“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Phil. 4:13
“My contractions are 4 minutes apart!” Andria told me Wednesday night as we were getting the kids ready for bed! “What? How did this happened so quickly?” I asked. Apparently she had been having mild contractions throughout the day but now they were getting closer together. Our first three children had all come very early (almost 2 weeks) so we had been waiting “not so” patiently for Eliza to come since it was one day past her due date. We drove into Thunderbird Banner Health where it was confirmed that it was time at 6 cm dilation! Being the 4th child this one could come quickly from here on out. The epidural was immediately ordered and during the epidural process the contractions came back to back. We looked at the nurse who was ready to call the doctor back! Was the baby coming now? On the same day that our 2 year old was born?
But after 15 minutes the epidural set in and allowed Andria to relax. It would be almost 4 hours now until Eliza to make an appearance. This was perfect timing as an antibiotic was administered twice as planned for strep G virus (which had been found weeks earlier) which needed 4 hours of drip time so help the baby not get the virus during birth.
Then the moment came! Pushing! And pulling! Yes, a sheet was handed to Andria to play “tug-of-war” with a nurse to help Andria “push” the baby out. The baby was so large that we began to realize that we were in for a long delivery. Then the heart monitor showed the baby’s heart beat laboring! The cord was around Eliza’s neck! A team of 6 people immediately appeared out of nowhere and stood ready for a “Plan B” if needed. The pushing (and pulling) became more intense as the heartbeat continued to drop. The doctor remained calm and determined which helped us focus as I was behind Andria pushing on her back to support her efforts. I began to recite Psalm 23 “The Lord is my shepherd….” The doctor asked for a suction cup thingy to try to assist the delivery but wasn’t able to get a good hold on the head. “Ready. Push. 1, 2, 3……” as the nurse called out the mantra once more, Andria (who was as calm as a cucumber but determined as a pit-bull) began to push again. Finally the baby moved a little further and Eliza’s heartbeat was restored to a healthy range! The doctor looked at me and she gave me that look of relief and calm confidence that everything was going to be ok!
It seems like it took about 1 hour but finally Eliza came squishing out! Blue and a severe cone head– it made me do a double take wondering if the umbilical cord which was now over her shoulder had done any damage. But soon she began to cry and gasp for air. The small army of nurses shot into action and soon had everything under control! It was one of those moments when time stood still and a tear came to my eye as I had just witnessed the miracle of life! Eliza was ok. Mom was fine. In fact Andria chatted with the doctor that this birth wasn’t nearly as bad as her others! This of course made us chuckle together (the doctor and I) as we both had been a little bit more concerned!
Eliza weighted 9 pounds 13 ounces and was 21.5 inches long! She had a piercing newborn baby cry that has told us of her fighting spirit!
We arrived home on Friday 3PM and had a good first night at home. Andria’s mom spent the night with and is such a blessing! Thank you for your prayers!