“Will you hurry? I’m about to burst!” She could hardly bend enough to get her slippers on. She was in pain and every movement seemed to cause more. “Oh my God, if we don’t hurry, I’m going to have this baby right here!”
Julie’s husband was hurrying as fast as he could, the weather was horrible. The roads thick with snow and ice, and he should have put those snow tires on like she asked. “I’m hurrying! I just want the car to warm up some for you.” He grabbed the suitcase, already packed a month earlier, thank heavens. His wife was totally organized, but why do babies always seem to come in the middle of the night? He looked around, what did he do with the keys? Where could? Oh, for Petes sake, they’re in the car! It’s running already.
“Paul, it’s coming! I don’t think we’ll make it! I knew that doctor didn’t believe me. I told him I couldn’t sleep with this backache. I knew it was time.” Besides the fact of her symptoms for eminent birth, there was the warning from her mother at lunchtime.
“You’re going to have that baby today. I can tell by the look on your face.” Mom usually thought she knew best, but this time she was spot on. How she could tell from her face, she didn’t know. She called the doctor telling him her contractions were quickening, but she knew his golf game had priority.
Paul ran up the stairs, a worried look on his face. “You’ll be okay, it won’t take long to get there,” trying to be convincing even though he was in doubt. In the car she grew more and more uncomfortable. They arrived at the hospital.
Even though they had done a pre-checkin, Julie wasn’t rushed into the maternity ward. In fact she was sitting on the edge of a stool in the reception area. Paul was hastily filling out forms while his wife was squirming in pain nearby. It seemed like hours until she was finally helped into a wheelchair and taken to the delivery area. Not the delivery room, but a pre delivery room. She was prepped on a table that was flat, hard and uncomfortable. The nurse was in and out and finally Paul entered in a green surgical outfit. They barely looked at each other when the nurse came and said, “Dr. Jones is doing another birth. She is having a breech baby. You’ll have to cross your legs.”
Julie looked at Paul, “seriously?”
“This isn’t a joke. You can’t have that baby until the doctor comes!” The nurse had a helpless look on her face. Paul looked unbelievably at his wife. Was this really happening? They heard a woman screaming from the next rooms. It must have been the breech birth. Paul and Julie were terrified. How could this all be happening? They had taken the Lamaze classes, they knew what was happening in that room. Fear started to panic them. His surgical gloved hand held Julie’s.
Suddenly the door opened and an orderly and a nurse rushed in. The nurse led the way, the orderly grabbed Julie’s bed and started running down the hall. Paul grabbed on to the top of the bed. The three of them were running the hall, doors flying. Julie was stunned, all she could see was the ceiling lights whizzing by. Paul was sweating, running along behind Julie’s head. Julie only caught a glimpse of him.
A doctor she’d never met stood at the bottom of the table. Five minutes later, Paul gave Julie a kiss, his face almost completely covered by a surgical mask. Julie held their baby daughter. They were relieved she was perfect. They couldn’t have been happier.
This is a true story of my daughter’s birth in 1971.