Thursday, April 12, 2012

From the eyes of a friend...

My dear friend Karen was out "birth liason" :) on the day Liam made his grand entrance. I mentioned casually to her once that she should write about that day from her perspective. Because she loves me and never lets me is Liam's birth day from the eyes of Karen:

The best way I can describe watching a child be born is this – it’s the grossest miracle that exists. One minute your friend is waddling around, the next minute…well she’s still going to waddle a bit due to stitches but now she’s holding a gorgeous baby moose, I mean boy.

On April 13th 2011 , I had the esteemed pleasure of being a birth liaison, to make me sound fancy, for the birth of one Liam Williams. It was something I was excited for due to a number of reasons. It’s always an honor when your friends want you there for their major life events and this was a big one. But I was most excited to be there and “go hang in the waiting room during all the gross stuff.” That was the birth day I was sold. However....

 Kari and Steven were at the hospital getting all situated as I left Minot bright and early. I had prepared myself by going with this theory – my job is to entertain Steven and do whatever the laboring lady tells me she wants me to do. As I arrived at St. A’s, I was clearly focused on the task at hand because just off the elevator, I ran into a woman and was staring at her, wondering where I knew her from. (Turned out, she’s my gynecologist.)

Our day went remarkably fast for those of us not in labor. We talked, joked, took some pictures. We had been discussing naming options and had a quite lovely chat with a nurse about it. She was so kind to bring us three name books from approximately 1964. All this did was make us throw out the worst names in the book, just for kicks. We then asked the nurse what the worst name they had ever had a baby named was. The answer – Lucifer. Apparently, the father’s name was Angel and he had figured since he lived his life like no angel, he thought his son would likely not live up to his name. The nurses apparently resorted to calling the baby Luke because they couldn’t bring themselves to call a newborn the devil. Can’t blame them there.

Around noon, I went and had a quite enjoyable cafeteria turkey sandwich. When I returned, labor had started getting stronger for Kari so Steven and I retreated to the couch for a few games of Uno (which I won all of no matter what he might recall). We did our best to let mama know we were there without getting her out of her zone. Sometime around 1-2ish and around 5ish centimeters, a little shot of meds helped her calm enough to attempt a nap, though I’m quite sure she never slept. I want to say around 3:15 or so, she sat up and said she was starting to feel pressure. The nurse came in and further changed my life forever.

Seated on the couch, I was told just to not look. So I stared at the door while Steven held her hand during the dilation check. Our little wonder mom had just gone from 5 to almost 9 in less than an hour. Assuming since the nurse walked away from the bed that it was safe to look, I looked over at Kari. Lesson learned. Gown up over her knees, I saw what I could only assume was a crime scene. Exact words said in the next 10 minute are a blur. I do remember asking Kari if she wanted me to go now and I believe the response was something to the effect of, you’ve seen it once so you can stay…but maybe come stand by the head of the bed.

 While nurses fluttered about, preparing for the last minute cervix stretch, I double checked with Kari about 15 times if she wanted me to stay. The general consensus seemed to be that my job had changed from cheerleader to ankle holder. So to Kari’s left side I go. Perched next to the monitor, I heard Kari tell the nurse she felt like she needed to push. Now is the part where you find out the little secret – she was lying just a little. Wanting to get it all over with, Kari told a little fib and the nurses started letting her push at just under the 10 centimeter mark. I had the pleasure of being on the side with all the nurses so while holding a leg, sweating profusely and trying to come to grips with how I will never be the same, I had the joy of being sandwiched into the monitors by the leagues of nurses in the room.

The pushing didn’t take nearly as long as I thought. Looked like a lot of hard work though. As the doctor was getting situated, I developed the plan to just not look. Again, crime scene in the room prevented my eyes from staying focused on my friend’s red, splotchy face. I am so very glad there were no video cameras in the room because I’m quite sure the whole 20 minutes (at most) the doctor was doing his thing, I was staring in wonderment at my dear sister/friend’s crotch. Before long, I saw what I assumed was an alien emerging. And then he was out. As well as massive amounts of fluids in colors I had never seen before. Steven followed Liam to the baby cooker and scale. I joined them after excusing myself through the sea of nurses. One beautiful baby boy covered in not so beautiful goo came into the world. I went back to check on Kari, only to find her chatting it up with the doctor (who was sewing her naughty parts back together) as though they ran into each other in the produce aisle.

I held the new little wonder for just a moment before having to hand him over to everyone else who came to see him. I snapped a few pictures and laughed with Kari about how our friendship will never likely be the same (in a good way, don’t worry). I ordered her some room service and bid the newly expanded family adieu and drove back to Garrison where I took a two hour nap to shake my overwhelming day and drive back to Minot. I am beyond blessed to have the Williams (and Wollmuth) family in my life and I’m thankful I was able to experience the grossest little miracle before ever having to endure it for myself. I believe another year or so and I may be mentally stable to help bring another Williams into the world. After all, why scar another friend for life, right Kari?

LOVE YOU KAREN. This is something I will treasure forever. "Around noon, I went and had a quite enjoyable cafeteria turkey sandwich" cracks me up every time.... :)

1 comment:

karen said...

I am ridiculous. but also blessed to have been there a year ago today to see your vagina...and amazing baby. ;)

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