After many nights of wondering, “Is *this* it?” and “Could *this* be it?”, it was finally time…
I had been resting most of the evening, just not feeling well. I finally decided to get up and take a shower around 10PM. I got out of the shower, then snuggled back in bed. I felt a sharp pain in my stomach, then nothing… Literally, nothing. I walked out to the living room, where Adrian was trying to get Maggie to fall asleep, and told him that I was worried. After the sharp pain, I hadn’t felt the baby move. He looked around for our fetal doppler, while I tried not to panic. When, at last, he found it, we were very relieved to hear the “swoosh swoosh” of our baby’s heartbeat. Adrian told me to try to get some sleep. I told him that I first wanted to put on some make-up. He told me to skip the make-up and to get to bed. I told him that I *had* to put on my make-up. He rolled his eyes at my weirdness, and went back out to the living room to carry Maggie to her crib and then watch a movie.
While putting on my make-up, I felt a contraction…a big contraction. I walked out to the living room and told Adrian that we needed to go to the hospital. He looked at me like I had gone crazy and told me to just try to rest. Thinking that he was right, I walked back into the bathroom to put my make-up away. As I was getting ready to climb back into bed, another contraction hit. After it passed, I walked out to the living room, again, and told Adrian that I was serious…we needed to go to the hospital. Looking at my face, he must’ve known. He walked downstairs to wake Ike up, then went outside to start the truck. I grabbed my hospital bag. At the front door, Adrian helped me get my boots on as another contraction hit. “You don’t want socks?” he asked. Socks?!! No, I didn’t want socks. I didn’t want boots, either, but the snow would surely be cold on my bare feet! Walking to the truck, I had another contraction. I had to stop walking. Adrian encouraged me, “Umm… Get in the truck. I don’t want to deliver our baby in our driveway.” (That did not sound like fun, but I couldn’t walk…so I was willing to take a chance.) As soon as the contraction passed, I got into the truck and we were on our way. Four short miles, and two contractions later, and we were at the hospital.
Once at the hospital, we weren’t sure where to go. Adrain parked in front of the emergency room doors and asked the ladies at the front desk where to go. They told him that he was in the right place. He got me out of the truck and walked me in, then went to park the truck. I checked myself in, and worried that I might have the baby right in the emergency room entrance. Adrian finally came back in, carrying our bags, and the front desk ladies directed us to labor and delivery. They asked if I could walk. I was between contractions, so I felt confident that I could walk. We walked about 5 steps before I had to stop. Adrian asked if I wanted a wheelchair. I assured him that I would make it. (It was only about another mile and a half, and two turns, to labor and delivery.) After making it another 10 steps, and needing to stop, Adrian didn’t give me a choice. He leaned me against a waiting room chair and went to find a wheelchair. The ladies at the front desk just watched. After finding a wheelchair, Adrian helped me to sit down, and we were on our way…except that Adrian had to stop every few feet to readjust our bags. Not once did the ladies at the front desk offer to help…they just watched. Every door along the way was shut, and none of the door buttons worked, so Adrian had to manage the wheelchair, the bags, and the door. Even the nurses in labor and deliver, after we were finally buzzed in, didn’t help. They told us which room to go in, and we were left on our own. When the nurse finally came in, she gave me a gown and asked a few basic questions. Adrian told her that I needed antibiotics right away, because I was strep b positive. She hollered out to another nurse, but they didn’t quite know what to do, as my regular doctor was out on sick leave.
In the room, I asked if I could just get the gown on in the room. (Apparently, my modesty was not a concern at that moment.) The nurse said I could, so I stripped down to my birthday suit and tried to figure out the million snaps on the gown. (It was one big piece of fabric, with lots of snaps and ties, that made absolutely no sense to me!) Adrian asked the nurse how to snap it and she told him that the snaps go together. (Really? Thanks for the tip!) Finally dressed (well, kinda’) in the gown, I laid down and the nurse hooked up the monitors. She checked me and said, “Well, the good news is that you have a little bit of cervix left.” I was dilated to 9 centimeters. No time for an epidural to slow things down so I could get antibiotics. Another contraction hit before I could ask her what the plan was. Apparently, there was no plan. When the contraction ended, I told Adrian to please make me not push… I wanted antibiotics. (We had a baby born, who contracted strep b meningitis. Malakai is healthy now, but it was a long and scary road.) As soon as another contraction hit, though, I told the nurse that my body was pushing against my will. When that contraction ended, I reminded Adrian to not let me push. (Because, between contractions, I was very level-headed and in control. During contractions, I lost my mind!) Another contraction started and I couldn’t stop myself. I pushed. The lab technician was trying to take blood, the labor and delivery nurse was trying to put in an IV, and the on-call doctor was trying to put on gloves. Still, I pushed. And….BAM! Baby Esthyr joined the world at 11:55PM.
Nineteen minutes after getting to the hospital, the on-call doctor introduced herself to me and handed me my wee baby girl.
Psalm 139: 13-16
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.