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birth story from 1965

This is my birth story from 1965. Things were a bit different then, I think. I was scared to give birth but didn’t receive much help with it more than strong meds.

Scared to Give Birth

I had my only child, a daughter, back in 1965. I have a very low pain threshold and was absolutely terrified of the pain that goes with childbirth.

At each prenatal visit, the very first thing I’d ask my doctor was to promise he’d knock me out completely for the birth and medicate me heavily during labor. He did promise and he kept his promise and I bless him to this day for it.

In the Hospital

I went to the hospital 12 hours before she was born and four hours later needed pain meds, asked for them and got them. I got a shot in my arm fairly often over the next eight hours — I don’t know what the drug was — and while it helped, it didn’t completely take away the pain.

I’d been up all night and was exhausted, so I slept between each contraction, but I distinctly remember, still, waking with each contraction yelling “Ow, ow, ow”. However, the drugs they gave me distorted time and made everything fuzzy and for that, I’m very grateful.

The Birth and Beyond

By the time I was ready for the delivery room, I was numb, didn’t feel anything at all, and was very groggy. Once on the table, someone said “Oh, we can see the baby’s head in the mirror.” I thought “I can’t even see the mirror”, and then, blissfully, the mask was put over my face and the next thing I remember is being wheeled by the nursery and a nurse standing inside the window showing me my daughter.

I am not sorry I missed the birth.

I must not be a very physically strong person because having her knocked the stuffing out of me. I couldn’t stand up straight for six weeks, and each morning after her breakfast bottle I went back to sleep for about three hours.
Thankfully, she was a big baby and slept all night from 11:30 to 7:30 from the first night home from the hospital. My sleep is extremely important to me, still is, and if it’s disrupted my day is totally shot.

Needless to say, I did not breastfeed because, as mentioned above, I have a very low pain threshold. I cringe, even now, just thinking about it.

I am to this day so very thankful that general anesthesia was still being given at that time to women having a baby.

Thanks for reading my birth story from 1965!
Cathy
(Ottawa, Ontario)


Here are two more birth stories from earlier days:

And you’ll find all birth stories here!

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  1. Lily

    This might sound weird, but how is your relationship with your daughter?