Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 165: Ainsley, Part 6

People tend to raise their eyebrows at me and look skeptical when I say the following sentence, but I want to assure you that I mean it as much as I can mean anything: I absolutely love doing the whole labor and delivery thing with my husband.

Go ahead and scoff, but I think it is one of the funnest, coolest things we've ever gotten to do as a couple, and--since we've gone through this a few times now--it just gets better each time. We are a perfect match in this aspect of our marriage. An ideal team. If Labor was a sport, we could go for the gold. My Spouse knows exactly how to support and comfort me in a way that helps things to move forward and help me keep my cool. He knows when to gently remind me to open my eyes, and when to get in my face and mirror breathe with me. He knows just where to push on my back during a contraction, and when to make me laugh. And every time I look at him, I can see it in his eyes: he knows I can do this, and he is right there with me. I.love.it.

So. I was in the shower, full blast, and the Spouse was there with me (in his swimsuit, thanks) and we were doing just great. He would help me during contractions and then we'd joke and laugh in between. That's something that I love especially--laughing together and being so excited to meet this new little person. Whoever they are.

I remember, at one point, the Spouse saying "Becca--I think these contractions are closer than 5 minutes apart" and I said "No. They're erratic. Wayne said not to call back until they were consistently less than 5 minutes apart or my water broke."

The hot water held out for an entire hour, and then I stepped out of the shower and said that I thought it was time to call my doula and see where she was, and then to call our neighbor and tell her to come over and watch our other kids. The Spouse got dressed and called my doula while he pulled a few last minute things together.

I was in the family room, draped over my exercise ball and feeling very relaxed. I knew things were going great so far, and was absolutely thrilled at the way this birth was going. Then, suddenly, I heard a little "pop!"... and my water broke. I couldn't contain a huge grin--this was a sure fire ticket to Labor and Delivery! There would be no sending me home, now!! I called out that we should call Wayne and tell him we were on our way.

Then, as the next contraction descended, I heard a faint echo of my the obstetrician's voice at my last exam saying "Wow. Your water is never going to break on it's own." But it just had. And at that moment, I looked up at the Spouse, who was waiting for Wayne to pick up, and he looked down at me. And I swore. Because, in that instant I knew--we had missed our window. We had waited too long.

Wayne picked up and the phone was passed to me. I stood up to speak and, in a moment that struck me as too sitcom to be real, I said "I need to push." The voice that came back, calmly, said "Now, ma'am. These things take time." Shaking a bit, "No, sir. I need to hang up so I can call 911. I need to push." Irritated now, Wayne said "Okay. Call 911. But don't get off the phone with me." At which point, with my teeth clenched I said "I.only.have.one.phone. I need to HANG UP so I can CALL 9.1.1." I threw the phone back to my sweetheart and said "Call 911." He held the phone in his hand and looked at me blankely. "9.1.1. CALL.IT." I ordered as I clutched the back of the couch and slowly moved around to lay on it.

I wasn't even sure where to lay. The couch? Should I get my feet up? Was this going to be messy? Maybe the tub would be better. I could hear that we had 911 dispatch on the phone. I remember my Spouse asking if he should get towels, and an affirmative answer.

As he left the room to go get the towels and I lay there on the couch, it began to truly dawn on me. I wasn't going to make it to Presbyterian Hospital. I wasn't going to give birth in a big suite with nurses and a warming bed. I was going to give birth right here. On my couch. And it was all so "Evening News" that I laughed out loud. But at least the paramedics would be there. Maybe they liked delivering babies. I'll bet they didn't get that many chances to do it. I clenched my eyes and muttered the most fervent prayer of my life: "Oh, Heavenly Father, it's You and me now. Stay with me." That was all I could think to pray.

The Spouse came back into the room and I could here him giving dispatch our information. Again. At this point, I was simply riding each contraction like a wave. I could feel the rise and fall. And I knew that the paramedics better hurry up a bit so, in between contractions, I gasped "We need an ambulance!" He relayed that information to the dispatch and then she spoke these words: "Oh, sir, an ambulance is on the way. I'm here to help you deliver this baby."


jani said...

Seriously, I'm about to cry.... because this is ALL TO REAL TO ME!!!

Denise said...

ooooh Becca- what a ride! I am loving this story!

Maree said...

AAAAAHHHHHHHhhhhhhh! You left off THERE?!! I haven't heard this story before!!! Waiting anxiously for the next installment.

RaT Babies said...

You seem to have missed the part about a certain Skype conversation with someone half way around the world?!