Monday, June 7, 2010

Meredith's Beginning - Part One

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.


Beedeebabee said...

Hi Sarita,

I came over from Twyla's blog to say Hello.

This is so heartbreaking. I'm so sorry about your precious little Meredith Helen.

xo Paulette

kathy said...


Kristin said...

Sarita, I am so sorry that you had to go through that. You sounded just like me in that I always loved playing with dolls, wanted a family, and had Madison almost a year after our honeymoon. I cannot imagine what it must have been like back then in the way doctors treated women and how they handled loss back then. I'm so glad things have changed dramatically for women.

Marie W said...

Oh Sarita, I know how hard it was for you to write this, but such courage! You are one courageous woman. You were in no way to blame for what happened to Meredith. Sending hugs your way.

craftyles said...

Hi Sarita,
I came over from Twyla's blog. It must have been hard to write about your painful experience. Hope you feel better after writing about it.Nice to meet you.

Holly said...

I am glad you are sharing Meredith's story with us. She is a special little girl and I love hearing about her.

I wish that they had done more back then to help.

croleyc69 said...

This is so sad and breaks my heart for you. Thanx for sharing this part of Meredith's story.


Just Breathe said...

I had my children in '79 & '81 and they did the ultrasounds but would not let me see the screen and they did not give out pictures. Times have really changed. Sarita, when I sent you your handkerchief I never had a date from you. October 3rd is my birth date!

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