To Zion

Rich and Samuel
Rich and Samuel

I text Tara. It’s May 7th and I haven’t heard from her in a while… she should be having a baby any day now! How are you?? “I’m OK. Hanging in there. No baby yet. Had back labor all last night and had to get an epidural. They are now softening my cervix to move things along. This baby is so stubborn but doing well. I’m exhausted. Things should really start tonight.”

OK. I was not expecting this response. Tara is having the baby! It’s happening! Here is my dumb response, seven minutes later, on May 7th. OMGGGGG. You’re at the hospital?! “I am!” Ahhhhhhh!! “Baby probably tomorrow.” So exciting! Keep me updated so I can hopefully come tomorrow before work! Hang in there! (no idea what to tell you lol). No matter what, I have off Thursday so I will see you soon! “Thanks Linds!! See you soon.” Aw I can’t wait to meet Sam. Can’t believe you had back labor. “Worst pain of my life.” OMG I knew it! (Mom had recently told me about having back labor with Sarah and how awful it was. I told Tara about it, thinking she would never have to go through it. “I didn’t even feel the regular contractions yet. They come later lol but apparently nothing is worse than back labor.” Damn. What’s happening now (7:32pm). Are you eating ice chips while Rich captures everything on video. “Haha if Rich had video on right now I’d hit him.” LOL I know, he’s probably super calm and at your beckon call. “He’s been great. Last night was tough.” Have you slept since last night? “I slept in the last few hours. Might again before midnight so I have some strength.” Goodness… so you’ve technically been in labor this whole time. “Basically.” That’s crazy, Tara. Sam is going to be a tough cookie. “Just passed my 24th hour in the hospital lol. And yes, he will… OK I’m gonna get back to resting. See you soon! “OK text/call me!!! Love you! (7:42pm) “Love you too.”

May 8 1:57pm Tara texts me this picture.

-1
Sam

Ugh. My heart melts. I believe that babies are babies. They all look generally the same. And who cares what they look like now, anyway? They’ll change. If you have an ugly baby, it’s OK. That baby could very well turn out to be very good looking. This stage really doesn’t matter. But Sam is freaking adorable. I don’t know if things have changed because now when I see a newborn baby I know who created him, but I really just think that Sam is cute. (Have you looked at the above picture?)

I text Tara about seeing her/him. And where’s Birdie? Is she OK? I have off tomorrow if you need anything. “Absolutely. We leave the hospital at noon.” After texting back and forth I finally come over right after Rich and Tara and Sam arrive home. Rich is standing outside with Birdie. I jump out of the car and say hi to Birdie, then congratulate Rich and give him a hug. We talk for a second but he is quick to tell me to go inside and meet him. I see Tara with the baby. Why she is standing I have no idea. She must be exhausted. Suzy is here, too. I say hi to her but can’t take my eyes off this little, tiny baby. He’s so small! This is the youngest baby I’ve ever met. Sam is basically average size, but I’ve just never seen it. So tiny. I ask Tara how she’s doing. She says OK but she looks like she should definitely lay down (or at least sit down). She finally does, holding Sam close.

It’s a while before we really get into it, but Tara finally tells me what it was like giving birth. She opens her eyes big. “Lindsay. It was crazy.” She looks at Rich, so I look at him to see his response. He nods his head. “Tara went primal.” What?? What do you mean? Tara tells me how it all went down. And she’s right. It was crazy. First of all, the back labor. Ugh, I hurt just thinking about it. Tara has trouble describing it at first, but she paints the picture. “It felt like bone scraping bone on my uterus.” Ew! That’s awful.

Sam and his happy Mom
Sam and his happy Mom

So then, after all that; after she’s been in the hospital for over 24 hours, she’s dilated at however many centimeters. Now Rich gets involved. “Lindsay she was at “” centimeters, and then an hour later, she was at “” centimeters!” He says this like I’m going to be amazed. Rich, I have no idea what that means. “Oh. Well, that’s really fast.” Point being, when she was at whatever centimeters, the doctor checked in, assumed she wouldn’t go for a while, and. Well. He was wrong. So, he didn’t make it in time. Tara is in labor and the doctor isn’t even in the room.

I didn’t mention this yet, but Tara’s doula is in the room. For those who don’t know what this is, according to Wikipedia, a doula is a nonmedical person who assists a woman before, during, or after childbirth, as well as her partner by providing information, physical assistance, and emotional support. So this lady has sort of been by Tara’s side through the whole pregnancy. Kind of awesome, I think. To have someone to answer all your questions and help you with everything. I don’t know much about any of it, but doulas don’t necessarily (at all) like to handle childbirth the same way that doctors do. I’m wondering about this. It was OK for her to be in the room? Rich explains. “She doesn’t introduce herself as a doula – just as a family friend. That way, the doctor won’t be threatened by her presence.” OK, that makes sense. Look at you guys being all sneaky with your childbirth.

Since I don’t know her name, let’s call her Doula. So, the doctor isn’t here and Tara is literally about to give birth to Sam, and Doula steps in. I mean, I wasn’t there. I don’t really know what happened, but it sounds like she was extremely, extremely helpful. At one point, Tara is yelling about how she must be being punished for something she’s done.

Hilarious. Then, she’s on all fours, screaming, and Doula is helping her, telling her to push. Now, the nurses in the room are like, what is happening? They’ve never seen this before, so they run and tell other people on the floor about what’s going down. Tara looks up and sees about eight nurses staring at her, witnessing this birth. Again, I don’t know, but I picture Tara yelling at them to get out. Possible f-bomb. Sam’s head is out, and for the last push, Doula (and maybe some nurses) have her turn back around and lay on her back for the last push. I’m pretty sure Tara refuses, but Doula coaxes her into it. Oh, and now the doctor is here. Way to go doc. We didn’t need you anyway.

Actually, I think it’s perfect that the doctor wasn’t in the room. It sounds like the way Tara did it was the way it should have been done. I’m happy it all ended so well. Not that it went well – God, it sounded horrible – but Sam is here and healthy and so is Tara. I don’t stay too long. Figure they want to be alone with Sam. But Tara texts me later. “Thanks for stopping by today. I was in a total haze but I’m glad you met him.”

*Lauryn Hill

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