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September 9, 2011 / sharoncopy

Fifth (and last) time in labor….

Maybe it’s because we waiting 6 years to have child # 6 (also known now as Amy Lynn) after having five kids in five years previous to that, but this time the labor took longer. Out of practice, I suppose.

Booth Maternity had closed down by then, and Dee had moved out of state, so I found another midwife group, which also met on City Line Ave but the delivery had to be in Center City at Pennsylvania Hospital. We only drove to PA Hospital (America’s first hospital – happily, the equipment has been updated. 🙂 ) once.

On the big day, we contacted the babysitter Karen Krispin who lived a few blocks away. She came over around 7 a.m. and we headed down to the hospital. Well, no excitement this time. No progress. “All we could do was to sit, sit, sit, sit, and we did not like it, not one little bit.” Finally after about 4 or 5 hours the midwives suggested strongly that we should go home. I didn’t quite agree, but wasn’t sure what to do. We went home and I laid up in the bedroom having contractions all afternoon, checking to see if they were getting close enough together or not. It was a miserable afternoon.

Around 6:30 pm things were picking up again and I sent a message with one of the kids to send Dennis upstairs. He had just finished  changing a tire on our car. I couldn’t get hold of Karen because her line was busy so I told David to go across the street to get the neighbor as Plan B. There was a complete page of directions specifying whom to call and why and when for every possible situation. The kids were 11, 9, 7, 7, and nearly 6 then but I still wouldn’t leave them alone since they were all under 12.

The neighbor hurried in and we walked out about 7:15 pm or so (funny how I don’t remember exactly by the 5th time around….) Another neighbor found it hilarious that he had just seen Dennis finish with the tire and then out we went, obviously in labor. What if!

It had been an all day labor and for the first time I was in no mood for joking around between contractions. I was very quiet as Dennis made his way quickly down the Schuylkill to the Vine St exit. He said, “Are you okay?”

I replied, “Just get there.”

We pulled up onto the street by the correct entrance and he put the flashers on to help me inside, and then go to the parking structure and park (a block away.) We walked inside and it was dim and empty. Within a contraction or two there in the lobby (and they were only about a minute apart by now) the midwife JeriLynn rushed in and helped me over to the elevator. Why no wheelchair, I wondered? The one time I’m about to have the baby I have to walk all this way? By the time we were in the elevator I had stated, “I feel a need to push.”

“Don’t push!” Jerilyn exclaimed. “Let’s get you upstairs first. We made it to the elevator and she pushed the button for floor #8. Someone walked in after us and pushed the button for floor #4. I felt like saying, “so, you want to watch this birth, or something?” When we got to the 8th floor, I remember thinking that this was the first time I had ever had to walk while having contractions. Previously I had always been able to stop and wait before moving again. But I did not want to have the baby on the floor in the hallway, so I made myself walk. Step, step, step, Lord help me, step step step. We made it into the room and as the contraction ended I whipped off my jumper and she seemed surprised that I wasn’t wearing anything underneath. Well, what would have been the point of wearing other clothing, hmmmmm? I laid down on the big double bed in the birthing suite, and Jerilyn said that she would be right back, she was just going to change. I thought about Laura (see Labor #3) and said, “no, you’d better not!” The nurse arrived, having been detained crossing the bridge from New Jersey because of a U2 concert. Dennis rushed in. I had on my ugly hospital half-a-gown and I laid on my side and just wished that it was over or I’d never been pregnant, or something! I’m not sure how long we were at the hospital, but she was born at 8:04 pm and I was so thrilled that the labor was over (she had been turned a bit sideways, apparently) that it didn’t even register when they said, “It’s a girl!”  Then I said, “did you say it’s a girl?”

“Yes, it’s a girl.”

I was SO happy – with 4 boys and only one girl at home – this was wonderful. I noticed the clock and asked Dennis to call the home where the church Bible Study was being held, knowing that it was about time for them to pray together. At the Bible Study in Jim and Linda’s back yard, Ellen had just asked everyone to pray for me because she knew how it felt to be in labor all day like that. The phone rang. Jim went inside as someone joked that it was probably Dennis calling. Jim answered, walked outside, and announced, “It’s a girl!” Everyone cheered and then gave thanks to the Lord.

He called home and told the kids, to more excitement and shouting.

Julie, age 9, wrote a poem about her new baby sister the next day. More on that next time….

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