The Olden Days

My horrific birth story is VERY old but it was incredibly traumatic. I was a single white female, delivering my first baby in a Catholic hospital in a small town in Ohio in the 80’s. I had the state insurance card (welfare), my best friend was my labor coach and my child’s father was a black man. YIKES all the way around!! I arrived at the hospital at about 9pm after starting active labor at home. The nurses didn’t want to deal with me or my circumstances. They ignored my questions, told me to shut up, gave me a sleeping pill in an attempt to prolong my progress until the next shift came on the floor. They refused to take me to the bathroom so my coach took me and I vomited all over the floor. They screamed at me for being stupid and moving. When I asked to see my mother they laughed at me and slammed the door. When I told them I thought I was crowning they ignored me for 20 minutes. This “lovely” nurse finally came in cussing at me for being so annoying and said if it would shut me the hell up she would check me. She lifted the sheet, screamed, yanked my bed and she and another nurse ran with me to the delivery room. *(back then you got an enema and shave upon admission, everyone got an episiotomy and there was a labor room, delivery room, recovery room and lovely non-private at all room for your mandatory 3-5 day stay. Oh- only your coach was allowed in any of the first three rooms with you and only the coach when the baby was in the room.) Anyway- I had my son in midair as I was being yanked from my bed to the table in the delivery room- luckily the doctor was right there to literally catch him. He was super impressed with how fast I progressed. You see- they didn’t call him to tell him I was in labor until 8am. My son was born at 845. He had another mom almost ready to deliver so he had come in anyway thinking I’d be there all day laboring. When my friend told him what had happened he ripped into the nurses and the supervisor and demanded the night nurses be brought back in to be equally reamed. They could have killed my son. And not a single request, concern, etc of mine….the laboring mother was ever acknowledged or respected.

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