This post is being written by Aaron, husband to Sherry and father to Faith. I, like most of you, had to hold back my tears when I read Sherry’s last post and watched the video. It was very powerful. The purpose of my post is to fill in the blanks here and there since Sherry was “withdrawn” most all of July 2nd, the day of labor. I am no where near the writer Sherry is, so this is my warning to you: Don’t expect another great blog post this time. :) -Plus my memory is terrible.
You all know Sherry’s fear of needles. After we were settled into the room and Sherry was in her stylish hospital gown the nurse came in to place a catheter in her arm, like an IV but its not a steel needle left in the vain but a tiny plastic catheter. To get the catheter in her vain the nurse still had to use a big, fat, scary, rusty, jagged NEEDLE! In Sherry’s mind anyway. The nurse had trouble getting it set in the vain. Sherry was in a lot of pain. The nurse moved it back and forth and eventually pulled it out. She said it was hitting a “valve”. So she had to put it in the other arm. I was holding Sherry’s hand and staring into her eyes trying to pull any pain from her. I’m not sure it helped because she was almost in tears. Finally the dreaded IV was set and taped to her arm. Vitals were checked periodically. I was able to sleep on a pull-out sofa bed in the room with Sherry on July 1st. I was very tired when we went to sleep that night. Sherry had the Cervidil in and was anxious to go to sleep and wake up in the morning well rested and starting labor pains. What really happened was this– We both laid down. I fell asleep instantly but as soon as Sherry was falling asleep she was awakened by a nurse to check her vitals and usually had to get up to use the restroom. Soon after, Sherry was pressing the button for the nurses to come in and help her with taking the IV machine and unhooking the monitors from the machine so she could take it all into the bathroom with her. She began this routine around midnight and was up and pressing the button about every 20 minutes. The nurses would use the visit to check her vitals as well. Most of the time I was in a daze when the nurses would come in. I felt sorry for Sherry. I knew she was getting no sleep. I on the other hand could barely open my eyes. By morning, around 6am or so, She began to feel sick. Flu- like symptoms while she was getting up to pee. It started with achiness, but soon turned into vomiting then vomiting while having diarrhea. Then add contractions to it all. I felt so sorry for her. In the morning, July 2nd, Sherry was dead tired and wondering if the contractions she was having were Braxton Hicks contractions or the real thing. She wasn’t feeling much pain. That was the first question when the nurse came in. She said “You’ve been in labor all night.” They removed the Cervidil and told Sherry to try to get some sleep. It seems like when the nurses left the room the labor pains set in. It wasn’t very gradual. I don’t think they were any stronger than what she had been feeling all night, but they were painful ever since the Cervidil had been removed. That was the beginning of Sherry trying her hardest to get some sleep so she would be rested for all the pushing she was going to have to be doing to bring Faith into this world. I was awake and up holding Sherry’s hand when they removed the Cervidil. From then on, I was by her side helping her get through each painful contraction. It was the only thing I could do for her. I felt helpless most of the time. She would sleep between each contraction but would be pulled out of neverland by a painful tightness every two to four minutes. I could watch the monitor that was hooked up to her belly. I could watch the digital numbers climb and the tiny black line on the gridded paper rise up and up. The pain on her face was evident. It was hard to watch. This went on the whole day and into the night. Sometime in the evening hours they gave Sherry Nubain to knock the edge off the pain. It helped a little. The doctor wanted Sherry to roll over from side to side every 20 or 30 minutes or so to help Faith move closer to the cervix. It was hard and painful for her to do so. She had no strength in her abs and hadn’t eaten. When she would turn it made her whole body shake. Not like a cold shake but almost like a convulsive shake. The nurses and doctor said it was normal but gave no explanation. Later on in the night they told us Sherry was dilated to ten centimeters but still she had no urge to push. In the beginning of this post I said I was going to fill in the blanks. I think I’ve brought you up to speed as to what Sherry was a little cloudy on. From here I want to talk about what it was like during birth.
Sherry was in the birthing position, the nurse was in position to….do whatever a nurse does down there. :) I was, of course, at Sherry’s side and doing my best to coach her. That means I was just repeating everything the nurse said. Sherry had been pushing for awhile and Faith was close to making her debut. The nurse went to get the doctor to do the delivering. The little doctor came in wearing her delivering scrubs. Sherry and I were both excited. We knew it wasn’t long now before we would be holding our little Faith Isabel! Faith was being stubborn and Sherry was getting worn out from pushing. I was getting tired from being up for so long, but I was wide awake with excitement. With every push Faith was a little closer and a little closer. At 2:50am on July 3rd her ugly little misshapen head popped out, followed by her pudgy slimy body! My baby girl was born!! They laid her on Sherry’s chest and sucked the goop out of her airways and out came that first cry. It wasn’t a loud agonizing cry, but a soft telling cry. A cry that will be used to let us know she’s hungry, or uncomfortable, or she just wants to be held. She quickly quieted down after she was covered up. She had almost a full head of hair. It was my hair line when I was born. My dad always said I looked like Don Rickles with my hair. Her hair was long but in that “Don Rickles” pattern of baldness. It was probably over an inch long already. After a couple minutes of letting us stare at her they took her to the activity side of the room. They cleaned her, weighed her, got her length, looked over her body for antlers, tails, and feathers. She was perfectly healthy! Then they had to give her the first of many shots to come in her early childhood. A potassium shot, right in the thigh. I was right there watching all of this. Sherry was in the bed still, but watching the best she could from her position. I was dreading her screaming from the shot. The nurse grabbed her leg and steadied it. Faith was already crying a little bit. The needle came down swiftly into her little thigh and her cries didn’t get any louder. She had stopped crying within just a couple minutes. I was surprised and relieved. After the nurses got all their stuff done with Finally they let me hold Faith wrapped in a blanket. I went to Sherry so she could see her baby all cleaned up. It was hard holding tears back when I was looking at Faith and Sherry and realizing that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. This is God’s plan for me.