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Three

My mother was with me the whole way through.  I went into labor and she had fixed me this wonderful homemade soup, vegetable beet soup or something.  I said I was really hungry and I think I will have another bowl, and then I said, "Oh, I think I'm having a labor pain".  And she said "Get in the shower right now!!!"  And I'm like, "I want to finish my soup," "No! You have to take a shower!" (laughing).  So I run back to her shower and jump in, and she's calling the hospital.  And then we get in the car and go to the hospital.  We check in and they say, "Yeah, you're having pains, you should check in".   That was in 1971, so they gave me an enema which was disgusting, never having one before.  And then they shaved me all the way from my toes up to my chest I think, the nurse did.  And then we sat in the room and played solitaire and, I think, hearts.  And then my mom said, "Now when you have a pain look at the clock and tell me how fast it goes.  And how many minutes between each one".  She stayed up the whole night with me doing that; she was the mother of six children.  And she knew I was giving up my daughter, which was horrific for her.  So, I think I started having really bad pains around five or six, and then they took me into the delivery room with all these student nurses.  And one of them was a classmate of mine from high school, and I remember seeing him in there and thinking, "What the hell are you doing here, I don't think so!" (laughing).  But I didn't think to say that because I was just in so much pain.  I remember them telling me to push, and I had never had any birth classes.   I didn't know anything about the birthing process!  They kept telling me to push while I had my feet in the stirrups and I was laying down.  I was like I don't know what you mean.  I had no clue.  And then I remember them saying, "We're going to take the baby, so we're going to put you out," and they put this gas mask on me, and said to count to something.  I did throw up and I did have a bowl movement, and then they put the gas mask on me.  They took her out with forceps and they marked her eye right here at the socket, so my parents had the eye doctor check out her eye.  And she has a mark right where I have a mark, we have identical marks.  I have a mole, and she has where the forceps grabbed her.  She said she always wondered what that mark was on her eye.  And then my mom was an emotional wreck because she said that when I came out of the delivery room I was as white as a sheet, she thought I was dead.  They had done an episiotomy.  And then I had to be in the hospital for five days afterwards with the heat lamps between my legs.  My soon-to-be ex, within a week of me having my daughter, was at a Lutheran bible camp with his girlfriend, who he had also gotten pregnant and never married and had another child six months later, after my child was born.  Which I never knew about until after she (the daughter) met her father.  And he actually came to the hospital and came to my door and peered in and stared at me as if I was a woman from hell.  My sister's birthday was the seventh of March, and I delivered on the fifth, and she was totally ticked off that I had this baby before her fourteenth birthday.  When I was laying in that hospital with the heat lamp between my legs I was thinking I was never going to leave or go to the bathroom ever again.  And then, this is the real tragic part:  after five days of being in the hospital, they got me in a wheel chair to go home and in my lap I had all my flowers and stuff, and this other lady was going home at the same time as me with a baby in her lap.  And my mother remembers thinking, you know, "Oh my God," and she got me in the car. We got home and I walked up the steps, got in bed  My little dog, Heidi, jumped into bed and lay down, and I just sobbed and sobbed and sobbed for probably an hour.  And then a funny story is that I was getting dressed and my fourteen year old sister comes in as I lifted off my nightgown and she said, "Oh my God!  What happened to your stomach?!  I'm never having a baby ever!" (laughing). Because I had stretch marks from above the belly button all the way down, major stretch marks.  And the other thing I thought was that I was never ever going to be loved, because I had had a baby out of wedlock.  I thought I was marked for life.  In 1971, you were nothing at that point.  But now she (daughter) is an opera singer, singing her heart out, and living on the beach in San Diego in a huge beach house with her boyfriend, I am so jealous (laughing).  He took her to Paris for five days, two years ago in January when I was there.  And we only found out about it the day before we left, it was great!  Yeah, so we've had a wonderful reunion, we don't like talk every week or email all the time.  I want her to have her own life, and I gave her life, but I'm not her mom.  And I think how if I had had an abortion she wouldn't be here, she wouldn't be like my little clone (laughing).  I call her my little me, because she's shorter than I am (laughing).