On June 10th, 1995, I began having labor pains, or at least I had thought so. Maybe they were Braxton Hicks? Anyway, my husband (at the time), Rob, and his cousin Devon (who was 14 at the time and loved hanging out with us on her summer break) and I headed from Cardington, Ohio to Mt Vernon, Ohio to Knox Community Hospital. Morrow County Hospital was closer to us, but everyone in my family was born in Mt Vernon, and I wanted my daughter born there as well. Besides, my OB/GYN was located in Mt Vernon.
We arrived around 9:00 pm, and after being examined I was told that the baby hadn’t dropped into position, or turned in the correct direction. I probably still had at least a week to go. They asked me if my back was hurting and I said yes. They informed me that it was normal, so we were sent home. By the time we got home, it was well after midnight. I went to bed and I don’t think I slept a wink. My back was absolutely killing me! And the pain would come and go. It was enough to bring me to my knees, and make me vomit. The heat that summer was horrendous, and I couldn’t seem to cool off at all, in between my bouts of pain. When morning arrived, Rob got up and asked if I was alright. I told him my back was hurting badly, but we remembered that KCH had told us that it was normal. I had no pain in my abdominal area. So he asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital again. No, I didn’t. It seemed pointless just for them to send me home again? No thanks!
Rob and Devon had breakfast, and continued to check on me while I lay writhing in pain, on my bed. Around 2:00 pm, I had enough of sweating and crawled out of my bedroom and into the bathroom across the hall. I just wanted to crawl into the bathtub and pour cold water over my head. Rob found me on the bathroom floor. I hadn’t thought of how difficult it would be to get my pregnant belly over the side of the tub. He was not happy with me. He was mad that I refused to go to the hospital. It wasn’t really that I refused, though. I just kept remembering the KCH nurses telling me that the back pain was normal, and I had at least another week.
Rob finally had enough and called an ambulance. When the paramedics arrived, I was still on the bathroom floor. They took me to Morrow County Hospital around 4:00 pm. I remember the nurses scrambling around, telling me that had I waited another five minutes, my baby would’ve been born at home. I didn’t understand. I wasn’t in labor! My back hurt! I also remember hearing the nurses talking to each other, wondering who was going to deliver the baby since the “new” doctor had only just arrived to the area, and hadn’t officially started yet. Eventually, a man in jeans and a t-shirt arrived and asked the nurses where he could “scrub up”. I looked at Rob and said, “Dear God, they found somebody off the street!” The nurses and the man laughed at me, and explained that he was the new doctor, but hadn’t yet begun. His name was Dr. Louis Ling.
Darcie was born at 4:49 pm. Labor and delivery truly is terrifying if you hadn’t done it before, but I urge any OB/GYN to PLEASE PLEASE explain to your pregnant patients what BACK LABOR is! I’d never heard this term and had no idea what was going on.
I had a beautiful baby girl with a head full of dark hair. And today, twenty-two years later, we celebrate that day with…..
……a trip down the river in canoes!!
I love you, Darcie. You were worth every minute of pain I had that day, and I thank God for you every single day!