The Amazing Arrival of Elizabeth Clare
It’s been three weeks since I’ve written. It’s also been three weeks since I’ve slept… but look at that little face. She is worth every waking minute.
The morning when I wrote my last post, Ellie & I drove back to the Lake for my 39 week appointment. Melissa, my midwife, checked me and said that I was 3 cm which was pretty exciting for me because in my last pregnancy I went from 0 to 10 in five hours. That Ellie Girl… she’s always been fast & furious. Lots of women hang out for weeks at 3 cm, but when I left the office something felt different.
On Thursday morning, I woke up early with contractions. By mid-morning, they were coming at regular intervals but still too far apart & not painful enough to get excited. By dinner time they had spaced out, so I took a bath and went to bed early. Two hours later, I was awake. Wide awake. Wide awake clinging to the side of the bed. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
“Hey, Babe,” I said. ”Game on.”
I called the midwife and she tried to discern over the telephone if I was in labor. ”Sounds like you should come in and we can at least check you. And if not, you can always stay at your friend’s house.”
The 45 mile drive to the hospital was… uncomfortable. Coach had party tunes jamming on the radio, Ellie was half asleep but curious in the backseat, and I was just trying not to punch out the windows with every pinch of my uterus. Nine contractions later, we arrived at the hospital. My friend Amy arrived moments later to take Ellie to her house and with the amount of laughing & smiles between the two of us, there wasn’t a soul in scrubs that actually believed I was in labor.
I walked to the maternity floor and gave a cheerful wave & hello to the staff. I *knew* that I was in labor… REAL labor and there was nothing more satisfying to my ears than the announcement from the nurse: ”She’s a seven.” Seven!? Woohoo. The nurses started moving quickly and I interrupted their activity to remind them that there wouldn’t be an epidural. Seconds later, my midwife arrived and we set the mood. She dimmed the lights, ran a bath, and I got into a zone to deal with the pain.
The moment that I was ready to give up, I knew that I had made it to transition. And it may sound corny, but with each painful contraction I steadied myself by imagining myself clinging to the robe of Jesus. I was holding on so tight I could feel the texture of his garment. It was a great comfort to me…. that and the nurse squeezing my hips. Jesus & Jaime… my birthing sidekicks.
There was no counting, no demands to breathe… just quiet words of encouragement in a dimly lit room. And then finally, she was here.
And she’s amazing.