Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Something Bloggable...desert or flood, which one??

Eight days. Seriously eight days!! It had really been that long since we had had a delivery. After having one every few days we were beginning to wonder what was going on.

Sabbath morning I got up and was getting ready to leave for church when this little voice said

"put your veil in your bag"

I won't need it, I thought, but the little voice said the same thing again and this time I decided I had better heed the voice, so in my bag went my veil and a change of clothes.

After getting lost a few times I finally arrived at church. It was a nice service and after a bit I was driving home when I got a call from Freida that two ladies were in labor. Yea!!! Only they were in two opposite directions and it wasn't time to go to either yet. So what to do?? As I got to the place where it determined which place I would go I gave Freida a call.

"Fannie just called, it sounds like it's time, you better head over that way. Are you in a place where I can give you directions?"

"Sure, you can give them to me now" I responded with a bit of excitement in my voice

"Are you stopped?" Freida asked

"Um... no, I'm driving, but I can write them down. I just put the paper on the steering wheel and write on the paper while I'm driving." I said, trying to be convincing that it was a safe measure to take.

So, up and down the hilly, curvy roads I went trying not to swerve too badly as I scribbled down the directions to Fannie's house.

Oh no!!! I was in my church clothes and my hair was down, completely down! There was no way that I could possibly go into the house like this. I had been to two prenatals with the veil on and to go in for the birth like this would not be good. I pulled into her icy lane, noting that Freida wasn't there yet, I quickly grabbed my veil (oh so grateful at this point that I listened to that still small voice) and started putting my hair up.

First pin in, second pin...bzzzz bzzzz bzzzz....

It was Freida... "Hi..."

"Can you guess what's happening?"

"Oh no... is it time to go to Ada's?"

"Yes, I'm going to send you up there, you should head up right now, who knows how quickly she will go"

"I am sitting in Fannie's driveway, do you want me to just back out and leave?" I asked, thinking that it might be a bit questionable especially being that they would know that I was sitting there in their driveway. It's not common for Amish families to have cars in their driveway and being that they had called for us to come, for me to sit in the lane for a few minutes and then just back-up and leave might seem a bit odd.

"Yes, I do, it'll be fine. It is Fannie's first homebirth and she's more likely to want me to be at her birth, Ada won't mind having you there." Freida said, she must have heard the hesitation in my voice.

"Ok, I'll head up, should I get directions now or in a few minutes?" My voice sounding a bit more excited at this point. I was going to go to a delivery, with me being in charge of it. This would be amazing!

"In a few minutes, I'll see if Amy wants to go up to assist you."

"Oh, that would be great!!" Now I was really really excited. First, I was going to be able to go and do a birth, and second, Amy was going to be assisting me! It was an amazing feeling for me to know that Freida felt safe sending me to go do a delivery, and for me to be the main one.

Back-tracking up the hill, around the corner, down the long winding hill I went into Millersburg just waiting for Freida's call. She called and told me to go wait at our normal meeting place.

"Hop in, we've got to be quick" I joyfully said to Amy as she pulled in.

She gathered her things and jumped in the van. Down the road we went, praying for the Lord to part the cars so we could get there as soon as possible. Swartzentruber's are known for going really quick and I was not wanting to miss the birth. As we were driving I was praying that the Lord would hold her labor off until we got there. Ten minutes into our journey I realized that I still only had 2 pins in my hair and that I was still in my church-clothes.

"Hey, next light, let's switch seats"

"What?" Amy was a bit perplexed

"Yes, I have to change and put my hair up, there's no way I'm going in like this and I need to jump out of the car when we get there soo...."

"Ok, sure, you hoping out or just jumping over each other?"

"We can just jump over, it'll work"

We came up to the light and not knowing how long until the light would change I jumped into the back and she jumped over into the front seat just as the light turned and off she drove. Only to realize 5 minutes later that she had turned the wrong way. After turning back around we both were praying that we wouldn't miss the birth by 5 minutes. We drove into their lane and I jumped out of the car as she started slowing down.

I ran up the stairs, struggled to open the gate, then ran to the door. I couldn't get it open. What a horrible feeling, to not be sure whether she was giving birth or already and had the baby and I can't even get in the door, what a terrible reason to miss a birth eh? After what seemed like forever I got the door open and calmly went into the house. I didn't hear any cries and the husband and grandma were sitting at the table so I figured I was alright.

She was up walking around the house, breathing well through the contractions. After figuring out that the birth was not eminent Amy and I got everything all set up. She was at 7cm, -2, 50%, so we had some time. I walked around the house, sterilized the scissors, got our books, papers, and anything else we might need. We made ourselves comfortable on the cot in the room. From the looks of the cot, it appeared as if we had moved in.

Amy and I got out a book and decided to read. Amy kept blocking my light and so I decided to do something else... draw. Most Swartzentruber homes have a chalk board on one of the walls, and here it just happened to be right by the cot. After asking permission I started with a tree, then some grass, then a lake. Her husband came by and mentioned that there were no fish in the lake, so I added fish, then seaweed, then some dolphins, after his suggestion I added some jelly-fish. Her mom came by and said that the grass needed some fertilizer. Well I had not finished drawing the grass by the time I needed to get FHT's so after that was done I added more grass. By the end of the night it was quite the topic of discussion what I should add. Here's the result:

After a few more hours of waiting, walking, drawing, massaging, pull-ups on the drying rack (I got permission before doing it), and eating peaches which were oh so very yummy!! she was finally getting pushy! It was four hours later that her beautiful baby was born at 10:12pm. It was a good delivery, she almost kicked me off the bed and the cord was around the neck once, a bit tight but not too much. We got her all settled and then Amy and I went to the table to do some charting and get things ready for the newborn exam. Of course I had my time to sit and rock the little one in front of the wood stove before giving him back to his mommy.

Amy and I had quite the time charting and making notes about our wonderful evening together. We stayed until about 2:30am, two silly girls laughing and having fun in the kitchen while writing down and remembering all the fun and crazy things we had done. I could not stop laughing about our "sterile field" experience, everytime I thought about it I'd start to laugh. I had the gloves on and off and on and off because I didn't want to be in the situation where I'd miss catching the baby because I couldn't get my gloves on. Amy and I had a fun conversation going with her brother, and I was getting online on the cot in their home, Amy found that to be quite funny.

So after some time we decided it would probably be best for us to head towards home. I drove back, I was about to say that it was an uneventful trip but knowing Amy and I, it was anything but uneventful! We couldn’t find our directions and were not about to call anyone at this hour so we decided that we could figure it out on our own.

“Turn here” (Amy)

“I don’t think that’s the right road name” (Laura)

“But I think that’s where we turned on” (Amy)

So I turned onto the road… 2 minutes down the road…

“I really don’t remember that road name” (Laura)

“Fine lets turn around” (Amy)

So I turned around and went back to where we were…

(It ended up being the right road, but it was a different name than what it was when we turned onto it, so we were both right)

“Oh wait, were we supposed to go on the highway, or under it?” (Laura)

“Oh, that sounds like the right number, but it’s going North, we want East” (Amy)

“What do I do???”

“Go on the on-ramp.” “Wait” “No, I don’t think this is right”

All the while I’m stopping and starting and stopping and starting all along the on-ramp.

“Ok let’s try it” Amy said

Two minutes later…

“Turn around, this isn’t the right way”

“Ok, I’ll turn around at the next exit”

“We can’t wait for the next exit, go on the next turn-around”

“I can’t!”

“We just passed one, the next exit isn’t for awhile, back up and go on it”

“WHAT?!?!” “I’m not going to back up on a highway.”

“You have to, and it’s almost 3am, nobody is here, I’ll watch and make sure nobody is coming”

“I cannot believe I am doing this Amy!!” I said as I carefully backed up”

“There, ok now lets get off on the next exit”

After backing up and turning around about 5 times we finally got to the road we wanted and were on our way home.

I dropped Amy off at our meeting place and went the rest of my way home.

I had just gotten all snuggled into bed when… rrrriiiinnnggggg….

“Oh, no, I can’t believe it, I’ll just lay here and wait for Freida to come get me…”

5 minutes later….

Knock, knock, knock… “Laura, I know you just got home and into bed but it’s time to go to another delivery.”

“Alright, I’ll be ready in a few minutes.”

“It’s back up in Lodi, only about 5 miles from where you just were.”


I jumped out of bed, threw my clothes over my pj’s, got my veil on, grabbed some food and headed up the stairs and jumped into the car.


  1. Aw we miss you Laura!!! Keep blogging!-Ju

  2. I miss you all too! Oh so very much!! I'm working on getting caught up :) We'll see how long it takes, Any will have to help remind me of the things I forget ;)

  3. Laura you're fabulous with catching up on here! As I read all our crazy adventures the past weeks the memories all come flooding back and I wish you were here!! Ah that was just grand having you here! Amy

  4. I absolutly love the pic of you writing in the lamp light.:)

  5. So did you deliver the baby? Your story ends so abruptly!!

  6. I'm working on finishing it... it's just going a bit slower than I'd like. Now I'm off to go visit some Swartzentrubers around this area. Hopefully I'll be able to finish the story soon... :)