Contractions were flowing steadily, but not too strong. Things were picking up nicely but we hadn’t reached active labor.
It was just Shaleia and I in the room, laboring away quietly. The darkness penetrated only by the constant beeping and whirring of the machinery monitoring, pumping, and printing the next chapter of our lives together.
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.
At this point I became hysterical at the Divine comedy playing out before me. I could do nothing else but laugh. It wasn’t out of exhaustion or stress, but a genuine delight in the hilarity of it all. Shaleia was an absolute diamond of jokes.
In the moment, I had to keep this entirely to myself as everybody else was solemn and stressed. Momma bear was throwing down and the grizzly paws were flying every which way. This made me laugh and giggle even harder. Obviously, to anyone watching I may have looked insane, or at least exhausted to the point where my mind collapsed.
I just knew all that was happening was a mere appearance in a long, long line of nonsense we had worked through time and time and time again for heckkin’ years! The moment was so close! I felt so light and so full of joy.
All we had to do was work through it. I loved Shaleia in that moment more than I had ever loved her before. Bad betch was throwing down as she hulk-smashed her way through the BS to her dream. It wasn’t any person, every person was absolutely the epitome of professionalism, compassion, love, and kindness. Each was for us a dream come true and a pure expression of God’s Love for us.
It was the manifestation of separation consciousness clinging thickly to each moment asking us if we wanted to be apart from our dream. “No. We don’t want it. We want Union.” We repeated to the Universe time and time and time again. Over and over and over again.
Just when it looked like we were locked in, nope. More nonsense. My God, the endless poopnado of horsenanny that whirled and twirled, whipping and flinging its awful stinky trash our way. “No, I says! N-O NO!”
Only Union will do. Only God will do. Only Perfect Peace will do. Only Perfect Love will do.
“Ok dad, time to put on the surgical outfit.” Someone said.
I heard it, but literally nothing in me believed she was talking to me.
“Hey, Jeff…” Our midwife said, casting a sharp glance after hours of dealing with raging momma bear.
“Oh, me!” I said joyfully. My spirits were high, my heart was light, and my face was beaming. I felt the power.
They wheeled Shaleia to the operating room with me following behind. Almost there…
About to become a father, surgical gear in hand, special diapers at the ready
Shaleia’s final moments of laboring before C-section
Suited up and ready to go
Written by Jeff Divine
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