My girl was out of bed before me...in the bathroom...not normal operating procedure.
The door to my room opens and she's standing there, a look of distress on her morning face.
"I don't feel good. I think it might be today. I wish Danny were here." Again, labor arrives early in the morning.
I spring out of bed. "What can I do?"
Again, "I wish Danny was here."
She decides to take a shower. She just wants to shower, put a little make-up on, feel human, be ready for the photo opp' that is surely ahead. But then, she's overcome by pain and collapses to the bathroom floor in a fetal heap. The wave passes and she's up, into the shower. But there will be no shampoo. There's no time. And all the while, our little Ru sleeps, blissfully unaware of what is happening outside her bedroom door. I text Ommie Sandy:
"CAN YOU COME NOW?"
I gather clothes, load the car. Did yesterday have to be the day the city dug up the driveway to replace it with smooth new concrete? Drat. I back the car into the next door neighbor's driveway.
I gingerly help my girl get dressed. She winces, "Where is Sandy?"
"'On her way" And knowing that's true, but hoping she's going to drive up any second.
"But Daddy isn't home. We prayed for Daddy to be here."
And Momma soothes her little chick..."I know...I wanted him to be here, too, but it will be okay."
Ommie Sandy arrives and takes charge of our little Ru as we make our exit. The 6 mile drive begins and time is of the essence. We traverse the streets of Long Beach and I am grateful it is still early and there is little traffic. It is just after 7 am. I am urged to drive faster and I respond accordingly- we are nearly there. Flashback- the urgency of her pleas remind me of another drive to the hospital, 33 years earlier, when I implored her father to drive faster, and to avoid any bumps in the road. Deja-vu.
She repeatedly voices, "I wish Danny were here." And I know he wishes the same. He has been in Texas for over a week, getting crucial training to fly a new plane so that he can provide for his growing family. We had prayed that he would return in time to share in the birth of their new girl, but clearly this was not to be. This is hard for all of them, I know, but I pause to be thankful for this man who loves this little family so much and who is a faithful husband, father and provider to his precious girls. At this point all he knows is that we are en route to the hospital. I have been entrusted with this sacred responsibility and am honored to take it on.
I pull into the hospital drive and up to the curb and she is suddenly frantic-she cannot wait. I jump out, run in and tell the guard I need a wheel chair "right now!"-that my daughter is ready to give birth. He looks for a chair and there is none. I go back to the car and the urgency has intensified. I return to the guard..."I need help, NOW!"
I return to the car and assure my girl that help is on the way. And within seconds, two beautiful nurses were there with a chair-and summoning a doctor. A birth is imminent. A cursory exam is done curbside and the decision is made to transport her immediately upstairs. There is time.
Sweet nurses assist her out of the car and I jump back in to park the car. I turn into an ER-ONLY lot, I ask for permission-"this is a bit of an emergency" and permission is granted. It is 7:15 AM. Within 5 minutes I have parked, gathered a mountain of belongings and arrive on the second floor where I am instantly directed to a room where my only child is about to deliver her second baby girl.
An IV is being inserted and the words "10 centimeters" are voiced. There is no time for an epidural. It is time. An unknown doctor enters the room, young and fresh out of med school no doubt. But, she is up for the task and the work begins. Precious nurses encourage Amanda to breathe through the pain. Cameras are in hand and the hard work begins.
At one point, Amanda prays aloud, through the pain, and one of the nurses does something so remarkable and so brave and so good. She asks Amanda, "Are we praying to Jesus?"
"oh, yes, we are."
And she proceeds with, "then, let's pray. All activity ceased and everyone in the room closed eyes and dropped their heads while this precious and courageous young woman petitioned heaven for the safe arrival of, and blessing on our sweet baby girl. It was a moment of awe that I will never forget.
And moments later, and I do mean moments, our little Minnie Eloise, was born at 7:34 AM-nineteen minutes from the time we pulled up to the curb at the hospital! And she is perfect! They immediately placed her on Amanda's chest and left them to bond together. I cut the cord!
And then I held her as her
Momma slept briefly. What a privilege and what bliss!
I think she's pretty spectacular. And I'm not the only one. I'm thinkin' we're gonna keep her.
|Ru meets Minnie for the first time!|
Grateful and blessed.