I went out for a bathroom break and a walk. I ran into a man in scrubs and he helped direct me to the nearest restroom. I thanked him and started walking. He started walking in the same direction.
“Oh hey, we’re doing that thing.” I said smiling at him, a pep in my step.
“What thing?” Said the man.
“That thing where you end a conversation and both start walking in the same direction.” I said still smiling.
I’m not sure what he expected from me, but that wasn’t it. He definitely hadn’t seen ‘Superbad.’
Later, that man walked into our room with a team of nurses in tow and introduced himself as the doctor on call. He had a solemn face and had some uncomfortable news. His crew shared his look.
Minutes before, a nurse came in hurriedly telling Shaleia she needed to change positions immediately.
“But I just got into this position two minutes ago.” Shaleia complained.
The nurse insisted, awkwardly trying to move Shaleia along before she agreed to the move. She resisted in protest, grumbling and fending off the nurse.
I remembered hours before, that nurse had said this moment would only come if baby’s heart-rate lowered. I glanced quickly at the monitor. Baby’s heart rate looked normal, 150. Even a touch higher than the average I had been seeing flash across the screen.
The nurse continued to gently help the annoyed Shaleia to her other side and was still tussling with her when the doctor walked in.
He pointed to the monitor and told us for the last two hours, baby’s heart-rate was dipping low during every contraction. He said this was not a good sign and that while she’s strong still, this was a good time to discuss C-Section.
Literally the last thing we wanted to hear. Shaleia, only hours before, was prepared almost exclusively for a home birth. She had every product and tool she could need for it. She spent hundreds of hours researching products and learning about the process. It was a lot for her to take in.
Amidst all the hormones and medications, the stress, the exhaustion, the pressure, and the pure exhilaration of being a mere few hours away from our baby, this is something she didn’t want to hear. Momma to be became momma bear.
We decided to take some measures to try to restart birth and calm the contractions so baby could get a breather. The nurses pulled the birth induction medication, and we waited.
Contractions became less frequent, but continued strong and steady. Baby’s heart-rate stopped dipping, but the emotional toll on mom had already been taken. It was too much confusion, too much stress, too many hours without sleep. Too much to process.
The pain medication wasn’t working right and Shaleia began complaining loudly about it. Her typical Canadian politeness became terse and poignant to the point of bludgeoning bluntness.
“Where the heck is the anesthesiologist?” She said, the thickness of the moment clubbing every person in the room somber in a way no words or story could ever truly convey.
“He’s in a surgery right now and he’ll be here very soon.”
Shaleia decided clearly she didn’t want the struggle anymore. It was all too much to continue this way. She did exactly what we teach in Life Purpose Class, she reached for the lowest hanging fruit.
“I want to have a C-section.” She said. After some paperwork and what must have felt like an eternity to Shaleia, the anesthesiologist finally arrived.
“Your medication is working as intended.” He said. Shaleia almost laughed.
He went on to explain there are many different kinds of pain and the medication wouldn’t help with this kind. Shaleia became apple boy.