I met my husband at the Baptist Student Union of the college I chose for my junior year of studies. He made two statements when we were introduced - " I would like to buy you a coke" and "I am going to marry you." He did buy cokes for us, and I did marry him shortly thereafter. As a 20 year old newlywed, I soon found out we had a honeymoon baby on the way. This baby was certainly not planned , but was definitely wanted. I had wanted to be a mother all my life. As a child, I played with lots of dolls and dressed up cats in doll clothes and pushed them in my buggy. If I could catch a baby chick without his mother pecking me to death, I would push him, too. Not at the same time as the cat, though. We were thrilled to be having a baby!
The school year went on and I stuggled with morning sickness quite a lot and some bleeding. Knowing next to nothing about pregnancy, I did not consult a doctor about it. Hubby finished graduate school, I completed my studies, and we moved to his home town. That year of college was the first time I had ever lived away from home, and here I was moving farther away. When we would visit my parents, I would cry a good part of the way back to where we lived with my husband's grandmother, totally homesick. I did start seeing a doctor in May. I was always whisked into the office and whisked out. I had no knowledge of what questions to ask or if the doctor was treating me correctly. Procreation was not something I grew up talking about, and I was afraid to ask questions of my mother or mother in law. I started swelling and the doctor actually gave me diuretics to take. I never felt well while I was pregnant. If sonograms or pregnancy screening tests were available in 1974, I never knew of them. Nothing like that was ever offered to me. There was a college where we lived and I enrolled in it for my last year, thinking I could just about make it before school was out, and if the baby came before then, I could take my finals later. I discussed that with my professors, and they agreed. I attended my first day of classes and went to my in and out doctor's appointment after that. Only this time I wasn't rushed through. The nurse found my blood pressure was low, and apparently thought I looked like the baby had dropped, for the doctor rushed into my room, asked me what I had been doing, and checked my cervix. I was dilated, how much I didn't know to ask. Can you imagine the guilt he put on me with his question? For years I thought I had done something to cause my baby's impending premature birth.
Dr. G told me to rush to the hospital. I called hubby and told him. I was hospitalized,and put on bedrest with my feet elevated to take pressure off of the cervix. I wasn't told much, and, again, I didn't know the proper questions to ask. After five days, I was sent home on more bedrest. That was about all the instructions I received, except to see Dr. G in two weeks. Less than a month later, I went into hard labor one Wednesday night. Meredith Helen was born at 1:43 am on Thursday, October 3, 1974. I remember the doctor asking for premature forceps before her birth. She was not breathing when she was born, and was resuscitated. I never heard her cry. I did hear the nurse say it's a girl before the anesthesia I was given took the nurse's voice away in a spiral of unconsciousness.