“I can’t feel my hands. How can I sign the paper if I can’t feel my hands? Also, I have to push. NOW”. Scribble, scribble.
Surely the nurse at Mercy Hospital thought I was a huge b*tch. But this baby was coming, and I wasn’t going to have it in the hospital lobby.
The morning had started like most of our Sundays, with breakfast and a long walk. I went my parents for my birthday BBQ, leaving Fred and Charlotte at home to meet me later. But within a few minutes of Fred’s arrival, he had me hobbling into the car with contractions that were 6-7 minutes apart, out of nowhere. “This will take all afternoon” I thought. I probably had just
walked waddled too far that morning. We drove 2 miles home and mentally prepared to hang around the house….but by the time I got up the stairs, we were turning right back around.
1:40pm: “Call the midwife! Tell her…..” (woah, big one. breathe, breathe, breathe). “Tell her I can’t talk and I might throw up!” She advised us to line up childcare for Charlotte (done), pack our bags (done) and get to the hospital. This was just an hour after the first contraction.
Fred was breaking every traffic law he could, calling Aunt Julia and speeding through red lights amidst my urging to “go faster!” Scarborough to Portland is a long drive when your contractions are 3 minutes apart. Gripping the seatbelt and digging my heels into the floor, it was all I could do NOT to push. We fled the car and left it (running) in the traffic circle at Mercy hospital, where a security guard sauntered over with a wheelchair. “I have to push!” I tried to scare him into moving faster. Faster!
The moment I stood from the wheelchair, my water broke all over the floor. “Just breathe through this one, and in between the next we will get onto the bed,” Ellie the midwife soothed me. Her voice was the only calm thing in the room. All around me nurses flitted about and Fred nervously held my shaking hands. I later found out that Ellie was already holding the baby’s head as I stood in the middle of the room.
Six minutes and three pushes later and I heard the sweet, hiccuping little cry of a baby–a boy!–as I struggled to lay down. My eye caught on the clock next to the bed. 2:22pm, just 13 minutes after I’d shouted at the nurse who wanted me to sign papers.
Frederick Baxter Follansbee, known to us as Baxter, joined this world ten days early. 6 pounds, 10 ounces and 19 inches long. Like most things (ok, everything) in my life now, this post took me forever to write. Things just don’t seem to happen on time, or efficiently anymore!
Baxter’s birth was the last thing that happened quickly around here. So quickly, in fact, that Papa has already dubbed him “Speedy”. This boy was in a hurry to join the party, and nothing was stopping him. But if given the choice between Charlotte’s 14+ hour labor and his 13 minute debut, I’d take his any day! [click on the pictures to enlarge].
September 7, 2014.