The next few months my cute little figure ballooned into disproportionate shapes and I couldn’t believe I was going through this again! Every morning at 3 am Kelvin would wake up and start pushing and manipulating my huge abdomen trying to wake the baby. He succeeded most times; unfortunately, he woke me in the process as well. I tried to explain to him through gritted teeth that if the baby got used to being awakened at that time he would do so after birth. I would have to get up with him since I had the food. I had always breast fed Jennifer and Chuck and planned on doing the same with little Dakota. One night a little foot came crashing through my upper right side and the outline could be visualized without difficulty. Kelvin was amazed and this encouraged his nightly routine.
The other nurses had a lottery of sorts going to determine when the little bundle would arrive. I was trying to push a heavy medicine cart around the halls of the ward when I thought my back would literally break. My face was swollen and my feet were swollen along with fingers and hands. I just wanted the day to come when I could go back to being my old skinny self. During a Doctor’s appointment I asked how much longer he thought it would be and if he thought I could be induced. He said if nothing had happened by the 21st of October to come in on that day and he’d see about inducing me. He said he thought I was “ripe enough”. I called the girls at work and gave them my news, happy, relieved, and scared all at once.
My best friend Genelle won the “lottery”as she had guessed that particular day but was in Maryland visiting her sister. Everyone thought we had planned it that way. I had no idea what day anyone had picked. I made arrangements with the Director of Nursing to be off for the 6 weeks of maternity leave. I made a bag to take with me and sat in my “nest” and waited.
On October 21st, Friday, I went to the hospital to start the procedure. The rules were lax and Kelvin was able to stay in the room with me the whole time. It was a pretty bedroom, not called a birthing room at that time but I think that is what they call it nowadays. Jennifer was allowed to stay there too and they laughed and talked while I screamed. Then just when you thought it was all over and the baby was taken to be “cleaned” and weighed, came the sawing feeling of thread through cardboard as the Doctor worked his magic at episiotomy.Then the afterbirth pains, which were as bad if not worse than the real thing. His cousin Janet, who played the part of new grandmother as Kelvin’s mother couldn’t be there, video taped the whole process. Dakota weighed 7 lbs 15 ½ oz and was 18 inches long. His head was, of course, cone shaped and huge. His shoulders were wide with a long torso and short legs like his father. He was pink and wrinkly as most newborns were. I asked if I could hold him, afterall I had just gone through “hell” bringing him into this world and everyone had already had a turn. He was warm and soft and I expressed that sentiment through the familiar chattering of teeth so often accompanying childbirth. I asked for a blanket and they brought me a nice warm one. It was about noon when all was said and done. Floy Mae and Mary Ann came to honor the occasion and to hold the baby as well.
A nurse came in and said I needed to go to 2nd fl Centre where I worked, to the “bridge” where a baby shower was prepared for me but she didn’t want me to go, I had just had a baby not more than 2 hours ago and she didn’t think I should leave my bed just yet. I knew if they had prepared a baby shower for me and I didn’t show up there would be Hell to pay later when I went back to work for real. It was scheduled for 2 o’clock. Knowing the hectic schedule they had on the day shift I knew that would be the only time between feeding lunch and supper, med passes, treatments etc so I had to go. I finally got the nurse to take me down in a wheel chair. I was bloated and tired, embarrassed of how I looked but knew they should understand giving the circumstances. They had a huge sheet cake with little blue bootie decorations, bells and such, and presents. I was so tired. I tried to be up beat and smile and tell them how much I appreciated the thought and knew it was time consuming. They seemed to be bored with it all by the time I got there and said they had to leave to do other “chores” before it was 3 o’clock when they were to give report to the next shift and go home. They seemed to think I should have been more delighted and enthusiastic about their wonderful jester. I really was in awe that they would think of me since Shelby’s Grandmother was the one who had been the main instigator of the shower, I just didn’t have the energy.
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