Mary Anne Jenson
When were you born?
I was born April 17, 1950.
How many children do you have?
When was the first born?
Jan 24, 1974.
What was your experience like?
Well my mother was born in 1918, at home. And then when she had children, her first two children were born in the early 1940s. And she was completely put out with gas, so she was unconscious. And then she woke up and there was her baby.
She was in the hospital for two weeks recovering. Then I was born in 1950 and she stayed in the hospital for a week, then my younger sister was born in 1955 and she stayed for 3 or 4 days. So the time kept getting shorter.
So things changed a lot during that short time. And then with my first baby it was even more different. Lynn and I married in December 1972 and I got pregnant while we were living in Hawaii.
There was a lovely person in my student ward, and when she found out I was pregnant she immediately came to me and said, “You’ve got to read the book ‘Thank You, Dr. Lamaze.’ And you’ve got to start going to Lamaze classes, and of course you’re going to nurse your baby.” And I had never even heard of any of those things.
My own mother had never nursed, so I had never even thought about any of those things. But it just changed my life completely because I read the entire book and took the classes. Things worked out so well with that birth that I made sure that I re-took the classes with each pregnancy. I wanted it to be the same experience!
It was repetitive, but it helped me to focus. I think the thing that I learned the most from Lamaze was to never go to the hospital before transition. Because they told me that if you go before then, they’ll strap you down with all the machines and monitors and you’re not going to be able to walk around and do the things you like doing. So I didn’t! And it worked out well.
That first baby was born in Kahuku, in January of 74, it was 23 hours of labor. My husband was with me in labor, and then he went out for something after the birth and when he came back in, the nurse said, “Oh Mr. Jenson, your wife’s in such and such room,” and he wondered how did she know his name. But I was the only patient in the hospital, and it was a small little hospital. Nobody else was there but me and my baby, so we got special attention.
The nurses were very kind and praised me for being able to nurse the baby, even though I was a ha’oli. That was in Jan of 74.