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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Mother (as in maternal parent) (04/24/08)

TITLE: My LaMaze Coach
By Sherry A. Jackman


March, 1974, phone call from Alaskan Bush Village to Bremerton, Wash. where Carrie had finally tracked down her mom and dad, who were traveling in the Lower 48.

M o oh hm, guess what?

Yes, Carrie.

Remember how you just finished telling all the relatives that you weren’t going to get any grandchildren from your eldest child?


Well, it’s due in December.

Fast forward to late July of 1974.
Carrie and her parents were living on some property she and Evan had purchased, outside of Fairbanks. Carrie and her dad had found work in town and rode to work together. Carrie also kept telling her co-worker she sure wished she could have twins. She couldn’t understand why she had trouble breathing, was tired a lot and had to take naps at work.

Carrie had opted for natural childbirth, LaMaze classes were scheduled, and her Mom became her coach, since Evan’s job kept him out in the “Bush”. The pediatrician who spoke at her LaMaze class was a kindly man named Dr. Stevens

Carrie felt a rapport with him and chose Dr. Stevens to be her child’s pediatrician. She did not know just how soon that was going to be. This was Carrie’s first pregnancy and she was thankful her Mom was with her. There are times even a grown woman needs her own Mother.

Carrie’s pregnancy proceeded okay, except for her fatigue and breathing problems. Her regular physician, Dr. Stone took care of her, since her obstetrician was booked up. She knew the specialist would be consulted if Dr. Stone needed him.

September 6, Carrie went to the doctor due to some minor bleeding she was having. The doctor examined her to see which way the baby was laying and said, as he was feeling the masses through her uterine wall, “Well, it feels like a head or a rump over here, and it feels like a head or a rump over here,” and continuing across the area, he commented again “And it feels like a head or a rump over here. Wait a minute, that’s too many heads and rumps. We better have an x-ray taken. (Ultrasound devices were non-existent in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1974).

The x-ray was taken, and sure enough, twins were visible. After that, a specialist read the x-rays to determine that there weren’t triplets hiding in there. Twins were desired, but God knew triplets would be too much even for Carrie and her mom to handle.

After several trips to the hospital with slight leaking of amniotic fluid, but no imminent birth happening, Dr. Stone consulted the obstetrician and a consensus reached that inducing labor with twins was not an option. Around midnight on September 24, contractions began in earnest and Carrie and her Mom drove to the hospital.

Approximately 1:07 p.m. in a delivery room, with Carrie’s Mom, Evan, Dr. Stone, Dr. Stevens and staff members who wanted to watch twins being born, while Carrie sang (because she had not gotten her music tape made for use during birth) Dr. Stone delivered Rod, who was a breach birth and couldn’t breathe. Dr. Stevens worked to clear Rod’s airway, while Dr. Stone continued assisting with Rand’s birth.

Rod was finally breathing well enough to be placed through the opening into the nursery, for his temperature and other vital signs to be taken. But, a rectal temperature could not be taken, as Rod suffered what is known as an inperforate anus, leaving Rod with no bowel opening and in urgent need of a colostomy. He was immediately placed in an incubator, and arrangements were made to transport him and a nurse by ambulance and plane to Children’s Hospital in Seattle and this life-saving surgery.

Brother Rand was finally born 23 minutes later and placed in an incubator, due to jaundice. Rand wasn’t given to his mom right away, as staff didn’t want him out of the incubator. Later, Carrie did get to hold Rand and bond with him, as she had only touched Rod by putting her hand through the opening in the incubator.

Five days later, after Evan got heat in their trailer, Carrie sadly left the hospital and Rand behind. She made daily hospital trips to feed and dress Rand, even though he was not being breast-fed, but taking formula. Dr. Stevens wanted Carrie to feed and dress Rand herself, to be assured of Rand’s well-being once he was taken home.

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This article has been read 546 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Janice Cartwright05/03/08
Carrie certainly had a strenuous introduction into motherhood. I really wanted to know a bit more about what happened with the other baby. With the 750 word limit some details have to go in favor of a strong ending.

Your story has some very good elements and I enjoyed reading it.
Yvonne Blake 05/03/08
Giving birth is such a wonderful experience. A little dialogue in this would make it flow better. This is so sweet. Keep writing.