Julia at 6 years old
In November of 1985, one of my co-workers was going to get lunch. She always drank milk with her lunch and that day, I said to her, "Denise, when you get your milk, will you bring me some too; for some strange reason, I have been craving milk". She looked at me and said,"Stephanie, I'll bet you're pregnant!", I told her she would lose the bet because I couldn't get pregnant. I kept thinking about what she had said and then I thought, "hey, I haven't had a period for more than 3 months, and I've been gaining weight!". That night I went to get a home pregnancy test. As I was reading the instructions to taking the test, I felt fluttering in my "stomach". I thought,"I'm just too excited". While I was waiting for the results, I read on the package that the darker blue the urine turned, the further along you are in your pregnancy. My urine turned NAVY BLUE!!!! I immediately called my Mother, a nurse, and asked her about the results, she lost all her professionalism and started screaming for joy. She put me on a 3-way call with my best friend and we all screamed. When my husband came home I told him but he said he wouldn't believe it until I had seen my doctor. I made an appointment for the next day and my doctor told me, "You are not only pregnant, you're almost 5 months pregnant!!!!" I was overjoyed but a little scared because I had gone nearly 5 months with no prenatal care. I do remember that during the time before I knew I was pregnant I had developed an aversion to alcohol and fish. I have always eaten healthy foods and I exercised so I basically didn't do any damage. My doctor started me on vitamins and took me off my high blood pressure medication because my blood pressure registered normal.
I had a happy pregnancy. I didn't have morning sickness. I didn't have swelling, I ate what I craved and I loved my changing body with the life I was carrying in it. My doctor put me on work furlough 2 months before my due date when my blood pressure started to rise. At 33 years of age, I was the oldest of my friends having a child, at that time.
The morning of March 13, 1986 at 6:00am, my husband pulled out of our driveway to go to work. That was when the first pain hit. It was more like a generating pain that started in the middle of my lower back and moved around to the front. I started timing the pains and by 9:00am, when my doctor's office opened, they were 2 minutes apart. I called my husband but couldn't get him, so I called my sister-in-law who took me to the doctor's office. My doctor checked me and said,"It looks like you're having a baby today." He sent me straight to the hospital. I was checked in by 10:30am and the waiting game began. My husband arrived and I asked him was he going in the delivery room with me. He said no. I hated him at that moment. I was hooked up to a fetal monitor and he would warn me that a labor pain was coming. I hated him some more. I would cry out to the Lord as I was going through the pain and my husband said,"the Lord is probably getting tired of hearing you." HATE,HATE,HATE. At 4:00pm my water hadn't broken so my doctor did the procedure and warned me that the pain would be more intense. He said I could get an epidural when I had dilated to 4 centimeters. The nurses came and checked me and when I was at 4 the blessed epidural was administered. I suddenly became violently ill and vomited all over the nurse. My doctor checked my baby's heartbeat and it was dropping rapidly. They put my on oxygen but it didn't help. My doctor told me my baby was in distress and he was going to have to perform a c-section. I was rushed into delivery. My doctor asked me, "What do you want, a boy or girl?" I said it didn't matter as long as it was healthy. He told me that everybody says that but in our hearts we really do have a preference. I told him that we already had a daughter and that my husband wanted a son. He said, "I didn't ask you what your husband wanted, I asked you what you want." I said, "a girl". That was the moment, 7:42 pm, he pulled out the most beautiful earthly gift God could have blessed me with, my daughter, Lauren Alease Higgins. I cried so hard the Anesthesiologist thought I was in pain and asked if I needed medication. I told him no, that I was just shedding tears of joy for my little miracle. My husband came in and told me that he had planned to be in the delivery room but after the doctor said I had to have a c-section he was not allowed in. How could I hate the man who gave me this beautiful baby. I had to stay in the hospital for a week. I went home and had to stay in the house for 6 weeks. My husband did not allow any visitors until the 6 week period was over.
Lauren Alease Higgins - 7days old
I chose to research childbirth traditions of China. Many of their traditions mirror the "old wives tales" I was told when I was pregnant. "Once pregnant, a woman guards her thoughts. What affects a woman's mind will also affect her heart and connect with the baby"(Retrieved from http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy/labor_birth/birthing-traditions/article/childbirth-traditions-china/ )I was told during my pregnancy not to call anyone ugly because my baby would turn out to be just like the person I was talking about. The Chinese
believe it is bad luck to throw a baby shower before the baby is born. They believe that if the Mother eats light colored food, the baby will be fair-skinned. There is a belief that the baby doesn't get her first bath until the third day of life, which is attended by female friends and relatives. "After delivery, Chinese woman, sit the month. The first month is considered an intense time of healing. In strict households, even husbands stayed away.""(Retrieved from http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy/labor_birth/birthing-traditions/article/childbirth-traditions-china/ )Some of the rituals and traditions are similar to other cultures and some are unique to a specific culture. They all have there place in the quiltwork of our lives.