the tradition grew as we waited for Bea to arrive, the after dinner dance party which included kids and grandparents. we danced on the night Bea was born the same way we had for the few weeks prior and at the end, Aaron, Amy and I loaded up in the car with hopes that with some natural labor encouragement, Bea would make her way into the world. We called ourselves the A team or A cubed. I think it is fair to say that with all the excitement i had, i also had no idea what was ahead and i was nervous. i feel confident Amy and Aaron were in a similar boat.
around 6:45pm we walked into an empty office and visited Dr. Grant Ailing, the dear doctor from New Zealand whom they have grown to really trust and respect. I could immediately see why, he was approachable, chatty even, warm, and you would have thought he never had anywhere to go but to be right there with those two. So the fun began. I'll spare details for the world-wide web other than to say one of my named highlights was Amy and I giggling hysterically as we noticed on the way to the washroom that liquid was running down her leg, and she didn't have extra pants which lead us to exchanging pants and me wearing maternity pants, it was a good look and a good laugh. All of our spirits were up and we tried to have light hearted conversation as we paced the hall and timed the contractions with my cool new contraction app. i had one iphone in one hand for contractions and one iphone in the other for texting to family updates. super savvy doula time.
after only about half an hour of walking it was time to head for the hospital, she was beginning to have more painful and frequent contractions. amy checked into the BC Women's hospital and they got her to a screening room quickly and began monitoring the baby's heart. Everytime i could hear Bea's heart, mine skipped a beat as i was growing in anticipation and hope for her. and i'm only the Aunt! Amy and Aaron so bravely discussed with doctors how Bea's heart rate while strong had a lower threshold and shared with docs that they were aware of her heart defects as well as her having down syndrome. while the A team's anticipation increased so did a bit of anxiety as we wondered how things would go when she arrived and if she would need to be immediately whisked away to the room they had close by for babies with similar risks. We tried to play a bit of trivial pursuit (another app) until Amy's contractions were so close together we couldn't make it through the questions and we were moved into a delivery room. Amy remained so strong although i could tell her pain was significantly increasing as the perspiration picked up and her need for comfort and new positions increased.
i know i am going to too much detail but did i mention this was one of the greatest privileges of my life to be a part of? did i mention that i probably said how excited i was about 20 X that night and couldn't sit i was so pumped?
by the time it was getting pretty heinous (nausea.. pain), Aaron and i thought an epidural might be nice to preserve energy for what may come only to be told that there were so many that checked in at the same time that the earliest an anesthesiologist could come would be 30 mins. Amy delivered in the next 30 mins. They rechecked her at that time and said she was about 5cm but within 15 minutes of terrible contractions (and me trying not to cry watching Amy in pain so bad), Amy was suddenly ready to push. i had this wildly conscious moment of staring at my beautiful older sister and thinking how surreal it was to be witnessing her courage front and center. and i do mean front and center. (very proud my gag reflex stayed in tac).
There was a wee bit of panic around Bea's heart rate at this time as 6-7 doctors rushed into the room and we realized that her doc may not make it over in time. Aaron calmly let Amy know of all those who joined the room and tried to keep her breathing until it was safe to push. THANKFULLY (before i needed to have too many words with the disorganized panicked resident), Dr. Ailing arrived and finished help coach through the delivery. I saw the head come out (way too blue for my comfort) followed with some difficulty by the shoulders and then the VERY long body. we all held our breath for the cry as they put Bea on Amy's chest, and as soon as i heard it, i burst into tears of relief. she was lovely, breathing, and immediately happier on Amy's chest. i may have scared Aaron a bit with the tears but i could see from his face he too had held so much in and was so so very relieved to meet his daughter, he followed her around for all the next exams to hear was she okay.
It was 6.22.12 at 22:02pm and there was my lovely strong worn sister meeting her 9lb. 21 inch long Beatrice that she just brought into the world (sans drugs i repeat). It was an awesome night, covered in prayer by faithful friends all over and instantly we all felt so grateful.
(i took some awesome pics on their cam and i am V hopeful that someday they will send them to me so i can share the two beauties with you).