As I lay there listening to my husband’s squeaky shoes, the computer equipment in my room began to malfunction and make this terrible and highly annoying beeping sound. So that meant the computer techs were in and out for a brief while. Thankfully, I was starting to head into the pregnancy zone- that point where you almost go inside yourself and begin to focus on letting your body do what God made it to do. I remember that a lot of the focal point and breathing stuff wasn’t exactly working for me, but there was one image that was helpful as I learned to deal with the contractions, and that was of the ocean. I tried to picture the contractions as big waves, and as cheesy as it sounds, it did help. What helped more than anything, however, was the prayer going on for me at the time. I knew my husband and my parents were praying (my dad was in the waiting room) and that my brother and sister-in-law were likely praying, as well as friends of Will and I, coworkers, and friends of my parents. I could feel the prayer cover and that is when God really blessed me with an extra dose of the “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:6). Which was good because of what the doctor was going to say to me in just a short while.
At this point, it was about 8pm and I had been stuck at around 8 or 9 centimeters for a while. My water had already been broken earlier by the doctor in an effort to get things moving along, so that wasn’t an issue. My doctor came in and told me that, basically, there was a bit of the cervical lip that wasn’t budging and that if I wasn’t able to fully dilate soon, we may have to do a c-section. I looked at him and said, “Okay. We’ll do whatever we have to do to get our baby here”. The Lord had really been working on me because, although hearing the word “c-section” made me feel somewhat apprehensive, the fear I had felt earlier was gone. My family began praying even harder (if that’s possible) and I remember lying there wondering what was going to happen but not doubting that my little girl would arrive safely.
At that point, one of my heroes, the baby nurse Thayle, came in to start prepping for the baby’s arrival. When she heard about the stalled dilation, she told me she remembered a position she had been taught that often could help with a cervical lip. She had me lay on my side with the knee of the top leg bent and crossed over the other leg, which ironically, is how I often sleep at night. Literally, within minutes of assuming this position, I had dilated fully and was heading into transition (the bridge between dilating and delivering). Praise God for Thayle! God used her to prevent a c-section, of this I have no doubt.
I let the nurse know I felt ready to push, and everyone rushed into action. But wait- there was a stirrup (those terrible things for your feet to go in, in case you were wondering) missing from the bed, so a search began for another stirrup. A few rooms were searched before they found one, and meanwhile, I heard one lady screaming with all she had. Not so confidence producing, and a definite advertisement for the need for a local birth center, but that is another post!). After what seemed like forever, they returned with a stirrup, and I began to push. As the doctor stood ready to catch the baby, he looked at me and said, “Let’s Git R’ Done.” Seriously. No joke. And then he began to carry on a casual conversation with my nurse.
Which, looking back, was a blessing, because it allowed Will to coach me through the pushing, and it was a beautiful thing to do that with him. At that point, despite the hotspot the epidural had produced, it had taken effect enough to make the pushing as pain-free as it could probably be. And after about 20 minutes of pushing with my husband by my side, after a 14-hour labor, Eila Grace Adair entered the world at 11:15pm.
She cried a beautiful, healthy cry, and when she was cleaned up and put on the scale to be weighed, the scale showed us what we already knew. Weighing in at 7.77 lbs, she was complete and perfect. She was 20 inches long, and her Apgars were perfect.
And it (the long labor, the malfunctioning room, the pain)- all of it, was worth it.