A Letter to the Woman Behind the Curtian .... A Birth Story
To the Woman Behind the Curtain,
First of all, I want to apologize. I was later told that, according to the nurses' monitors, our little adventure made your blood pressure soar. Sorry about that.
Secondly, perhaps I should explain to you, that not many babies are born in triage, two minutes after arriving at the hospital, and even fewer are actually born on the toilet.
But this case was different (and a bit amusing), and here's why:
Beth had been at the hospital just a few hours earlier, three hours to be correct, and though there was a lot of birth activity going on with her, she was found to be only 1 cm dilated. So her doctor sent her home. Then within the very short time between arriving back home and turning around to drive back to the hospital, Beth had not only progressed 9 cm more, but her water had broken... all over her bathroom floor... and she had begun to push... while kneeling on her bedroom floor.
Since Beth was about to have her baby (and quickly!), it seemed only fitting that it was time to head back to the hospital during the peak of Rush Hour, when every body and their mothers are going south on the 5 Freeway, the same direction as the hospital. But the shoulder lane was clear, and there were no cops about, so all's well that ends well... and we arrived on the Labor and Delivery floor no worse the wear.
And that is where we come in to your life. You were in triage, lying peacefully in bed, hooked up to the monitors, listening to your baby's heartbeat, waiting patiently to meet him or her, when we come barging in the room, the nurse drawing a curtain around you, so that you can't see anything, but you can hear all the hustle and bustle and carrying on.
I am sure you heard Beth asking to use the bathroom real quickly upon entering the room, and then heard her sit on the toilet and suddenly shout, "Aaaah! I have to puuush!" This is what I heard from the hallway, so I raced inside, only to find Beth half standing, half sitting on the toilet, her left hand gripping the metal railing attached to wall, trying to prop her body up. Two nurses were immediately crouched down by the bowel, still trying to put on gloves when the baby's head came out. Very gently, one nurse put her hand under Beth, in order to shield the baby from the toilet, and the rest of the baby half slid, half fell out into the world!
One of nurses turned around and said to me, "Can you get baby blankets? They are right behind you."
But there were no blankets behind me. There were no blankets outside the bathroom. I knew it was most important to just get the baby dry, so I ran to the nearest bed (the one right across from you), and grabbed the sheet off of it. When I brought it into the bathroom, the nurses chuckled and gave me an odd look, but we all got to work rubbing the new little girl down with the huge, white hospital sheet. The time was exactly 2 minutes after we arrived at the hospital.
Just then, the doctor walks in and gave us a look of utter surprise. Beth looked up at him and exclaimed: "Thanks for sending me home!" We all laughed. Then Beth's husband walked in, just arrived from parking the car, and was dumfounded at the sight awaiting him. With tears in his eyes, he held his little girl while we werehelping Beth off the toilet, and he kissed her and talked to her and introduced himself to her.
The nurses decided it was time to finally admit Beth into the hospital, and they wheeled her out of triage to her postpartum room, all of us following behind her. Finally we left you in peace to continue lying in bed and listening to your baby. And to recover your nerves.
So, as I draw my story of apology to a close, I do hope that you were not too frightened by what you heard, and I really hope your birth played out to be an unforgettable experience! And I hope your blood pressure returned to normal very soon after we left you.
Now you can tell your child, that somewhere out there is a little girl who shares their birthday, a little girl who surprised us all by being born, in triage, on the toilet, exactly two minutes after reaching the hospital. (Ok, you can leave the toilet part out if you want...) The only predictable thing about birth, is that it is so unpredictable! But I think that is my favorite part of it all.
Blessings to you and your new Little Bundle of Joy,