Monday, January 19, 2009

The Unexpected Call ~ Day 8

"Ringggg, ringggg, ringggg" was the startling noise that broke the silence this morning. I quickly glanced at the time realizing it must be quite early: 1:34 am. No way, two nights in a row!! There was only one explanation for anyone calling at this time in the morning. Rubbing my eyes I jumped out of bed and ran to the stairs to see if I could understand anything that Freida was saying. Even if I heard her I normally can't comprehend much of it being that it's German. Feely comfortable assuming someone was in labor I started getting ready. I threw my skirt over my pajama bottoms, a shirt and a few extra layers on then went to try and get my veil on adequately when Freida came down the stairs saying that it was urgent that we leave soon. I threw my hair up, surprisingly it actually stayed up all day quite well, then grabbed some food, went to the bathroom (it's a Swartzentruber family so they have an outdoor outhouse with no lights) and ran upstairs to load the vehicle. Praying that we wouldn't miss the birth we drove into the dark cold snowy night trying to do what we could to stay awake.

As we arrived at the house at 2:55am I was ready and waiting to fly out of the door and run into the house in horrible anticipation that we very well could have missed the birth. Yet trusting that that would not be the wisest thing to do I calmly, yet hurriedly, approached the door. I have been grateful for the snow for many reasons, yet this morning I was grateful for it because it lit the way to the path that led us to their home.

As we walked in the house I was listening for one thing, crying, yet I was greeted by the pleasant sound of silence. Lizzie's husband, Harvey came and let us know that she was doing well and still in one piece. As we went into the "living room" Lizzie was quietly rocking in the rocking chair in front of the wood stove tightly squeezing a big spoon with each contraction. Her contractions had spaced out since Harvey had called us from the neighbors house and after checking things out and finding her only at 5cm we decided we had some time. Freida went and settled in on the bed that was in the same room as we were and I started filling out paper work to try and keep myself awake. Like clockwork I would get the FHT's every 15-20 minutes. After one of her checks I decided to rest my head on the desk... the next thing I knew I was waking up because my arm had fallen asleep. Wondering how long I slept I curiously glanced at my watch, was I ever surprised to realize that 45 minutes had passed by. But wait I remembered doing her FHT checks every 15 minutes, then I laughed inside realizing that I was so focused on the birth that in my dream I had checked the FHT's even though in reality my head never left the surface of the old wooden desk.

I quietly got up and did as I had done in my dreams. She wanted to know if she had progressed and after finding her at 8 cm with her contractions still quite spaced out we realized we still had some time. Freida kindly offered me the bed and I was in no way going to refuse. Laying there half awake and half asleep I was faintly listening to the conversation Freida was having with Harvey. I was about to fade off into sweet sleep when I heard him refer to his neighbors as "SDA" I was all ears yet still laying there with my eyes closed. He was going into great depth about how wonderful his neighbors were and how much he trusted and respected them. Freida then left to go get  something out of the vehicle and I propped myself up in the bed and happily informed him that I was "SDA" as well. I'm sure that came as quite a shock to him being that I was wearing the Mennonite head-covering he would not have expected that i was "English."  That was a great open door and conversation starter and we help quite a wonderful conversation the next several minutes and we waited for Lizzie's labor to get more serious. It amazes me how well Amish women deal with labor. You almost would not know anything was going on around you until you heard the cry of a baby in the room.

The next time I checked Lizzie she was still at 8cm so we decided to try some alternate positions and methods to quicken her labor. I learn so much when things don't go fast and easy, it's such a blessing, of course as long as everything ends up well. I learned a lot of homeopathic means to quicken labor and to ease pain. We decided to have her try and relax so we left the room and I found my favorite spot in all the Swartzentruber homes: the rocking-chair right in front of the wood stove. Sitting there with my book reading with the light of the kerosene lamps was so peaceful. I really do appreciate the simple lifestyle. I decided to eat something to try and be more alert and found my way to the hand-pump to wash my hands... "hmmm.... and how do they manage to wash both hands and pump the water out at the same time???" I was at a loss, so realizing no one was around I tried to pump the water out with my arm at the same time I was trying to rinse my hands off under the inconsistent stream of ice cold water that was coming out. Anybody watching me would have known in a moment that I was "English" as I had seem the Swartzentrubers do this with ease on several occasions.

Labor finally progressed and I had the wonderful privilege of delivering a beautiful baby girl at 7:44am. Birth always amazes me, the whole process is such a miracle. The placenta came duncan yet complete and looked quite healthy. We left them for a bit to work on some paper work. The sun had now peaked over the horizon so we blew out our soft glowing lamps and pulled back the drapes the let the sun shine it's eager rays into the house. We moved the table over by the stove and brought the little bundle in to do her newborn exam, oh how I do love babies!! She was 7lb 4oz 19 1/2 inches long. I went into the room and got her cute little shirt and dark blue dress and dressed her with ease, I'm doing quite well with the straight pins now. :) I wrapped her feet up as I had observed before and sat myself in the rocker to have some bonding time with the little one. There's nothing better than holding a little baby while sitting in an Amish-made rocking chair in front of the wood stove listening to the wood crackle as the heat warms you inside and out. Lizzie was now ready for her darling little one so I had to give her up. Harvey came through the house carrying a huge jar of canned peaches, oh I was so excited, canned peaches sounded really good, especially after being up all night. He had also given us each a bottle of honey from his bees. I was quite a happy girl.

As we sat eating it was decided that we would do a couple prenatals and a post-partum for Susie and  Ammon on our way home. It took everything in me to keep my eyes open and stay alert enough to make any sense and help with the prenatals. We arrived safely home and prepared for the next prenatal was was to arrive at 2:00pm, 20 minutes from when we had arrived home. Oh, the van finally started, yet not without a struggle!! I am going to to explore the area, unless someone goes into labor, and find an Amish rocking-chair to bring home for my adorable little sister. They makes the cutest little ones. I sat in one today, thinking that I was still small enough to fit and when I stood up the chair came with me ;)

After the prenatal visit I crawled into my warm cozy bed and fell fast asleep, for about 2 hours until a dear friend called! So after now being up for 3 whole days with about 5 hours of sleep in that time I'm ready to go to sleep for the night!

We have a full day of prenatals scheduled tomorrow and only the Lord knows what the day will hold.


  1. ...and then the phone rang - I hope you were able to get some sleep tonight! Quite the full day, and you did a good job of describing it. :)

  2. You got the call at 1:34am and arrived at 12:55am? No wonder you thought the baby was already born!

  3. Hahahaha... thanks Brandon! I did the same thing on the chart, it was 2:30 rather than 12. I guess I was really really tired!! :)