A couple of weeks ago, Gemma Grace Wright decided to be born.
In retro diary form (an idea I am blatantly stealing from a columnist named Bill Simmons), here’s how it happened
Editor’s Note: The times and quotations might not be completely accurate, but they’re pretty close.
Editor’s Note II: Also, forgive me if I can’t keep the verb tense right. This is harder than it might look.
Anyway, without further ado . . .
November 23, 2013
Lauren decides that she’s going to have the baby in a birthing center with midwives, rather than in a hospital with doctors.
April 9, 2013 (the actual due date)
The Mrs. is convinced the baby is coming today or tomorrow. Because I keep expectations low, I’m convinced it’s not coming. First time I’ve been right in two and a half years.
April 10, 2013
I get a substitute because the Mrs. is convinced the baby is coming. The baby doesn’t come, but I sure do get a lot done around the house. The only explanation I have for delay is that the baby is scared of living in the Goshe. Can’t blame her to be honest.
April 11, 2013
10:34 a.m.—Lauren has had enough of the waiting. She calls the birthing center where she plans to have the baby and says, “Listen midwife people, we’ve got to get this show on the road. I’ve got a baby in my stomach that no longer fits.” Their response is to meet them at 7:00 p.m. at their place. We agree.
7:23 p.m.—We arrive at the birthing center (little did we know how we were going to leave a couple hours later).
8:00 p.m.—The midwives work their trickery and the contractions begin.
Editor’s Note III: For those of you who don’t actually know what a contraction is, don’t feel bad, I didn’t either until about three months ago.
9:00 p.m.—The contractions start to increase in intensity. It’s definitely go time.
9:14 p.m.—Lauren’s mom and sister, Leigh, show up to be part of the support team.
9:34 p.m.—Somewhere between contractions Lauren yells, “This [having a natural birth] birth is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. Why did I do this?” But that’s all she can get out before the pain comes back. Honestly, I didn’t really have a good answer anyway.
10:13 p.m.—I try to say something to Lauren like, “You’re so amazing” but she yells at me for about the fourth time with something like, “You’re not helping. Keep your big mouth shut.” I decide it’s best not to say anything from here on out.
10:56 p.m.—Lots of contractions. Lots of pain. Lots of soothing words from the midwife Esther. For some reason Esther could say anything she wanted without Lauren snapping at her. It must have been the foreign accent. I’ll have to work on my Russian accent before the next birth (if there is a “next”).
11:15 p.m.—After much pain, Gemma Grace is born. She weighs 11 lbs. 8 oz. and is 24 inches long. All the midwives and other onlookers are telling me that she is a big baby; she looks pretty small to me.
11:15.34 p.m.—Lauren tells me her name will be “Gemma Grace”. I love it.
11:16 p.m.—Everybody thinks that the hard work is over with and it’s all downhill from here. Boy were they wrong. For the next 30 minutes, lots of things happened which probably shouldn’t be described in too much detail. But basically Lauren was in lots of pain, lost lots of blood, and the midwives didn’t really have a clue as to how to help her. Me, I sat and watched it all while holding Gemma Grace for most of it.
11:45 p.m—The midwives finally realize they don’t have a clue and call 911.
11:50 p.m.—The emergency medical technicians arrive. Lauren is pretty out of it, but is awake enough to realize that one of the EMTs is actually very good looking (at least that’s what she told me later). I’m not really sure how good looking he was, but I will tell you this, he was definitely miles more prepared than the midwife people. He took charge on the scene and we (meaning the Mrs. and I) made our way to Timpanogas Hospital by way of ambulance.
April 12, 2013
12:17 a.m.—We arrive at the ER at Timpanogas Hospital. Much less chaotic than the birthing center, thank goodness for that. Unfortunately the midwives followed and are still lurking. I kind of want to give them a piece of my mind, but I don’t. I just sit by the bed and watch the nurses and doctor work. They seem to be pretty competent.
12:54 a.m.—Competent but apparently not in a rush. Still no anesthesiologist or ob/gyn. Lots of blood though. And because the Mrs. lost so much blood, no pain killers either. So lots of blood and lots of pain.
1:12 a.m.—The ob/gyn Dr. Rees arrives. I like him. If he runs for political office, I’ll vote for him. He puts the midwives in their place (finally) and tells Lauren and I that everything will be fine (most likely). Just one problem, still no anesthesiologist. We continue our wait.
1:20 a.m.—All the nurses have left so I get up and stand by Lauren’s bed. She gets mad at me one more time just for old time’s sake. I probably deserve it.
1:32 a.m—Finally, the anesthesiologist, who is the grumpiest old man I have ever met, arrives. I would not vote for him, nor would I want him to be my grandpa.
1:40 a.m.—Lauren goes in to surgery to have the problems fixed. I go and sit with Leigh (who is still there bless her heart) and Ted, Lauren’s brother (I don’t bless his heart because he’s just there so he can have an excuse to miss school the next day). Not one good magazine to read if you can believe it. All nonsense magazines.
Editor’s Note IV: In case you were wondering, Gemma Grace is under the watchful care of Lauren’s mother this whole time.
2:10 a.m.—Dr. Rees comes out and tells me the surgery was a success, but the Mrs. needs to stay awhile in the hospital. He also says something to the effect of, “If you ever have another baby, don’t be stupid. Go to a hospital where people have a clue.”
2:15 a.m.—I get Gemma Grace from Grandma (Grandma and Leigh stay at the hospital with Lauren) and drive to my mother’s house.
3:00 a.m.—Gemma Grace and I arrive at the Wright Homestead in Salem, UT. Since most of the doors are locked, I have to go through the back door which is usually jammed. I finally get it open but break the curtain rod entering. No big deal though, at least I am now at a real house with a real bed.
3:30 a.m.—Gemma Grace and I go to bed downstairs at Grandma Dee’s and Gemma spends her first night on earth sleeping in her car seat next to her rather tired father.
Epilogue—Later that same day we went to pick up Lauren from the hospital. She was feeling much better so we gathered her up and went out to the Goshe to begin our lives with our new addition.
Post Script—On a more serious note, some few people asked me afterwards if I wasn’t traumatized by the whole event. I wasn’t and here’s why. When I saw my dad die, one of the things I learned was that our lives are in God’s hands and that in many, if not most, situations, there is not much we can do. In such situations, we can pray and we can trust. As a sat in the birthing center and later in the hospital. I knew this was one of those situations and there was nothing I personally could do (although the doctors and nurses could, and did, do a lot). Either God was going to take Lauren or He was going to help those doctors figure out a way to let her stay. All I could do was pray and trust. So that’s what I did. And personally, I’m glad He let her stay.