In August of 2001 I was pregnant. My sister was out of town leaving her car with me. The morning of the 13th started out pretty unremarkable. I stopped and checked my sister’s mail the headed to the clinic for my check up.
After waiting for the typical forever a nurse took my vitals and showed me to an exam room where I waited to be seen by a random OBGYN. I never saw the same doctor, but it didn’t really matter since they all treated me with the same indifference. Ah the joys of a military hospital.
The doc du jour did a quick exam and left the room speaking only a handful of words if any at all. I took that as my cue to leave.
As I walked away from the clinic the nurse who’d taken my vitals stopped me. Apparently the doctor wanted me to go to report to Labor & Delivery.
Once again the staff barely spoke to me. I had no idea why I was there. They connected me to some machines and drew the curtain around my bed.
On the other side of the curtain was another pregnant 18 year old. Only she was married to a soldier while I was the unmarried daughter of one. Perhaps this is why the staff actually explained their procedures to her, answered her questions, and generally treated her like a human being.
I called my father at some point and he came down for awhile. We were told nothing would be happening for awhile so he went home.
I tried to call the parents I’d chosen for my son but couldn’t from the hospital so I had my mom call from home. (Looking back I’d hashtag this as: Holy no cell phone inconvenience batman)
I also called my boyfriend to let him know where I was.
They hooked me up to pitocin and stripped my membranes (broke my water) at least twice. Sometime after 11 that night more phone calls were made to assemble the troops. It was time to start pushing.
And that is how I ended August 13, 2001. Alone behind a curtain scared, in pain, and waiting for my people to join me…