And Then There Was Ellyn… (part 3 of 4)

This time Bill and I weren’t so jovial when we got to the hospital. We had done this before and knew what we were in for. And my labor had started out much more intensely so I wasn’t in a very good mood. That didn’t bode well for Bill.

Once again my mother was there when we got there, but no one else. Betty had to work that day and everyone else was just on call waiting for an announcement by phone later in the day. This actually felt like a more normal birth and I was happy with that. I was anxious for baby Andrew (boy) or Ellyn (girl) to make an appearance as soon as possible. I got settled into a room while things progressed.

Again, things did not go fast. Not fast at all.

The nurse kept checking me and it was slow. I was given IV Pitocin to speed things up. And boy did it do that! Soon the contractions were intense and there was little time between them. I was a trooper at first and then it began to get the best of me. I was wearing down fast.

At one point my sister had arrived and came back to see me in the labor room. Unfortunately, it was a most inopportune time and she never made it in the door. I was suddenly having an intense contraction that made me tense up, all while feeling like I would throw up and blow up at the same time. Surely I was going to implode and as I wailed in pain, there was my sister at the door. I waved frantically for her to go away – which scared her so badly that she left altogether. She doesn’t have the stomach for such things and decided to go home to wait for further news.

This same thing repeated over and over until I began to feel very weak. All of a sudden I retreated into myself. The pain was intense but I let it overtake me. I just couldn’t fully fight it and I wanted it to take me away. I felt like whatever that force is that makes you feel alive – it was slipping away. I was physically aware that it was leaving me.

About that time, the doctor came in to check on me. He had an un-readable look on his face so I watched him as he left the room. Right outside, in the hallway, I could see him talking to the nurse. “We have to get that baby out of there… NOW!” he said.

The nurse came in and cranked up the Pitocin. My contractions got harder and had no time in between. I was in agony. Bill wanted to leave the room for a break and I wouldn’t let him. They had put both rails up on the sides of my bed to keep me contained and Bill put his hand on the rail beside me. I grabbed his hand in both of mine and squeezed as hard as I could – pinning his fingers to the rail – to intentionally hurt him. I was so fierce he couldn’t break loose.

“If you ever do this to me again, I will kill you,” I hissed. He looked at me in fear until I released my grip. Then he backed up several steps from the bed, shaking his hand in disbelief.

Thankfully, things didn’t go on much longer. Soon I was ready to go to delivery and they started to roll my bed out of the room. I, in an effort not to scream bloody murder, was saying WHOOOAAAA!!!! over and over. I was also holding onto the siderails of the bed with all my might and they wanted me to move my hands to get through the door. I could barely let go long enough to do that, so I just kept hollering WHOAAA! louder and louder and was told to calm down.

Finally we were in delivery and I could PUSH. That, of course, is when the real work gets done. My loud “WHOAAs!” switched to very loud grunting, which again embarrassed everyone but me. And again I was told to calm down.

Good Lord – did these people not know what was happening? I am a mild-mannered person in a dire situation here. I can’t help my gut reaction to having a baby with no pain meds. I WANT to scream at the top of my lungs and they don’t like that I’m just making animal noises instead. Bloody H*ll, what more can I do?

With Bill on one side of me and a nurse on the other, they raise my head and upper back to push harder. The doctor reaches up to the top of my belly to help with a downward motion. Suddenly he looks at me in shock and says, “that baby is still clear up under your ribs but is crowning. You must be having twins again.”

I think Bill almost fainted but I kept pushing. “As long as one is a girl, I don’t care,” I grunted.

With that, the doctor sent the nurse out of the room for a monitor so they could check for more than one heartbeat.

But before she came back, my daughter was born.

“My God,” said Dr. Lifer. “This baby must weigh a good 11 pounds!”

“Is there another one?” I asked.

“No, just this one big one,” he replied. “And it’s a girl.”

I fell back onto the bed and cried with relief. It was one baby.

And it was a girl.

My dream had come true.

girl

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