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>I’m going to take a different approach to the “kid thing” this time. Melissa was the first of my children where I actually wrote down my experience with their worldly entrance. I wrote this when she was five days old. So, off we go:

May 8, 1988

It’s Mother’s Day today and everyone is still sleeping so I thought I’d write about the newest edition to our family. This pregnancy has been a tough one for me. I got sick the first few months, which is unusual because with Ann and Jackie I was not sick at all! I also carried this baby really low so I had constant back aches. I started showing WAY earlier than I did with the first two. By four months, there was no doubt that I was pregnant. The thought of twins crossed my mind more than once, but the ultrasound confirmed that it was a single birth. The doctor said a boy. In February, I slipped on the ice when I went out to get the mail and pulled the ligaments in my pelvis that hold the baby up, so for the rest of the pregnancy I was so sore I could hardly walk. I couldn’t lift my legs to put my pants on and I’d have to sit down to get the task done…very frustrating. By the beginning of March I had started having some labor and I had put on so much weight that Dr. Gammett told me to stay down and take it easy. My blood pressure was up and they needed to make sure that it didn’t develop into Toxemia. The second week in March Jackie went home with Julie to stay with my parents for a while. How can you chase after two kids when you have to “stay down?”

After Jackie had been gone for a month, Mom decided that they would fly out to be with me. They got here a little less than a week before my due date. She had to fly back home on Monday (May 2). The Wednesday before that the doctor stripped my membranes because I had been dilated to 2 centimeters for more than a month. This was supposed to start my labor, but all it did was cause excruciating pain. (Interjection here for those who don’t know what it is to have your membranes stripped. The doctor – in this case with VERY large hands – reaches up inside of you and swivels your cervix around to try and get labor going….OUCH!!) It didn’t start my labor like it was supposed to. I was already in major discomfort because I was retaining water like crazy. I didn’t retain any water with Ann and Jackie so this was a new and uncomfortable experience. My feet were swollen to almost twice their normal size but I couldn’t put them up to relieve the swelling because the baby sat on a nerve and every time I’d put my feet up above my hips I would get this terrible pain shooting down my legs. I was so huge with this baby and it kicked so hard it would hurt!!

Finally on Monday they stripped my membranes again. Mom left for the airport as I was leaving to the doctor’s office to have this wonderful procedure performed again. About 11am my contractions were finally going pretty good so all day long I sat home and timed contractions while I watched TV. They were 10 minutes apart the whole day long! about 10pm they were about 6 or 7 minutes apart and I was getting crampy (feeling like I had to poop). So we went to the hospital. Come to find out, I was just constipated and should have stayed home! They gave me an enema to clear everything out and wouldn’t send me home because I was overdue. I only dilated 1 centimeter every two hours. You’d be amazed at how many BORING shows are on TV in the middle of the night. Finally about 4 in the morning Dr. Francis came in and broke my water. About that time they put in an IV. The contractions finally started getting a lot harder so they gave me some Nu-bane (it’s a pain killer). It made me feel a bit dozy and it also helped me relax in between contractions. About 6am my contractions were really hard and I was crampy so I told the nurse they’d better get me to delivery. She checked me and I was only dilated to an 8. She was very condescending that it was wishful thinking because I’d been in labor so long. I told her that I would be having this baby within 15 minutes and that they needed to move me to delivery.

They got me onto the delivery table and were telling me to not push because the Doc wasn’t there yet. I was trying to not push and practically hyperventilating in the process. They kept making me pant while we waited for the doctor. When the doc finally got there, there was so much pressure from the baby trying to come out. He did the episiotome without numbing me!! And I didn’t even care, I was just glad that he was there so I could push. With the other two, once the head came out the rest of their body just slipped right out, but the shoulders on this child!!!! Once again they made me stop pushing. Pant! I didn’t think it would ever end when all of a sudden the body just slipped out and the pain was immediately gone. It was amazing that one second I was in extreme pain and the next minute I could have fallen asleep. Jim said, “Did we get our son?” The doctor said, “Nope.” I was shocked. I wasn’t disappointed at all, but just shocked.

The whole pregnancy we had been calling the baby Benjamin. Ann insisted the whole time that she didn’t want a brother. She wanted a sister named Melissa! So, Melissa it was. We haven’t decided on a middle name yet. It will be either Lynn or Louise. Or maybe she’ll have to do without.

When the nurse picked her up she said that this had to be around a 10 pound baby. I thought, NO WAY! I had asked Dr. Lohner about 2 months ago if there was anyway to tell how big a baby would be and he said there were no guarantees but he thought she’d be somewhere between Ann (8pounds 10oz) and Jackie (7pounds). I figured I could handle somewhere in that range. But, get this: 10 pounds 10 ounces and 21 inches long. This child is a moose. She didn’t fit into any of the newborn clothes we’ve got. The 3 month clothes just barely fit her now and she’s only 5 days old. She was born at 6:14am May 3rd 1988.

I had the easiest labor with Melissa (the longest, too), the easiest delivery with Jackie, and the easiest pregnancy with Ann. Well, Melissa’s awake and wanting to be fed, so I’d better go.

What memories! She was the easiest baby in the world. She slept all the time. She snuggled like the other two didn’t. Once she hit three, that all changed and we began to struggle with each other. It was a long childhood, teenagehood, adulthood with her. She’s 22 today and we are finally getting to the point where we get along more often than we don’t. She is a very beautiful girl. Very giving! Very large heart! She is one of those who would give you the shirt off her back if she felt that you needed it more than she did. Personality-wise, she is VERY much like I am. No surprises there! Oh, and she was my only bald baby! Weird. The others all had tons of dark hair. Oh well, not everyone can have great hair from birth, right? πŸ™‚

She’s my marine! I’m very proud of her! I’m proud of the young woman that she is becoming. I’m very proud of the growth that she has made over the last few years, and I hope she has a fabulous birthday!

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