On November 22, 2015, I got to witness the labor and birth of my grandson, Colt. The kids live in Maryland, a six-hour drive from me.. They had asked me to be present for the labor and delivery and of course, being that this is my area of expertise and my passion, I totally wanted to be there as well, not only to welcome my grandson and to support my son and daughter-in-law, but to also help ensure his safe entrance into the world.
With my work schedule so erratic and the fact that I was going to Texas for my son Paul’s basic training graduation, there were a few possibilities that I might not make it out there in time. I don’t think I slept for a month, worrying and waiting for the phone to ring! I was prepared to buy a direct flight on Southwest at a moment’s notice and a few of my co-workers had agreed ahead of time to cover my shifts for me if I had to leave quickly.
As luck would have it, the night that Kaylie went into labor, I was at work, scheduled until 11:00 pm. The Buckeyes were playing and the game was intense. Alex was texting me that Kaylie was having contractions while watching the game, but nothing regular yet. When I got off work, he told me that they were going to try to get some sleep and that he’d keep me posted. I got home, threw some things in a bag and Jamie did the same as he decided at the last-minute that he would drive me, rather than trying to catch a plane. I was ecstatic to have him join me, even though we knew he would have to stay at the hotel and entertain himself for what could be a few days.
At this point, we still didn’t know if labor was real or not. We went to bed and at about 3:30 a.m. Alex had tried to text me, but neither of us heard it; not good! Finally, he called me at around 5:30 and said they were heading to the hospital to get checked and that he would give me an update as soon as they knew something. It was really hard to just lay there and wait. Kaylie was a week overdue and a labor induction was scheduled for that next day, so I felt like it was safe to go ahead and get up and make the drive. Either way, I’d be there; and hopefully in time!
About an hour into the drive, Alex called and said that Kaylee was dilated and that they were told to go back home for a while. They live 45 minutes from the hospital, so they opted to just walk around a bit and rest in the truck. The contractions got stronger and I recommended they go back and get rechecked. Her cervix had dilated more, but they sent them out again, telling them again, to come back when/if they got more regular. They decided to just get a hotel room near the hospital where Kaylie could rest better. We kept in constant contact the entire drive and from the updates, I could tell that things were moving along nicely.
We got to their hotel and Jamie dropped me off and drove up the road a spell and checked into ours. Once I saw Kaylie, I knew that this was the day! I see laboring women all the time and I know when it’s real and when it’s false! We hung out together in the hotel room for about an hour as I palpated her contractions with my hands on her abdomen and I could also see that she was getting quite uncomfortable. I suggested that we head back to the hospital. Upon arrival, the nurse checked Kaylie and sure enough, she was 5 cm and contracting like crazy! The hardest thing for me was to sit back and be still…I wanted to be her nurse and I wanted to take care of her! I also didn’t want the staff to know my specialty, as I didn’t want them to feel intimidated, so I was a good visitor and stayed out of the way and quiet; but with a close eye on the fetal monitor the interventions :o)
Kaylie’s parents arrived a few hours later and Kaylie had gotten her epidural and was resting comfortably. After a few more hours, they broke her water and she progressed nicely and only pushed about an hour. Towards the end of the delivery, Colt started to get just a bit stressed and was having some decelerations with his heart rate, which is generally normal at this stage as long as it doesn’t go on terribly long, but the doctors had decided that they would use forceps to pull him out. I leaned down to Kaylie and told her what was about to happen and told her to push harder and hold longer with all her might, in hopes of avoiding the forceps. She did not disappoint. She pushed him right out! Colt cried immediately and rested comfortably on Kaylie’s chest as soon as the cord was clamped. It was a wonderful, perfect, and amazing experience to get to be a part of this day!