However, rarely in life do you get the opportunity to be on the outside looking in. You never wonder what it may feel like to be the dad-to-be because the focus is always on the mom to be...and lets face it our job is definitely the hard one. But, this weekend...I caught a glimpse of the helplessness that they must feel. When you want so bad to take the pain away from someone you love, but there is nothing you can do but just be there, and comfort them, and let them know that everything is going to be okay.
My sister had her sweet baby girl this weekend...
this is a birth story from my recount of that night.
I got a text at work about 12pm "3 centimeters dialated and 50% effaced" Woo hoo I thought...maybe this weekend we will have a baby. I couldn't wait to meet my new niece...my sisters last baby, and first daughter. I called her when i got off work to express how excited i was, and how she'd better call me when she felt something happening because I didn't want to miss it. Not to mention I wanted so bad to shoot the birth with my new camera. She assured me she would, and I went about my day.
Fast forward to about 9pm...she called me and prefaced her statement with "don't get too excited but..." (ofcourse I was excited!) But, i've been having contractions every 15 min or so. I told her she should call her doctor seeing as this was her 4th baby, and just let her know incase things move fast. I also told her if she had a couple more in the next hour to call me and I would jump in my car and get to her (an hour in a half away).
30 min later...I got the call! I packed myself and the three girls so fast, sent Dave to gas up the car, and headed straight to her.
We got there right about 12am. The girls were excited...too excited to sleep so we all sat in the living room joking, laughing, admiring her beautiful round belly that was about to disappear.
We put the girls to bed and headed to the hospital where she checked into triage to be monitored. My brother in law and I sat impatiently in the waiting room...me sprawled out on three cold, cracked leather waiting room chairs while he squinted in the dim hospital light trying to cure the boredom with a game of angry birds.
2 hours later... she emerged from triage (in tears) "they are sending me home". I assured her..."Hannah may not be coming right now but, she was definitely in labor, and would be coming soon.
Why they would send a fourth timer with fast deliveries home is beyond me but, we went home. By this time my mother who drove 2 1/2 hours had made it in town too to be with her. I was so happy we were all together, and it felt good to "take care of my baby sister".
We got to her house...made pallets on the floor as close to her as we could and tried to sleep. It was that uncomfortable sleep...where you know you are going to have to get up soon so you really don't ever relax, and it was only an hour or so later that she woke my mom and I up in horrible pain. She was in tears, trying so hard to get comfortable so she could endure the contractions she knew were coming, but nothing helped.
We started timing them. My mom trying to figure out her timer on her unsmart phone, and me fumbling in the dark trying to set mine. We were so tired it took us 3 contractions to figure the math out between each one to get an accurate estimate. We rubbed her back, helped her into different positions, assured her that she was doing awesome, and that it was going to be okay. I remember at one time we both followed her to the bathroom like lost puppies only for her to yell at us to "please, get out!" Girlfriend, wanted to potty in peace. (I don't blame her). It reminded me of those old timey movies where the husbands are pacing outside a locked door, and the women are holding hot towels to the expectant mothers head, rewarming pots of water waiting for the baby to be born. It only took about 45 minutes for me to look at my Mom and tell her "i think we should go". I could tell they were getting closer together too fast. She whispered into my brother in laws ear that we were headed back to the hospital, and that she would call him.
I think she anticipated a couple more hours, and I think he was so delerious from lack of sleep that he just agreed.
My Mom, asked if she had time for coffee and my sister shook her head between contractions "uh huh". I went ahead and got her in the car...shoved her pink zebra labor bag in the trunk, and we waited for my mom to hop in the driver seat so we could be on our way. She ran out of the house about 45 seconds later...full cup of coffee that she apparantly filled by skipping the pot and just holding the cup under the java stream. We were on our way , the hospital a whole 25 minutes away, and my sister was definitely showing signs of severe uncomfortableness. To say the least it was a very "eventful" ride to the hospital. I remember locking eyes with my Mom in the rearview mirror as my sister was wailing in pain,begging for us to run red lights, and reminding us of her unrelenting fear of delivering without an epidural. She was hot, then cold. At one time I thought her head might spin when she yelled to Mom to "turn off the seat warmer!!!!".
It felt like the longest 25 minutes ever! I was keeping careful watch of the glowing green numbers above the speedometer calculating the time between each pain, and by the time we screeched into the ER they were two minutes apart.
I have never in my life seen a pregnant woman run so fast! She jumped out of the car...my mom took off to park. I jumped out after her, and let the ER attendant know that #1 it was her 4th baby, and #2 her contractions were coming one right after the other....
It gets a little fuzzy here... probably more for my sissy than me, but there was yelling....lots and lots of yelling. There was sitting down, then standing up, then pacing for what felt like 10 minutes, although it was only seconds. At her hospital you have to wait for L&D to come get you. So here we are in the ER waiting room (which was empty, thank God) She's yelling at the top of her lungs for them to PLEASE HURRY! The poor ER lady that only handles check ins comes around the corner with a wheel chair in hand...eyes as big as a half dollar, trying her hardest to comfort her that someone was coming to get her. At this point I'm on the verge of tears...you know, like the kind you get at the pediatricians office when you know your baby has to get 4 shots, and you can do nothing about it. I took a quick second to pray..."dear God, please don't let me lose it. Please let me be strong for her. She can't see me cry! Amen" I took a deep breath....wheeled that wheel chair like it was my life's purpose, and headed as close to the "special mommy door" as I could, waiting for a nurse to come get us. Oh, and the nurse....the one that was supposed to come get us....she comes walking down the hall, slow as you can possibly imagine, maybe even in slow motion. She's calm as can be, no sense of urgency, and just mozies her way down the hallway. I could've rung her neck. I'm pushing my sister pass the nurses station, and the moment I will never forget...ever! Is her yelling at the top of her lungs...."I HAVE TO POOP!" After praying not to cry, it took everything in me not to laugh. I glanced over at the nurses at the station and they all had huge smiles on their faces...trying hard not to laugh either. (umm, yeah, this would be the point in labor where you have to push, but having only epidural births in this family...i don't think she had any idea..as far as she was concerned a big ol' poop is what was ailing her at that moment)
I wheel her into delivery room #2 with 2 sweet, nurses following right behind us. She's begging for an epidural...she would have got on her knees if she didn't have a basketball in her way. The next minute there was clothes flying all over the place, I was catching shoes, and pants...her shirt. She jumped in the bed (i think hoping for them to say she was a 7 or so, so she could get her epi), but I knew it was really close. They calmed her down a bit, checked her, and said..."well savannah, you are complete. We can try and get through a bag of iv fluids, and call the anesthesiologist, but more than likely this baby is going to decide for us that she is ready to come." "so you can wait, or you can push a couple of times, and it will be over" She looked at me with the most terrified eyes, and said two things... "I can't do this!" and "call daniel!" I assured her she COULD do it, and did as I was told and hurried to my phone to call her husband. I have no idea what I told him...I know that I said she was complete, and he needed to hurry, and I think I hung up?
There was no time for anything....buttoning gowns, modesty, stir ups, doctor masks, iv's...nothing. I found myself smack in the middle of the most amazing miracle I may ever witness in my life other than my own children's births. I encouraged her, helped hold her leg, coached her to push, and within minutes the most beautiful, black haired,pouty pink lipped, tiny baby girl slipped out of my sisters body and into our world. There was not even any time for happy tears...just shock, relief, and bewilderment. I remember glancing quickly between the baby's legs to make sure there where no protruding parts, and running to grab my camera as quickly as I could realizing my dream of "shooting the birth" was a no go. I managed to snap a few photos of her first moments with her new baby girl.
I was given the honor of cutting her cord....what woman gets to do that, and I quickly composed myself enough to run to the waiting room to fetch my mother, and regretfully inform her that she missed the birth while parking the car. (haha) Then I filled her in and we spent the next couple of hours cuddling our newest addition.
She's precious. She holds a special little place in my heart.....
I can't get through this post without the rest of these pictures, because I think they tell a story I don't have to write. She has 3 big brothers. They adore her! It truly was a special day. Congratulations sissy! I love you!