To Do


123. Watch a baby being born

My Story

Attempted May 15, 2000

My sister got pregnant and she asked me to be her “backup” coach. I went to the classes with her and her boyfriend and learned all about labor and birth and breathing exercises. I bought her copious amounts of eggnog milkshakes from McDonald’s. All in all, it was a whole lot of impatience waiting for that baby to arrive.

Finally, I get a phone call that gets me out of bed at 4:00am. She’s in labor. They’re going to the hospital. My stepmom is going to come pick me up in about an hour and we’re going to the hospital together. Two hours later, I get a call from my stepmom. She’s lost. She can’t find my place. It takes a good hour before I even figure out where she is. Finally, in desperation (and with thoughts of my sister giving birth without me), I tell her to stay right where she is and my roommate drives me to her. I take over the driving and get us to the hospital.

I run inside to find my sister sitting in a waiting room. She wasn’t dilated enough. They weren’t going to admit her. She was supposed to walk around the hospital for awhile, and then go back to be checked again. If her labor wasn’t progressing, they were going to send her back home. Unfortunately, my sister was in a bad mood. She didn’t want to walk around. She wanted to have her baby. Finally, we talked her into walking a couple of laps around the hospital. She went back to be checked, and guess what? No progress. They gave her a couple of mild sleeping pills and sent her back home. She was supposed to get some sleep and go back to the hospital to be checked again a few hours later.

So, we all headed back to her apartment. Everyone else went back to sleep, but I stayed up, playing video games, and waiting for my niece or nephew. (She hadn’t had an ultrasound, so we didn’t know what to expect.) A few hours later, my sister emerged from the bedroom, saying that she hadn’t gotten any sleep and that her hips hurt. She walked around her apartment for a few hours complaining about her hips. It was like she was miserable no matter what. She was very unhappy. No matter what we suggested, she wasn’t interested. We tried to get her to try a few different positions to see if anything would relieve the pressure on her hips. Nothing worked.

Finally, we said, “We should go back to the hospital.” She refused. She said that she wasn’t going to go back there until she was sure the baby was coming because she just knew they’d send her home again. The pain in her hips seemed to be getting worse. Finally, we talked her into going back. In the car on the way to the hospital, her water broke. They admitted her as soon as she arrived, and gave her an epidural almost immediately.

Things got pretty quiet then. She finally got some sleep and the rest of us spent time watching TV, reading magazines, and talking. Finally, around 10pm that night, something really started to happen. Her contractions intensified and we had to put all of our breathing lessons to good use. She was miserable. She kept saying that she felt like she wanted to push, but the nurses kept saying that she wasn’t dilated enough. This went on for hours. Finally, at about 2 a.m., they decided to do an emergency C-section. Sadly, only one person was allowed into the operating room with her, and of course she chose her boyfriend.

I sat in the delivery room for about a half hour and then got to see him for the first time! My nephew. Aw, what a sweetie! I couldn’t believe that he had just been in her tummy and now here he was…in my arms. He was so red and wrinkly and beautiful. I fell in love with him on the spot.

But I didn’t get to see him being born.

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