I hope Friday’s post made you laugh. Gave you a sense of my humor, how other people’s lives can be in different places than my own but that everything still falls into place.
That being said I wanted to save this post for Monday because Mondays are more serious. They can handle a story that didn’t go as planned. Fridays are like the youngest sibling and they need another day to take some of the serious stuff.
Last Monday was a hurricane of a serious day.
Please allow me to walk you through it.
Monday morning was something of the normal routine. I went to teach my boot camp class and sweated myself into a state not suited for company. Upon realization of this I was already over at my friend Lauren**’s house. Poor girl has hung around me far to many times when I desperately need a shower.
Our friend came over to join us. We sat around Lauren’s kitchen table discussing things. As Friday’s post highlighted we have numerous pregnant ladies in our squadron. Oh and Lauren being one of them. So we sat around discussing the upcoming baby shower for another friend, the due dates, and Lauren’s growing impatience with her more and more prominent bump. Apparently it is not pleasant to be confined by a belly, removing your ability to bend over. Who knew? 🙂
In usual fashion as we talked all things baby, I asked a few rounds of questions, asking how all things go down with hospitals and labor, etc.
For example, if a mom goes into pre-term labor, the Army hospital that all Air Force ladies are sent to cannot handle us. They have a tiered system that designates where mom’s are directed based on their number of weeks pregnant. Lauren told us that if you are somewhere below 34 weeks you are medivaced (sp? helicopter-ed!) to Anchorage because they can handle the smallest and most care intensive babies. From , weeks are sent to the downtown Fairbanks hospital. Finally the Army hospital takes all 37 and up moms.
I find all the health care and hospital things in the military a bit overwhelming, so the idea of three different hospitals sounds rather scary. But I also have a strong fear of hospitals in general, so I figured if all the new mom’s knew where to go it was ok.
I headed home though, time to get my butt in the shower and become human again. The day progressed.
Around 6:30 my blood pressure was spiked. Hit like carnival game to ding the bell, I felt the on slot of adrenaline surge. I received a phone call notifying me that Lauren had gone into labor. They were on their way to the hospital.
Lauren was 34 weeks pregnant. I had hung out with her only hours ago. What had changed? How could she be in labor? I began sweating.
I have very little experience when pregnant women go into labor. Aside from when I jabbed my own mother to let me out, I’ve only been around one other woman. So between these two instances I calculated that Lauren could have the baby anywhere from 12hrs to 3 days. I know it’s a science that I could narrow it down like that.
Being the social retard that I am though, I thought the best thing to do would be to text my frantic and in labor friend to let her know I’m here if she needs me. You can kick me for my inability to think that this was not the priority for you 🙂
Her husband called me though which made me nervous. Husbands don’t call me. They call my husband. The eery conversation we had before about what happens with premature labor was actually a reality. Lauren was 6 weeks early and they would need to get her to the downtown Fairbanks hospital. Her baby, however, had other plans.
In the small amount of time that they were at the hospital Lauren had turbo charged her way through labor suppressing drugs and injections to the point that she was now 7cm. It was pretty close to go time.
Her husband had called to tell me that since they were stuck at the Army hospital, because it was unsafe to move her at this point, they would have to send their newborn baby to the Fairbanks hospital and have Lauren stay put. I was to be the post-baby support system, while her hubby accompanied their new son to the hospital.
Me being me though I showed up early. I brought snacks and magazine and looked like an idiot because I was prepared to set up camp. I was all “hey let’s have an early labor party! Here’s your party hat!”. Babies take days sometimes right?
About fifteen minutes after I showed up the midwife came in and declared it was show time. Apparently the baby was chomping at the bit to meet his parents. In a matter of minutes the midwife broke her water and looked around at her husband and I saying something. I believe the words she said were ‘its time to push”.
My eyes were probably bugging out of their head at this point, or by sheer grace of God he gave me the ability to mask my surprise, because I looked at Lauren and said “I guess its time to meet your new son.”
What I should have done from here is to leave the room, to sit outside and listen for the cries of their new baby like all the movies show. Because that’s the acceptable place for people who aren’t the mother or father of someone in that room.
But no I didn’t do that. As I said my social cues obviously weren’t programmed correctly. Instead I found myself moving next to Lauren’s other side, because obviously I didn’t elbow her husband out-of-the-way. (Thank God).
Her husband grabbed her hand, and I followed suit. In a matter of minutes the room was setup for a new life to join us. I held my friend’s hand through four pushes. Four. 4. Four people.
And then her son was born.
He was purple, and red and a real baby. I think there are very few times when I can say I’ve been over come by emotion. I literally felt the emotion grab hold of my throat. It’s a pretty big deal to watch a kid being born.
He cried. He breathed. He was here!
A few things… I was strictly an above shoulder observer. I saw when her son was officially born but literally his furry little head and shoulders were it. This is why I can tell you that I’m not terrified of having children. If I was even more socially retarded, I may have been leaning over the doctor’s shoulders, but apparently my parents did beat something into my head because I had the good sense to remain by Lauren’s side. Amen.
Two. My friend is a champion. If you ever need a look at someone who holds qualities like strength, composure, and grace this lady needs to be in your life. As scary as having your baby early can be, Lauren was TOGETHER. She was strong. It was like she was sending all her “everything is ok” energy to her baby, and that’s how everyone came out perfect.The doctor’s ran all the tests and cultures and there was no reason for her pre-term labor. My guess, and I’m obviously not a doctor, is it was stress. Even though my friend can have the weight of the world on her shoulders and you wouldn’t know it, I think she had way more than any pregnant lady should have to bear. So note to self, stop the eye rolling and cut these ladies a break. You never want to add stress onto a body that is already going through enough.
Third I can only hope and pray that anyone reading this doesn’t have to worry or deal with having your child early. Since Fairbanks has weird circumstances with hospitals I can tell you this was particularly hard. Lauren’s new baby was only with her for about an hour before he had to be moved to the downtown hospital. My stomach was hollow, and I can only imagine what that feeling was like for her. I know she was incredibly strong that night and the last week. Send her your prayers till her little guy gets to come home.
Finally, I am completely screwed on what I think labor is like. Lauren had her kid in under a couple of hours. In short, her labor went like this:
Huh. That feels weird.—> Huh I think I’m having contractions.—> Let’s go to the hospital.—> I’m dilated how much?—> Give me drugs—> Ok I’ll push—-> Oh Hey Baby!
The best and most wonderful thing is that her baby is doing great. He’s eating, he’s sleeping, he’s doing his baby thing. Like almost all early babies, he’s hung out in the NICU with his other premie friends, but soon (very soon, I hope) he’ll be on his way home.
And then for the first time they get to be a full complete family of four 🙂