Friday, October 19, 2012

Age 19: I Read it in a Book

A Fiction Story by Dr. Margaret Aranda

This is Day 19 of the October Memoir and Backstory Blog Challenge, which is something about a 19 year old.  To catch more on this, please visit  Jane Ann McLachlan.  To start reading Articles from Age 1, Please Click Here: Age 1: Sitting on the Edge


I was pregnant.  I was sick, I was throwing up, and I was miserable.  It wasn't just in the morning; it was all day long.  I took Vitamin B6 and slept the whole day.  We cut the dose in half and then I took it for 6 months until the vomiting stopped.  I gained 50 pounds and I waddled when I walked.

On the day I found out I was pregnant, I walked to the Public Library and I checked out 15 books on pregnancy, having babies, and raising babies.  I educated myself on the stages of pregnancy, the three trimesters, and the episiotomy.  I knew that the umbilical cord kept beating after delivery, and I asked my Obstetrician if he would wait for it to stop beating before cutting the umbilical cord.  He looked at me with bright blue eyes and asked me how I knew.  "I read it in a book," I said. 

Somehow there was not a word mentioned about getting an epidural for labor pain.  In fact, I read very little about labor pain at all.

So when labor came, I cried of course.  My back was on fire. I couldn't make it go away.  They gave me demerol injections in my thigh and those made me sleep for 10 min.  I underwent 16 hours of labor, 2 hours of sleep, and then my baby still would not come out.  So off to the OR for a forceps delivery.

I don't remember how I got there, but all of a sudden I was on the OR table and my gown was hiked up.  I was sprawled out and they put a mirror above, so that I could see black hair on the baby's head.  The anesthesiologist said, "OK, time to sleep!" and he put a mask over my face.  I breathed the anesthetic gases and passed out.

The next thing I knew, there was a baby on my belly.  It was a boy, and I said, "I knew God would give me a boy!"  His face had mild lacerations from the forceps, and his head was long and skinny from passing through the birth canal, but there he was, shrieking and all, with good lungs and 10 fingers and 10 toes.  

Later, much later of course I learned that I could have died during the mask inhalation for forceps delivery.  I had no protection of my airway.  No endotracheal tube.  It was an Emergency delivery, as the baby had presented in Occiput-Posterior position, and this explained my back pain for the last trimester.  His head was pressing on my back. His back was on my back, because he was backwards.

So we took him home wondering what we were supposed to do with such a little, vulnerable life. We wondered how you had to get a driver's license to drive a car but you didn't need to do anything to have a baby.  I carried him in my arms for the drive home.  No baby car seat was required.  He was beautiful.

I never bought baby food in jars for him.  I bought a little press grinder and I made banana squash, peas, applesauce, carrots, spinach, and a myriad of foods for him from scratch, fresh every day.  No microwave, no sugar.  

He grew up to be a gourmet chef.


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Dr. Margaret Aranda's Books:

No More Tears en Espanol
Face Book Page: Stepping from the Edge
Little Missy Two-Shoes Likes to go to School
From Menarche to Menopause: A Journey through Time

To Order Dr. Aranda's books, please click here:
For Additional Memoirs by Dr. Margaret Aranda, Please Click Here:

Age 31: The Color Blue

Additional Articles by Dr. Margaret Aranda

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Full Disclosure: Margaret A. Ferrante, M.D.  is an Institute Physician with Cenegenics Medical Institute.  She receives no monetary compensation for hosting this website you are on, which is independent and not affiliated with Cenegenics. The information presented is for education and awareness.  Dr. Ferrante currently sees patients out of the Cenegenics office in Beverly Hills, CA. 
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  1. That brought back a few memories! Of course, being a man, I don't mean the pain, but I was there at the birth of both of my sons and it was terrible seeing my Wife experience such pain. But I felt exactly the same driving little Freddie home - there is no qualification or training and it is possibly the most frightened I've ever been. That was only four years ago, but he loves cooking, so maybe another gourmet chef?! I hope so!! Lovely post, thanks :-)

  2. Agreed! What memories that first child is. The morning sickness... I remember when my wife would be done with the morning purge and she'd crawl back into bed so I could tell her how sorry I was. I remember reading all the books and finding out things about my wife's body that neither of us knew. She would never be able to dilate higher than a three, but we still had four beautiful children. Wow! Great post!


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