Today I interviewed Debbie , she is a mom of two sons. Her first born is 24, and her second is 21. We were talking about what it was like to be pregnant in 1995. For the moms in the same generation as Debbie, this is going to very relatable and funny!
Today we have ovulation sticks and period apps to track when is the best time to try for a baby. What was your best way of tracking your ovulation ?
There were two ways of tracking your ovulation. First , you would take your temperature with the basal thermometer on the 11th day of your cycle, and when it was at its highest point , it was baby making time. It was usually between the 11th and the 14th day. Secondly, for all of you intuitive women, you would wait for when you were getting symptoms closer to your period and a little extra discharge. At this point your body basically let you know it was time. What we didn’t know at the time was that sperm can live in your body up to 72 hours. So, there would be times you thought you were safe, and that’s what they would call … ‘you got caught.”
What did a pregnancy test consist of?
We would buy a pregnancy test at a local drugstore. It is similar to how they are today, but there were no early tests. We would first miss our period, take the test, and wait about five minutes for the result. When it comes to the tests back then, it was also easier to get a false negative because they were not advanced enough to track the HCG level.
What do you wish you had during your pregnancy that women have at their fingertips today ?
When I was pregnant , I had two books, Doctor Spock and What to expect when you are expecting ( that was our bible) You now have the luxury of the internet for quick answers to ease your mind on the spot. I still would always recommend to call your doctor anyway.
How did you register for your baby shower?
I didn’t. I wrote down a list of everything I wanted so everyone had an idea. As people would call about my shower, my mom would let them know what was on the list. At that point you just got what you got. Sometimes you would get double, but then you would just return it. My mom also felt it nervy to tell people what they should get, but I still don’t remember returning too much.
Where was your baby shower and was it a surprise?
My baby shower was at Goodmans in Greenpoint. It was supposed to be a surprise but my mother had to call me that my mother-in-law was starting a problem. She wanted to pay for part of the shower so that she can have a say in not having it in the back of the bar on a Saturday night. My mom didn’t take the money, so they can proceed with the party as is.
Where did you get your maternity clothes?
Believe it or not, it was Smitty’s on Manhattan Avenue. My mother took me there because it is where she went for her maternity clothes. I used to also get clothes from Victoria Secrets and just size up. For me, it was very comfortable and still fashionable. When it came to my second son, that was the first time I went to an actual maternity store. Modern maternity in the mall.
What was your go to pregnant exercise?
HA .. eating. At the time, I thought that any physical activity was harmful to the baby. I didn’t even have sex the whole 9 months out of fear of having a miscarriage.
Speaking of eating, what were you told you weren’t allowed to eat?
There were no restrictions. We ate whatever we wanted. The only time they would tell you to reign it in is if you were gaining to much weight or developing diabetes, but I didn’t have that with either one of my kids. My biggest go to with my first son was a frosty and baked potato from Wendy’s. With my second, I loved Mexican food. Smoking and drinking was the one thing that was an absolute no.
Did you work during / after pregnancy?
The generation today is a working mom one. When we found out we were pregnant, almost immediately I was like “okay, when am I going to give my notice.” I had a good job at the time so my husband was nervous I wasn’t going to work, but that’s just how it was back then. Then one day I passed out on the train , so I told him my doctor said it was a problem and I have to leave work. I officially quit when my husband didn’t want to keep picking me up from work every night in the city. Once, the babies came, he was all set to give me names for nanny’s. I said “are you kidding me, I’ll be working for nothing, I want to be home with my kids!” While being home , I milked everything and soaked up every minute of my pregnancy.
What was your birth process like?
Bobby ( first born ) was a week late , still wasn’t coming , then I had to be induced 7 days after my due date. They broke my water and I think I was in labor for about 12 hours. They gave me an epidural but they missed the nerve so I kept feeling the contractions. Then I stopped dilating, and had to do a c-section. That kid was difficult from day one, he never made it easy ! With Nick, my water broke , I still had to have a c-section but I wasn’t as nervous this time around. …. the night before my first born, we took pics to mark the last day of my pregnancy , my husband turned to me and said ” wow, can you believe that tonight will be the last night its just me and you.”
What has been your favorite part about being a mom?
It is the best legacy to leave. All of my teachings and all of my wisdom were not waisted. Things I have taught them and advised them..they have listened. Most people can say they didn’t amount to anything or that they didn’t have a thriving career. I had a very simple life, but I loved just being a mother. I hear them saying a lot of things that I know I said to them and they think they made it upon their own, and then I crack up. They have developed a lot of me and my husbands ways and it has been such a joy to watch.