A teenage birth

October 28,2009
Talia's Blog
Talia Rivera( )

Talia Rivera is a 33-year-old mother of two. As Executive Director of Villages without Walls, she works with high-risk gang members in Boston. [Read more]

A sharp and unbearable pain suddenly pierced my side. "OUCH!" I yelled. It was early in June, starting to feel like summer. Like any other teenager, I was hanging out at the playground, leaning against a fence. "What’s wrong," asked my friend, Julie. "I don’t know," I said, innocently. I was seventeen years old and nine months pregnant. I had heard rumors of how painful child birth would be. But really, I didn’t know what to expect. Every few minutes, I’d clench my teeth until the pain settled down. Julie and I walked a quarter of a mile to a hospital. At the emergency room, a doctor immediately brought me into an exam room. "Get undressed and put on this gown," he said. He told me to lie back on the examination table. I did. He told me to spread my legs wide. I did. He inserted two of his fingers into my vagina. "Your cervix is dilating," he said. "We will need to break your water." The midwife used a small hook to pierce what the doctor called an "amniotic sack." Quickly, I was moved to the delivery unit. I was like a child, confused and overwhelmed by the many pieces of a puzzle. I didn't know which pieces to join next. As if helping that child, the doctor said, "Talia, now push." I pushed. Sweat dripped from my forehead. I screamed. "Push," the doctored encouraged me. "I can’t!" I cried. I was exhausted. "Push," he said. I pushed again. Then she screeched. I lifted my head to see her. She was tiny, five pounds and five ounces. I rested my head on the pillow, completely numb, and fell asleep. Like an exhausted child waiting to be tucked-in.