Still Time

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
Bill Vriesema bike square

I thought I had plenty of time.

My water broke around 10 pm on February 28. We called our friend Lisa who lived around the corner. The plan was for her to stay with Hannah, our two-year old daughter, for the night and take her to daycare the following morning while we were at the hospital.

Anticipating a long night, I thought of Hannah’s birth after a manageable 14-hour labor. Unsure how well I would handle contractions, my plan had been to introduce pain medications only as needed. I successfully used Lamaze techniques throughout the early morning hours and into the afternoon. Since I had slept for only four hours before my water had broken that time, by late afternoon, I was exhausted. When the pain became greater than my ability to focus, I had asked for the epidural.

Once the injection took affect, I finally dozed off. Just before 6 pm the nurse had woken me up, saying, “It’s time to push!” I’d slept right through the transition phase of labor.

When Hannah was born two weeks early, I had gasped at her beauty the first time I saw her. Had it really been two years and two weeks since that night?

I set aside the memory as I drew a warm bath to relax and prepare for another long night of labor. Lisa arrived within half an hour. My bag was packed. Under the cloak of darkness we loaded into our car for the six-mile drive to Virginia Baptist Hospital.

The contractions were coming more quickly than I remembered from my labor with Hannah. My deep cleansing breaths stopped working. By the time we reached Hill Street, I was screaming, “I want to push!”

When I stepped out of the car into the parking lot, the pain grabbed me with a force like nothing I’d felt before. Brought to my knees, I fumbled for the curb. I’d lost my focus and was wild with pain.

Fortunately a security guard with a watchful eye on the cameras saw our predicament. He quickly brought a wheelchair to the rescue and we rolled into the elevator. We couldn’t reach the maternity floor soon enough.

The next few minutes are a blur but I remember having reasonable disdain for the chipper nurse with beautiful blonde hair who asked me to get out of the wheelchair and onto the table so she could see how I was progressing.

I never wanted to be one of those women who screamed during labor. That night, I no longer cared. I lost all decorum and continued screaming, “I want an epidural!”

Imagine my surprise (and further disdain) when the nurse reported back to me. “Sweetie, you don’t even have time for Tylenol. It’s time to push!”

Apparently, I didn’t have time to put on a hospital gown either. When our son Morgan was born several minutes before the first day of March, I was still wearing my red Eddie Bauer turtleneck.

I say of him, and not in jest, “Morgan is the son who was almost born in the hospital parking lot, and he hasn’t slowed down since.”

I wasn’t prepared for him to stop nursing after only four months because he wanted to experience the world around him. Or for the time when he was three years old when he jumped off the high dive into the Olympic swimming pool to the safe arms of no one in particular.

I couldn’t believe my ears the day his preschool teacher shook her head in awe, “Morgan prayed that Jehovah Rapha would heal Mrs. Alease’s mom, and she went home from the hospital today!”

He finishes his freshman year of high school in a few weeks. A month later he’ll travel to Guatemala on a mission trip. Without me.

The baby I held in my heart long before I held in my hands is nearly 6’2”. The other day he confessed, “Mom, I think it’s time I find a part-time job.” He wants to save up for a motorcycle.

I’m using my deep cleansing breaths again.

I still think I have plenty of time.

Image by Bill Vriesema. Used with permission. Sourced via Flickr.