March 24, 1982 my mom started feeling a little sick after dinner which didn't seem particularly out of the ordinary since she was sick her whole pregnancy. She hadn't made the bed yet that day so she slowly lifted the very heavy corners to tuck in the sheets before crawling into bed to watch Oliver with my dad. But then things started to happen and after calling the doctor she knew it was time to go to the hospital even though it was almost 4 weeks early. If she hadn't made the bed she wondered if I might have come later. My dad tried to talk my mom out of it because he was really looking forward to watching Oliver. Finally she told him that she was going to the hospital with or without him. She went upstairs to let my Grandma know and they all piled in the car with her in the back seat trying to get comfortable and headed for Woodland Park where they were told to go to Portland Adventist because that is where Dr. Dyson was delivering another baby. When we got to Portland Adventist they informed us that the doctor had left for Woodland Park. So they got back in the car and headed for Woodland Park which would have been closer from the beginning. This should have set up a red flag for my mom but I was my mom’s first and she thought the doctors knew what they were doing. By this time she was having very painful contractions. Her labor with me was pretty quick and she said, “When you have quick labor you have very little time to acclimate yourself to the onslaught.”
After suffering intense contractions she asked for an epidural. Dr. Dyson administered it (later she found out that this is highly irregular it should have been an anesthesiologist) and as soon as he did she experienced a pain like she had never had before or since. It felt like a bolt of lightning had struck her in the back and in a flash travelled to the front of her head. She could feel it move up her spine, behind her head and hook over the top and to the middle of her eyes. When she yelled, "Oh my head!" Dr. Dyson said "I didn't do anything." There is only a small distance between an epidural and a spinal and he went too far. Not only was she in excruciating pain she could not push. Not only that but it slowed her labor down. They had to pull me out with forceps.
Grandma said she thought how odd it was to see a dark headed baby because all my cousins came out blonde or no hair at all. There I was with black thick hair. My mother and grandma both thought that my dad was going to turn right around and go back to Ohio. He thought for sure that I was going to be a boy. When I came out he put his hands on his head and did a 180 degree turn. That’s when they thought he was going to leave. He eventually turned right back around.
My mom and I were still in the hospital 3 days later. She had spent all 3 days on her back because of a spinal headache. They finally did a blood patch (taking blood from her arm and plugging it in to the hole in her spine where it was leaking spinal fluid) which can be dangerous because the blood clotting can move to your head so that's why it took them 3 days to decide to do it since she wasn't getting better on her own. Once the procedure was performed she felt 100% better.
I was her first and she said, “I was so amazed at you. I could hardly take my eyes off you. In spite of a crappy beginning you were a very happy baby.”
- Current Location:Portland, Oregon