Community South Hospital
March 20, 2017
Have you ever heard the phrase-
“Nature does not hurry and yet everything is accomplished”?
Makes you think, doesn't it??? I’m sure this quote can bring many different nature driven miracles to mind but when it comes to me and mine- I can only think of birth.
Nine- basically ten- months is a long, long, LOOOOONNNNGG time wait. Soon to be Mommies and Daddies- like Emmy and Dan- spend countless hours preparing for their perfectly packaged baby bundle to arrive. They buy a crib and bumpers, carseat and stroller, monitor and swaddlers, as well as onesies and, well, more onesies. Not to mention- the honored and infamous spousal conflict-causing task of choosing a name. Not an easy one, I admit- especially when you have to avoid all the names of all the people who have annoyed you or your spouse throughout your lives.
(Or maybe that just happened to me...) ;)
And alas, months do come and go…
Mommy’s tummy continues to grow and Daddy starts thinking about all the sporting events he will no longer have to attend or watch alone.
It isn’t until the BIG show- the day baby is welcomed into the world- that the grand change that has been happening underneath the surface is revealed and recognized by all. Much like Mommy’s tummy, Mommy and Daddy’s hearts have been growing too. It is their hearts, and not the parenting advice received or books read, that have prepared them to be the best parents to raise this child—their child.
Knowing this- I arrived at the hospital on Monday morning especially excited for my friends to become parents.
I walked into the room to find that Emmy was distracting herself with “The Office” and Dan was analyzing and interpreting her contractions tracked on one of the two monitors hanging on the wall.
They welcomed me with smiles and updated me. Emmy was dilated to an 8 and that her cervix was still intact on the left side. I could tell that she was soldiering on but that she was uncomfortable.
Her amazingly talented and caring nurse, Leslie, entered the room to see if her pressure had migrated lower. It had not so Leslie got Emmy more ice chips and said she would be back in an hour to check her again.
The pain was rapidly getting worse so Dan- who was very attentive to his laboring wife- called Leslie back in to help. Emmy pleaded to be checked again. Leslie checked her again and although Emmy’s dilation had progressed her cervix had not. To help things along- Leslie decided to put Emmy on her side. She put her on her right side first. Baby boy didn’t like it one bit so Leslie moved her to her left side. Leslie once again secured the heart monitors and left.
It wasn’t long before Emmy grew silent. She asked that her show be turned off. She lay there with her eyes closed all the while her breathing patterns became more intense and purposeful. Dan kept trying to help but realized that Emmy had to do the rest of the work alone. Resigned to his feeling of helplessness, he sat down on the couch. Feeling for them both, my mind turned to prayer. As I went to bow my head, Dan lowered his.
When he raised his head again he suggested that they call Leslie again. Emmy agreed. Leslie came in to find that Emmy was ready to push.
Leslie and Dan each took a leg and Emmy began to push. Dan had a different vantage point than Emmy so he began to cheer on his wife- for she truly was doing an amazing job. She pushed for about 5 minutes before Leslie knew that she would need to call the doctor.
Leslie called the doctor, began to convert the table, and finished by placing Emmy’s heels into stirrups.
“I know we aren’t in an operating room, but I like to keep things as clean as possible,” Leslie said as she prepped Emmy’s thighs with iodine.
Dan was positioned on her right side as the doctor entered the room and got dressed. It was at this point that 2 or 3 more people entered the room to help- baby would soon be here.
The doctor slid into place and encouraged Emmy to resume pushing. I have never seen so much focus, strength, and determination in one woman’s eyes. All of Emmy's eagerness to meet her son was propelling her beyond her own feelings of exhaustion and fatigue. She advanced on and on and on- and every time she did she made sure to do so with the same deliberate care and effort.
It wasn’t long before baby boy’s head… then shoulders… then entire body had emerged. Kenneth Nixon Frost was born on Monday, March 20, 2017 at 1:41 p.m.- the first day of Spring.
It was then and only then that Emmy and Dan could feel that their hearts had made space for this little boy. They stared on in awe of what they had prepared for, waited for, and even created.
And that was that! Emmy knew it! Dan knew it! And everyone in the room knew it! Because we could feel it... These parents were made complete by their son and this son by his parents.
The love in the room truly was tangible.
And- I am so grateful to have been there that day. Thank you for choosing me to capture some of your first moments as parents. You two are going to be great parents- I JUST KNOW IT.