A month ago, she came into the world with the kind of haste one normally saves for emergency vehicles racing up the breakdown lane during rush hour traffic. You may be laughing… or scratching your head… either way:
Welcome to the world, Camille Thea!
It was 2am, on the dot, Friday morning. I woke up with the worst stomach pain and grabbed my phone to use the flashlight as a guide through the dark house. After a short time the pain stopped. I drank some water and laid back down in bed. 2:24 I woke up again. Grabbed my phone to get to the bathroom, stood up and knew it. My water broke.
As I stood leaning against the sink, I clicked the first contraction timer. Minutes passed and the pressure wouldn’t stop. I called Dave, and when he answered, no doubt confused by the time and being called by me, all I could say was yes, it’s time. He came running to the bathroom where I struggled to ask him to call his mom. NOW!
“Didn’t we wait a long time with Addie?”
“Yes,” I answered, “but this is different.”
I called my mom out of a sleep, “Honey? Are you ok?”
“My water broke. She’s coming, Mom.”
“I’m on my way,” she said, suddenly alert. “I love you.”
“Love you, too, Mom. I’ll call you when we get there.”
My mother in law got to the house with some speed (she was packed already), and waited for us to have everything in the car before I headed downstairs. As Dave tried to guide me, “Just get out of my way!” I whisper-yelled. I’d wanted to kiss Addie before we left, but I swear my contractions were not stopping.
I climbed into the back of my Outback on all fours, just as I had when I was in labor with Addie, and we headed to Women & Infants in Providence. We got to the hospital… and I walked in, slightly bent over, mostly in continuous contractions. “Is this your first?” a nurse asked. “No.” I said flatly. We talked about my water breaking and how I wasn’t getting much of a break with contractions, and then she opened the door to the back and told me we would be heading to room 7.
Right. Seven. Got it.
So, I walked back… and tried to walk and walk and walk. It was about 50 feet, but felt like 100 yards. As I stood at the foot of the bed, a nurse helped me undress and then told me I needed to be checked to see if I was ready to be admitted.
“I need to get in the bed?” I asked, barely looking up.
“Yes. When you can.”
“Does it move down?”
“No, I’m sorry.”
“Ok. Here we go,” as I hoisted my laboring limbs into the bed.
A nurse took my vitals, asked questions, allowed me to deny the IV prep (but cautioned against it), and then I was checked and at 4cm. “You’re going to go up now.” …”sir, you need to move your car.”
All this was happening in about 15 minutes, and still the contractions would not stop.
It all happened so fast. Contractions. No breaks.
I looked over at the wall. It was 3:57am. Barely any time had passed. The anesthesiologist came in and asked the nurse if I’d asked for meds. “No, but she said that she couldn’t do it a few times,” I heard a nurse said. Kim whispered from my right. She encouraged me, loved me, gave me the power as the mama, to keep going.
Dave rubbed my head and kissed my face. He stayed by my side, but then transition came all so fast… I threw up, gentle hands on my head and back from my loving hubby and doula. I was shaking, on my knees over the back of the bed when I heard, “are you pushing?”
“I don’t know,” I was growling. Low and deep, the feeling was different.
“You need to turn over so we can check you. Wait to push.” Damn nurses.
I finally got myself on my back and with a quick pain it was confirmed, I was ready. Before anyone could tell me, I was pushing. A nurse held my leg up, as I laid on my side. I was ready. I could do this.
I pushed. Once. Twice. I took a breath. Again. “Get low,” Kim said. I closed my mouth, relaxed into the bed and felt the moment. Deep from within, I changed. “I see her. One more,” I could hear Kim’s encouragement. There was a fear I didn’t acknowledge, except to know it was there. I could feel her- I couldn’t believe this was happening. It was too fast. “Someone page the doctor,” I heard a nurse say, and then the reply of, “she’s in a vacuum delivery.”
I have no idea who delivered Camille. It was 4:53am.
Camille Thea was in my arms.
I cried. What was left of me was overwhelmed. I looked up at Kim, her smile warming me, as Dave wrapped his arms around me. “I did it”? I asked. “You did, mama. You did great,” she replied. I was so shocked. Addie came in 36 hours… it was completely different. Here I was, less than 3 hours start to finish, with a new baby in my arms.
At 7 pounds 14 ounces and 20 inches, my newest girl was latching and nursing, snuggled into me.
We were so in love.
I called my mom to tell her not to rush. “What?” she asked.
“Millie is here already,” I heard Dave tell her…
But then it turned. “She’s bleeding really bad…” “… call the doctor back in…”
I felt my whole body shaking. I was cold, naked, splayed out and surrounded by concerned faces.
But I’d done it. I’d delivered my girl without intervention and we were nursing and she scored 8’s and 9’s on her apgar.
And my body was failing.
My Mom could hear all this through the phone. “We have to go. Call you back.” And Dave ended the call. I handed Millie to him, unable to control the shaking of my body.
After a shot of pitocin in each leg, a drip of the same in my arm and a dose of morphine, the doctor was considering her next move. It felt like hours. Pressing on my belly. Shaking. Checks. I was crying, I felt out of body and way too connected all at once. Finally, it slowed. I’d lost a lot of blood and I was cold, but there she was. My girl was in my arms.
This journey of motherhood… it’s been well fought. And I love every moment.