Andy and I barely had time to look at each other in incredulity. Was this really happening? We were giggling with excitement and nervousness, much like small children do when they get to ride a roller coaster for the first time. But before we could say anything at all, a swarm of nurses came rushing into the room.
They wheeled my bed to the delivery room. Andy following the busy workers who handed him a stack of papers and instructed him to sign them now!
I transferred myself to the delivery bed, while the nurses held their breaths. Once I was lying down, they begged me to breathe and wait for my midwife, who had just parked her car and would be there in just a few minutes. I told them I was fine, I just needed to go to the bathroom.
“Oh honey” one of the nurses said, “You do not have to go to the bathroom, that is just your baby, and it wants to come out!”
Kim, my midwife, ran into the room already scrubbed. She washed her hands, slipped her gloves on and got to work. I was ready to push she said. I told her I didn’t think so, but I really needed to go to the bathroom. She smiled. The nurses chuckled. “You don’t have to go to the bathroom” Kim said, just like the nurses had before, “This baby is ready to come out and you want to push!” So we found the most comfortable position for me, Kim broke my water to avoid getting splashed and said, “Whenever you are ready.”
There were many people in the room; Andy, Kim, nurses, more nurses, and even some students. I guessed Andy had signed a consent to have the students present. And here we were, in a hospital room, with about 15 people, and 13 of them strangers. All of them looking at my open flower in all its glory. I did find it amusing how they were all looking at me between my legs, with smiles on their faces, because they were about to witness the miracle of birth. So I pushed.
On my third push I felt excruciating pain. My skin ripping apart as my baby’s head was coming out. Kim tried to help, but there was nothing she could do.
“Oh Lord Jesus please help me!” I screamed.
I thought I saw a student glance at me and chuckle. But just as soon as I had screamed my desperate prayer, “The head is out!” Kim exclaimed. Nurses gathered with bulb syringes as they sucked on a little nose and mouth. I knew to wait until they checked to make sure the umbilical cord was not wrapped around the head.
“Can I push again?” I asked,
“Yes” Kim replied, “Do you want to grab her head and guide her to you?
“No! That is your job!” Was my quick answer.
In the next 2 pushes she was out. Just like that. Kim lifted her up and I saw all the faces around me smiling, marveling and awing. It was 8:22 am. I looked at Andy, who held my hand and had tears in his eyes. He gently kissed me and whispered in my ear, “I have been surprised by joy.”
Next: Surprised by Fear
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
Surprised by Joy: Part 2