed including heavy winter jacket. Was rescued by older sibs’ soccer coach who jumped over a fence and dove into the water.  As with his birth, Baby experienced great relief when extricated from water.


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