As we drove to drop off our oldest daughter at our friend’s house, I called my midwife to tell her we were on our way. She asked the usual questions, like, “How far apart are your contractions?” and “How are you handling the pain?” She said she was out the door, that she would meet me at the hospital, and to get there as soon as possible. It was 6:30 am. I did my makeup in the car and joked some more. My husband wondered if maybe after all, we should have waited home a little bit longer.
At 7:15 am we arrived at the hospital parking lot.
“Do you want me to go get you a wheelchair?” Andy asked.
“Nah” I responded, “I can walk.”
We got in the elevator at the same time as an elderly couple. We said hello and made small talk. Soon I was squatting, still looking at them and smiling. “I am having a contraction,” I explained. I wonder if Andy was embarrassed.
As we walked to the “maternity” desk we saw the morning nurses gathered to get instructions for the day. One of them noticed us and approached me.
“Can I help you?”
“Yes!” I said happily, “I am having a baby today!”
She looked at me questionably, “Wait a second here.” She turned around and was gone.
I was squatting as a different nurse came along and told us to follow her to a small room where she would check my contractions and see how dilated I was. She handed me the hospital gown and instructed me to lie down and wait for her. Andy helped me change.
“Hey honey,” I asked, “Would you mind rubbing some peppermint oil in the small of my back? It is pretty sore and I think it might help relax that area.”
As I lay on the small bed waiting for the nurse, Andy and I were taking guesses at what time the baby would be born. Maybe it would be at noon, maybe early afternoon. The peppermint oil was working wonders and I continued to open up my flower and allow the baby to come “down” and “out.”
As soon as the nurse came back in I wished I had gone to the bathroom. She hooked me up to a monitor to check my contractions and there was no way getting out.
“Huh” she observed, “Your contractions are very close together and are really spiking. Are you in pain?”
“Well, yeah, it is painful, but I am okay.”
“You know” she continued, “I think I better check and see how dilated you are.”
I almost said no, that I would wait for my midwife to get there as she was on her way. Really, who wants to have multiple people checking one for dilatation? But she was not asking me or giving me a choice, she was coming at me with a gloved hand.
She felt around. “Well,” she exclaimed with big eyes, “I would say that you are about a 9!”
“What!” I squealed, not in delight, but in great surprise. I quickly glanced at Andy who was looking at me with just as much disbelief.
“Yes,” the nurse continued, “Maybe even a 10, and I can feel the baby’s head.”
She quickly took her hand out, “We were sure you would be here a long time, being so happy and talkative.” She took her gloves off and looked at me intently, “I will be right back, and whatever you do, do not push!” With that she turned on her heal and ran out the room where we heard her yelling and calling for backup.
Next: Surprised by Joy: Part 3
Road Marker 321
My Body Is Cooking a Baby: Part 1
My Body Is Cooking a Baby: Part 2
My Body Is Cooking a Baby: Part 3
Level 2 Ultrasound
Your Baby Might Have Down Syndrome
Surprised by Joy: Part 1