If you missed it, Part I starts here.
For the next three hours, Katy laboured hard with Tyler massaging her back, wiping her forehead, and helping her to the bathroom. She didn’t care if he saw her, gown draping open in the back. She had more important things on her mind. It required all of her mental energy just to keep from freaking out.
Suddenly at about midnight, Katy started panicking. “Where’s my purse? Tyler, did you see my purse?”
“No, let me look through your things.”
“What if that old couple stole my purse! And my car!”
“It’s okay, let me go ask at the desk.”
“No, please don’t leave, I can feel another contraction….” As soon as it was over, Tyler rushed out to the nurses desk. He came back two minutes later with her purse.
“Keys, phone, wallet, all here. Heh, even my business card! What do you need?”
“Text. Julia. Sister.” He helped her through another contraction before getting her to enter the passcode to unlock her phone.
“OK, message sent.”
“Thank you,” she whispered, lying back in her bed.
“No problem. What can I get you?”
“I don’t know,” she whimpered. “Can you just…hold me?”
Tyler must have been uncomfortably perched half on the bed but he wrapped his arms around her and rested his cheek on top of her head. She put her head on his chest and listened to his heart beating. ‘Thump-thump, thump- thump, thump-thump.’
“Much slower than my baby’s heart,” she said, finally relaxing a little.
“Good,” he said and she listened to the deepness of his voice as it rumbled in his chest.
“I think I’m going to sleep for a bit,” she said and he gave her a little squeeze. Five minutes passed before another contraction woke her up. After that they came close together and each one was longer than the last.
“You’re almost there, Katy. I know it. I’ve heard a lot of birth stories and this is the last little bit. You’re almost at ten centimetres and then you can push.” Tyler was in her face reassuring her as she cried between contractions.
“I’m so scared, it’s gonna hurt.” All she wanted to do was go home and go to sleep. All her physical and mental energy had been drained about two hours ago. Maybe if she would leave, labour would stop.
“I’m sure it will hurt babe, but in an hour or so, you’re not going to care. You’re going to be holding your little baby and the pain’ll all be behind you. You can do this. Trust your body.”
“No, my body sucks. I hate my body! Why did I have to get pregnant? Why did I sleep with that idiot?” she wailed.
“Shhh, shhh,” Tyler once again wrapped his arms around her and rocked her side to side.
“Oooh, that feels good,” Katy sighed as she relaxed into his arms.
“Here, let’s try something.” Tyler pulled her closer to the edge of the bed so she was almost falling off. “Lean forward onto me when you get your next contraction.”
The next ten minutes passed quickly until Tyler suddenly said, “We need the doctor. Hang on.” He pushed the red button and Candy rushed into the room within a few seconds.
“Yes,” she heard Tyler say. Contraction after contraction had hit, one on top of the other, for the last five minutes with hardly a ten second break.
Before she knew it, the room was buzzing with nurses and the Doctor was telling her to scoot up onto the bed. She looked around for Tyler who was standing back out of the way. She reached out her hand towards him and he quickly grabbed it. Her hair was plastered to her face and she felt like she going to vomit but holding his hand made everything a little bit better.
“Cold touch!” the doctor called. Katy hardly felt a thing this time. The doctor’s touch was nothing by now.
“Yup, ten centimetres. Any time you’re ready, Katy, you push!”
She felt the difference in the next contraction. She couldn’t help it. Her body wanted to push and she worked with it. The nurses stood back and Tyler moved in for support. “That’s right, you’ve got it, good job,” she heard him say over and over.
Twenty minutes later the doctor said, “Head’s coming. Take your time. Now pant.”
Katy panted but she wanted to scream. It hurt like nothing she had ever felt before. She kept her eyes desperately locked onto Tyler’s. He nodded. “You’re doing great, you’re amazing. You’re almost there.” He grabbed a dry towel and wiped her sweaty forehead and stuck an ice chip in her mouth. “Almost done, you’ve got it.”
“Head’s out, take a break. Do you want to look, Dad?” Katy saw a look of surprise jump across Tyler’s face and she almost smiled. He looked at her and she shrugged as if to say, ‘Whatever you want.’ Tyler broke eye contact with her for two seconds and glanced between her legs. His face brightened immediately as his eyes locked back onto hers.
“I saw it!” he whispered. Katy smiled but the next contraction was coming.
“Easy, easy, not too fast. One shoulder’s out, hang on…”
A minute later, it was all over and a crying baby was placed up on her belly. Katy finally took her eyes off of Tyler’s and let go of his hand. She reached down to touch her wet baby.
“You wanna cut the cord, coach?” the Doctor passed the giant scissors to Tyler and Katy couldn’t stop from crying. After the cord was clamped, Candy walked over and pulled back Katy’s gown, lifting the baby onto her chest.
“Here you go, skin to skin is where it’s at. You hold her while the doctor checks out the damage and then we’ll take her and clean her up.”
The baby immediately quieted down and wiggled into a tight ball on her chest. Katy smiled through her tears. She peaked under her gown and rubbed the familiar tiny back with her hand.
“It’s you. It’s really you. I can’t believe you’re here! We did it.” She dropped her gown and looked around the room for Tyler. Then she saw him at the door standing beside her Mom and Julia. Katy gave a little wave to them and a big, tired smile.
Her Mom called, “You did it, honey! Boy or girl?”
“What?” Katy called back weakly.
“Did you have a boy or a girl?”
“Oh.” She peeled back her gown. There was no shame now. Everyone had seen everything by now. She gently rolled her newborn over and took a look carefully between the baby’s legs. Girl.
“A girl!” she cried out as loud as she could. Julia and her Mom hugged each other and she saw her Mom turn to pepper Tyler with questions. The poor guy looked exhausted, and if he looked that bad, she must look a hundred times worse. But today she didn’t care. She had just accomplished one of the most amazing feats of her life.
Candy must have read her mind. “You look like you’ve been in labour, but you did uh-MAZE-ing! Seriously, amazing. I don’t know many other first time moms who’ve done as well as you. Probably thanks to that hunky birth coach you found yourself when I sent you packing the first time. You better catch that one.” She winked at Katy.
Katy smiled. She didn’t know how she would have done it without Tyler.
Less than an hour later, very early on Christmas Eve morning, Katy had a shower with Candy’s help. Her baby had been wiped clean and swaddled and her Mom, Dad, and Julia had passed around the newest little member of the Haden family and had snapped about a hundred pictures. They had left shortly after to go home and sleep and Candy had gone to check on someone else.
Katy lay in bed staring at the baby. Her baby. Her daughter. The smile wouldn’t come off her face even though she was more tired than she had ever been in her entire life. Her whole body ached but it was going to be okay. It was different than the aches and discomforts of pregnancy she had endured the past nine months, thank goodness.
The door opened slowly and Candy peeked in. “Everything okay?” she asked.
“Yeah, it’s great.”
“Have you tried nursing her yet? Let’s wake her up and see what we can do.” Candy walked in and unbundled the little girl. Then she helped Katy nurse her daughter for the first time. After the baby was finally latched onto her breast, Candy asked, “So, any thoughts on names yet?”
“I don’t know. Hadn’t really thought about it, to tell you the truth. This whole pregnancy has been full of unexpected…events. Not normal, to say the least.”
“Yeah, that’s the word. I mean the pregnancy wasn’t complicated. But everything else in my life has been. Until now. Now, it feels just about perfect.”
“Looks perfect to me,” said Candy as she tickled the bottom of the baby’s feet to wake her up. “She’s doing good, you’ll just have to work to keep her awake at the breast for the first couple of days.” She got up and took a look at Katy’s chart. “Let’s see, she was 6 pounds, 15 ounces, 39 weeks and 4 days. She’ll be fine.” Candy ran through some other things Katy needed to know as Katy gazed down at her newborn whose dark eyes were wide open, staring straight into her breast.
“Did Tyler leave?” she finally remembered to ask. After the baby was born, everything had been kind of a blur. The last ten hours were a bit of a blur.
“Mmmm hmmm. I’ll bet you a million bucks he’ll be back tomorrow morning, bright and early. That one’s a keeper.”
“Oh, see, she’s nodding off again. Here, let’s switch sides.”
Here’s the conclusion!