Birth- It is such a beautiful and amazing miracle! I know I say that often, but it is so true. Let me share with you the story of this little guy who I greeted this morning.
It had been 3 weeks and one day since I had personally been able to welcome a little one into the world. I had seen many transports and sent home many mothers who were early in labor during that time. Yet I had not been able to welcome a tiny baby and be one of the first to touch a little life.
I came on day shift wondering what the Lord had in store. I knew that whether it was busy or slow, it would be a good time. If it was to be slow, I figured I would read more of my "Heart and Hands" (by Elizabeth Davis). If it was busy--- I was ready!
Thus, I was ready when I met the first woman who came into the birth room. She was here for help with labor stimulation. After receiving some help, encouragement, care and support, I prayed with her and she headed home. I decided to read some and wait for what would come next...
Around 9am a laboring mother came into the clinic. She did not appear to be actively in labor but this was her 5th baby. "Hazel" told me she felt it was time to come and she proceeded to smile while rubbing her contracting abdomen. I directed her to a bed and in no time check in was completed. Further examination showed that she was indeed 5cm dilated and that the contractions were coming every 4-5 minutes as opposed to the 10-15minute interval "Hazel" reported upon arrival.
I stayed close by "Hazel's" side as I knew her husband would return as soon as he could. Her bana was a taxi driver. He had to return the taxi after driving her to the clinic or else he would pay a fine for not using it for work. I encouraged him to hurry. Mother's expecting their 5th baby can be unpredictable at times.
About an hour later I noticed signs that "Hazel" was becoming more active in labor. Her contractions came more frequently and though she breathed well, the pain was much more intense. I alerted the supervising midwives. We would continue to monitor and wait.
A little after 10am "Hazel" could hardly breathe through a contraction. The uncontrollable urge to push came. Though it was only one hour later, she was ready. I called and a midwife came into the cubicle. Her bana had not yet returned. "Hazel" asked me if it was time. I nodded to her and watched as she gathered her strength to focus on the task at hand.
Moments later there was a gush of warm amniotic fluid and baby's head slowly emerged. "Hazel" remained in complete control, cool, calm and collected. She breathed and focused on her precious baby. With another contraction and a slight push, her new son entered into the world. A large flood of fluid followed him.
His birth was so simple, beautiful and uncomplicated. His mother so strong, magnificent and stunning. As I followed their care, I watched her tenderly hold her son. This may have been her 5th baby, but she treasured him like he was her first.
About an hour later father arrived. I led him to the cubicle and announced his presence. Tears came to his eyes as he saw his son for the first time. "Salamat, Salamat" (thank you, thank you) he kept repeating to me. I assured him that the thanks should go to the Lord. He leaned over and examined his precious baby. I slowly backed out of the cubicle to leave this new family alone.
Two hours later as "Hazel" transferred to the postpartum area one could hardly tell that she had just given birth. She and her bana were bantering back and forth in a beautiful expression of their love. He was sorry he missed his son's birth, but he would take pride in his duty and care for his wife. I cannot express how wonderful it was to watch this couple and their interactions. The love between them was visible. The extension of this love to their child was immense.
As "Hazel" got settled in postpartum, I held little "Onem". All 6 pounds, 6 ounces of him. As I gazed at his sweet face the feeling came that so often comes when one holds a precious newborn. As he opened his eyes, blinked and stared up at me I wondered what the Lord may have in store for this little life. Moments later he fell asleep in my arms. I looked down on his perfect little face and in that moment, he took my breath away....