Be Holy, Be Happy!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

IC Novena Day FOUR: Stay awake! You do not know when He will come!


Okay, everyone,

I don’t know what you may or may not have heard so, here’s the whole story as told by me… Sorry it’s so late in coming.

On Saturday, November 10, 2007, Nancy woke up with light contractions. She said they were around a 2 or 2.5 on the pain scale and they were occasionally 10-15 minutes apart. She’d have a set of three or four, then 30-40 minutes of nothing, then another set of three or so and an hour of nothing and so on. We didn’t think too much about it. Just her body getting ready to go.

We dropped Simon off with my Mom and Aunt Mary in the AM and went to our birthing class, just to refresh our memories of the breathing techniques. Thought we’d need it. Little did we know…

We left the class early, after watching the video on labor management and birth. You know, the one where they talk about how on average labor lasts 12-14 hours… even after the water breaks you probably still have hours until actual birth. The one that shows the mothers in extreme distress, grunting and screaming with each contraction… That one.

All day Nancy was contracting… same as before. It didn’t get any worse even if it didn’t get any better and there were 40-60 minute breaks. Again, we didn’t think much about it. We went to Scooters and I did my show (brilliantly, I might add.) and went home. No change in Nancy’s pattern.

After getting Simon to bed, I sent Nancy to bed and watched a bit more TV. I thought Simon might wake up and fuss a bit as he sometimes does when he’s over tired. Finally, I went to bed at 12:30, setting the alarm to get up for Mass.

Nancy tells me that at about 1:00, the contractions got a little worse. She got up and walked around a bit but didn’t want to wake me for what was probably nothing. At 2:30 AM, her water broke. Finally she woke me up and told me what was happening. I called the paging service to have our doctor call us. After a little while she did and told us to go to the hospital. When we got there they would call her and let her know. I called my sister, Jen, who said they’d come and watch Simon for us. I then called my friends, Greg and Jen to let them know I wouldn’t be at Mass, leaving a message. Then I started loading the car with the little things we’d forgotten to put in Nancy’s bag.

Between trips to the car, I checked in on Nancy, sitting in the bathroom. After her water broke, the contractions started coming every 3-4 minutes, but she said they didn’t seem that bad. Sharper than before, but not unbearable. I helped her with her breathing and waited for my Mom to get there. Once they arrived I started getting Nancy to the car. She couldn’t move very fast and my sister says it seemed to take forever. I remember everything going much, much faster.

From the bathroom to the front door Nancy had three (count them, 3) contractions. On the front porch she stopped for a contraction and after it was over she said, “We’re not going to make it.” I said, “It’s okay. Just breath. We’ll get to the hospital. Don’t push. Just breath.” Isn’t that what they say in the movies? Nancy said, with an unnatural calm, “You don’t understand, the head is out.”

I thought, “What? No way. She just means that it feels like the head is out. She’s not screaming in pain.” I said, It’ll be all right. We’ll get to the hospital. Just breath.” My Mom told my sister to call 911.

We took maybe three more steps into the yard when my sister yelled out, “They say she needs to lay down.” At that moment, Nancy slowly started to fall to the ground. I caught her and gently laid her back. Jen brought a blanket out and put it under her head and said, “They’re saying that she needs to be naked from the waist down.”

Now, this whole time, I’m not really thinking. I’ve had two hours of sleep and this type of thing really only happens in the movies anyway, right? My brain wasn’t running on all 6 cylinders. I was really only reacting to each new development. My Mom and I pulled Nancy’s pajama pants off and I tried to pull off her underwear. When I’d reached about mid thigh, I suddenly found myself holding a baby in my hands…. And everything seemed to stop.

Now, on the outside I must have appeared very calm, because no one seemed to notice. Inside I was absolutely stunned. My brain went into overdrive. What was I supposed to do now? Don’t let the baby drop! Is Nancy okay? “Are you okay, Nancy?” She said, “I’m fine. The tree is so pretty…” Out of the corner of my eye I could see the flashing lights of the ambulance. Jen went down to direct them in.

Meanwhile, I’m holding my newborn son about two inches off the walkway thinking, “What do I do? What do I do!?!” Slowly I start to think… “Is he breathing? Yes, I can feel him breath in my hands. Okay, good.” I look up over Nancy’s leg and see him for the first time. His eyes are open and he’s just calmly looking at me. Then he lets out two little cries. As if to say, “I’m here. I’m okay.”

The paramedics arrived at last, but they were prepared to load us up and get us to the hospital. They weren’t ready for a baby. In fact, as they looked down one actually said, “There’s a baby here.” They did a lot of rushing around, looking for flashlights and scissors. And I still just knelt there holding the baby off the ground.

When they finally got a light on the situation, we noticed that Billy’s head had poked through the leg of Nancy’s underwear and the umbilical cord was loosely wrapped around his neck and leg. Later I realized that if I had moved him, he could have been hurt. Thank God my guardian angel kept me from moving.

They cut the cord and loaded us up and drove us to the hospital. The whole time Billy was quiet. He didn’t fuss. He didn’t cry, He just looked around, taking it all in.

You know, writing this down doesn’t really do it justice. There was so much going on. It’s hard to wrap my brain around it all. Needless to say both Billy and Nancy are fine. Simon is adjusting to having a new brother, and other than the usual money problems and the lack of sleep, things are okay. We would appreciate any prayers you might be able to send out for us and we thank you for your friendship and support.

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