Sorry for the delay
It was Wednesday, August 23 and it was five days past our baby’s due date. Up to this point, Aura and I tried just about every home remedy to have our baby naturally. But our baby seemed happiest in the womb.
One way or another, it was time for our child to be born. That evening at 8:00 p.m., we were scheduled to go to Women’s and Babies Hospital in Lancaster to induce labor.
When I got home from work, I loaded all of our bags into my truck and made sure the house was in order. It almost felt like we were leaving for vacation. Before going to the hospital, we decided to get a light dinner at Panera Bread. As we were waiting for our food, the phone rang.
“There aren’t any beds available for you tonight,” a nurse said, “come in tomorrow at 8:00 a.m.” Aura was visibly upset. All day, she psyched herself up for childbirth. She was ready to have the baby and so was I.
While we finished our dinner, we decided to go see a movie to get our minds off of it. We went to see “The Big Sick”. A lot of the movie takes place in a hospital so it seemed fitting. During the movie, Aura started having contractions. She was going into early labor. Everything we tried finally seemed to pay off.
Aura labored all night. Every ten minutes there was another 30 seconds of pain. But it was still too early to go to the hospital. After awhile, I fell asleep. She took my phone with the app we were using to time the contractions and went downstairs to sit on the couch hoping to find more comfort.
I jumped awake at 6:30 the next morning. Aura wasn’t in bed. I went downstairs and found her sitting upright, asleep on the couch with my phone in her hand. A line graph showing the contraction frequency scribbled across the screen. I could tell she didn’t get a lot of rest.
To the hospital
Once again, we packed our belongings and made the trip to the hospital. This time, we were checked in and shown to our birthing room. Our midwife, Cheri Gard, came in some time later and checked Aura’s progress. She was four centimeters dilated, almost half way to ten when the pushing begins. “You’ll have a baby by five o’clock,” Cheri said optimistically.
Cheri broke Aura’s water to move things along. The contractions got a lot more frequent and intense. Aura was making fast progress. By noon, she was already at seven centimeters, but when Cheri checked Aura’s progress again I sensed she was less optimistic about her original claim.
The pain from the contractions was strong and we discussed getting an epidural. We decided it was the best thing to do, so the anesthesiologist, Dr. Macredies, came in and administered it.
Afterwards, she was a lot more comfortable and was finally able to get some much-needed rest. During that time, I got some lunch to prepare for what I knew would be a long night.
When I returned, she was still asleep and about as comfortable as one can be in labor.
Change of plans
Hours passed and so did 5:00. About 30 minutes later, Cheri entered in the same outfit she was in earlier in the day – a dress and high heels. In my mind, she didn’t look like she was there to deliver a baby.
She gingerly sat on the corner of the bed as if it would soften the blow of the news she was going to deliver. I already knew what she was going to say.
“What do you think?” Aura asked. “I’m thinking this baby isn’t going to come out of your vagina.” Cheri replied. We almost found humor in her bluntness. It was one of the things we liked about her.
We discussed all of our options, but the smartest thing we could do was to move forward with a C-section. It was the safest thing for both Aura and the baby.
Before I knew it, I was in scrubs and we were wheeling Aura into the operating room.
There were at least eight people in the operating room and blue garments obscured everyone. I was ushered to a stool next to Aura behind a curtain below her neck. About ten stressful minutes later our baby was born!
Up to this point, neither of us knew whether we were having a boy or girl. The surgeons cleaned the baby off, dropped the curtain and I was able to tell Aura that we had a healthy baby girl!
We named her Maren Sage Heisey.