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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Birth (infancy) (08/20/09)

TITLE: Breathe!
By Valarie Sullivan


“Nope. I changed my mind.” Delia tried to get out of the bed. “I don’t want to do this right now, let’s do it tomorrow.”

I pushed her back onto the pillows. “It’s too late, now. This baby is coming…today.”

I looked at her husband, Jerome Wainsworth. He stood in a corner, chewing on his fingernails.


His mother, Sally, had left the room when the screaming started. “I don’t know how you can deal with this so calmly!” She had whispered to me.


My daughter had been in labor for over twelve hours. Surely, it would be any time now.

The nurses bustled in and out, checking the monitors, adjusting things. Once in awhile, I would go behind the screen by the bed so the nurses could assess her progress. Delia will lose her modesty later, I was sure.

“Its slow going, but definitely moving!” One nurse smiled at me as I came out of seclusion.

I held my daughter’s hands and encouraged her to breath through the pains.

“Momma, I can’t do this.” She panted.

“Yes, you can.” I glanced at the monitor. “Now, deep breath, this one is almost over.”

She complied, and then dozed a little.

I looked at the instrument that read how much oxygen was in her blood. “Delia, sweetie, breathe.” A few more breaths and the alarm shut itself off.

I kept a closer eye on that monitor while she slept, waking her every few minutes to breathe. She was exhausted.

“Dear Lord,” I prayed, “Give her strength. Please put Your hand upon her and keep her safe.”

Sally came in and stood on the other side of the bed.

“I need a break.” I told her. She nodded and I left the room.

Standing in the hall, I cried silent tears. I was so scared! Will I lose my daughter? Reaching out to God, I drew on His strength. “I know that You will never leave me, nor forsake me, Father. And Your Word often says ‘do not be afraid’. Help me, please, to be strong for her.”

A nurse came by and gave me a hug. “Don’t worry,” She said. “You’d be surprised at how they rally just before delivery.”

Encouraged, I went back into the labor room and found Delia panting through a contraction and Sally standing by the window.

Worse than useless!

I grabbed Delia’s hands and talked her through it.

“I’m sorry!” She cried out.

“For what?” I wiped her brow.

“I just wet myself.”

Oho! I called the nurse and she confirmed it. Her water finally broke. “I’ll call the doctor.”

“I’m not having this baby without an epidural!” Delia said, grimacing against the pain.

“Darlin’, you may not have any choice in the matter.” I silently wondered what was taking so long to give her the procedure to deaden the pain. They were called hours ago.

“I cant do this.”

“Yes, you can.”

A stronger contraction hit and she cried out. Sally beat a hasty retreat. I don’t know where Jerome got off to.

“No, I cant!” This time, it came out as a growl. “What are you grinning at?”

“You,” I smiled wider. ”Your beautiful when you are having a baby.”

Jerome showed up with the doctor. The physician ran Sally and me out of the room. “You can come back after I finish checking her.”

We stood by the door, praying, when a nurse poked her head out and yelled down the hall. “The baby’s coming NOW!”

I tried to go in with the responding nurses, but they shut the door in my face.

But, but, but…..

I was the one that encouraged her, fought with her, stayed with her throughout. Why was I excluded and HE allowed to stay?

Sally put her arm around my shoulder and we continued to pray. A few minutes later, we heard the blessed sound of a baby crying. Sally and I grinned at each other, praised God, and waited impatiently to be let in.

Finally! The door opened and we were introduced to our new grandson. The nurse told us he weighed nine pounds! I went to Delia and she gave me a tired smile.

“Thank you, Mom. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

“Sure, you could!” I looked down at the baby’s face and forgot my hard feelings against his father.

A woman wearing bright pink scrubs bounded in the door. “Someone need an epidural in here?”

We all groaned.
Too late!

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Member Comments
Member Date
Fiona Dorothy Stevenson08/27/09
Well told! I can relate to the MC although an unfamiliar situation for me. When my babies were born only hospital staff were allowed to be present. I have only sons, but when one grandson was born my husband did all the above for his wife. Good work. God bless you.
Lisa Johnson08/29/09
I know exactly how both MC's feel...My daughter got sent home 3 times in less than 24 hours, saying no progress...by the time they kept her, she had the baby in less than 45 minutes after getting to the hospital...no time for an epidural...she was a champ, just like your MC.