Once Upon a Time on Dec. 5th, there was a woman who was 38 weeks pregnant. She had just turned in her last assignment for her grad class, her kids were in bed, her husband was moonlighting at a hospital, and she was settling down for a much needed nights’ rest. However, at 1 AM, she woke up feeling very sick. From that time until 6 AM, she was wide awake with very unpleasant diarrhea and vomiting. (not a good start to the fairy tale).
In the morning on Dec. 6th, when her kids finally woke up and her husband arrived home, sensing her exhaustion, her “knight in shining armor” kindly cancelled his morning patients so she could get some rest. A few hours later, needing some milk for the little ones, she ventured out, feeling weak, but needing some fresh air. While at the local grocery store, she was feeling lower abdominal pains. After arriving home, she expressed her concern to her husband, who told her that the baby had probably moved down, and they might be contractions.
Around one o’clock, she was on her own, trying to keep two very restless children upstairs, while painters were in the main part of the “castle” fixing previous mistakes. While trying to keep her kids in front of the electronic babysitter (the older one was content, the younger one walked through every room emptying several drawers), she continued to ignore the pain.
However, at about 3:00, the pain seemed more regular…about every 5 minutes or so. She called her husband, who told her to wait around for awhile; they could just be Braxton-Hicks contractions. A friend was taking her oldest child to an indoor park, so she waited around for her before deciding to go anywhere. At about 4:00, again, she called her husband, and told him that she was going to the hospital. He still had patients to see and said he’d meet her there.
So between contractions, which were getting stronger, she packed up some things quickly, tried to feed something to her littlest one, and off to the hospital they went. Along the way she talked to her “official” OB-GYN, and asked her to make sure the anesthesiologist was at the hospital, because she was going to need that epidural, now feeling strong contractions every 3 minutes. At this time, it was almost 5:00.
While in her hospital room, she was attached to a bunch of equipment, while her little son ran wild in the room. Her understanding nurse turned all the cabinets around on wheels to prevent him from taking everything out of the drawers. After taking all she could and discovering her husband would not be there for over an hour, she offered her little one to the nurses, who took the munchkin around the hospital, feeding him and keeping him entertained.
After a couple hours, the pain doctor finally came and injected needles into her back. The experience was not pleasant, but considering the alternative, it was bearable. The thought of going all night with those contractions would have ruined this fairytale. With the pain gone, her husband arrived, and corralled the littlest one. But our mom was only about 3 centimeters dilated. The next lovely nurse finally broke her water around 8:15. Because he came directly from work, her husband decided to go home and get the video camera, even though he was warned by his wife that during her last delivery, once her water was broken, things went fast.
As usual, the wife was correct, and while her husband was at home (about 25 minutes away), her nurse told her that she was complete. She called her husband, who told her not to push until he got there. Her official OB-GYN then arrived, ready for the action.
Finally after her husband came back, settled the sleeping little one, and figured out the video camera and tape, our main character starting pushing. But she just had to push just one round and did nothing else. The uterus did the rest, sliding out the little princess at 9:26 PM. Ella Helene Ashford joined this story weighing 7lbs. 11oz., 20 inches long, sporting a hefty head of black hair. With no tearing or stitches this time, Mom felt incredibly well.
And so Melvin, Cari, Cameron, Max and Ella Ashford lived happily ever after……..
(Pictures will be posted later).