This is the story of my high school friend, April. Thanks for sharing it with us!
12:30 am. I got out of bed, sure this was it, wary I could also be making a mistake, knowing people would have to be notified and the decision to call them rested upon my ability to “know”.
I filled the bathtub with hot water and bubbles, tried to time the contractions, continued to debate the moment in my mind, easily breathing through each contraction, praying the Lord would let me know when it was time to call, finally deciding to call Andrew, knowing he'd never make it on time, knowing there was nothing he could do for me but come quickly and safe. No answer. Left a message. I knew this was it, this was labor, this was now. I called Amy.
I got out of the tub and put on a black t-shirt and a bathrobe. I went downstairs to get the bedroom ready with towels, sheets, drop-cloth and other things I was to have prepared for my delivery but I was finding it hard to work through contractions, and I was alone. I called Andrew again. Not panicking, just needing to know that he knew. I sat on the stairs and thought about who to call. Sharon came to mind and stayed. I knew she'd take care of me. I knew she'd be/do for me what I could not be/do for myself. I called, woke her up, at 2:30am. She came right over looking put together as usual and went right to work making beds, warming hand towels, massaging and encouraging through contractions, calling Amy to tell her it was time; calling Andrew, still no answer.
I got back in the tub. Sharon drained the water and refilled it for me, continued to give massages, applied pressure to my lower back. We told stories. We laughed. We woke up Preston and told him to go back to sleep. He told us not too laugh so loud.
3:30am. Amy arrived. Karin arrived. Amy, calm, full of positive empowering energy. Quiet. Busied herself about the home or sat on the toilet seat and observed. I was asked if I wanted to get out of the tub. No. I was in my happy place. The tub was drained, the bubbles rinsed out, clean water added. Luke warm. Bummer.
4:35am. The contractions became more intense. They were close together. Closer then I'd ever had them. My body wanted to push. I'd never experienced that before. That feeling of rippling muscle, urgent more than painful. I could see my belly willing. I'd never been so aware of myself. So aware of my body. I told Amy I felt like pushing. She said to go ahead. I asked Amy to check me, I told her she'd need to break the bag. She seemed hesitant but did so and replied that I should withhold pushing, that the baby was not engaged yet. I told her again to break the bag. Why wouldn't she break the bag, I asked. I was surrounded by people but nobody was doing anything. Nobody was checking my charts. Nobody was watching the monitors. Nobody was finding veins to poke or checking for dilation. Nobody was getting ready. Nobody was telling me what to do, when to push, how to hold onto my legs, how to breathe, how and when to have this baby, and I panicked. All of a sudden, I didn't know what to do. I knew it was time but I was all alone. It was just me and my body and I could see Amy sitting on the toilet seat and I could sense Karin taking notes and I could feel Sharon's hands supporting my head and could hear her praying for angels to be with me and telling me she loved me and that I was doing a good job and I trusted those angels to be there and heard Andrew saying that he loved me and felt that he was there as I tried to push with my body and work with my body and was afraid and scared and naive and I cried and I've never cried during labor before and I've never panicked before or lost control and it scared me. It scared me.
And then the bag was delivered and I told Amy to break it and I could feel the thickness of the bag and I was aware of it breaking and then my baby crowned, and then my baby was delivered and then she was placed with me and it was all over and the pain was gone and the fear was gone and I was not alone but was completely grateful and at peace. And Marie gave a little cry and fell asleep in my arms and it was perfect. And I had done it. Me and my angels. And they say you have to reach that rock and a hard place - that point of no return - and I thought I'd reached it before, like three times before, but I'd always had options, options such as an epidural for the pain or somebody else getting that baby here if you can't, and when you choose to have a baby at home, you don't have any options. You are it. And you come to realize that you can, and that you make it a beautiful, awesome thing. At least that's how it was for me, anyway. Beautiful, and awesome. Marie Millward, born 4:51 am, May 12th, 2009.
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