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Lily's Home Birth

Friday, March 4, 2011

I've never taken a stab at this before but I saw this week's writing prompt and before I could open up my word processor the words just started flowing.  I went a little over the word count, but I hope it doesn't matter, fiction stops for no one.



I woke up in a cold sweat.  My breathing was labored.  Pain.  Such pain.   I struggled to sit up.  Rolling back and forth to get my belly situated.  I thought at least the baby is still sleeping.  Then the pain hit me again.  It washed over me in waves of sheer agony.

I thought I have got to pee.  As I pulled the comforter back it was wet.  “Shit!  Did I go in my sleep?”  Certainly I would’ve have woken up.  I wasn’t sleeping that soundly to begin with.  Then I realized it was way too wet to have been that I had gone in my sleep.  My water had broken and I slept through it?

Well, it was my first pregnancy.  I didn’t know what to expect.  I gently nudged John.  “Babe.” I whispered through gritted teeth as I tried to breathe through the pain. “Whew…whew….whew…BABE!”  No more whisper.  This was loud and startled him to a straight sitting position.  “Call Christine….tell her we’re setting up the pool.”

John and I had read so many books about how we were going to bring this baby into the world.  We decided we were going to have her at home.  A water birth, with a midwife.  We were going to go for a silent birth, if possible.  Silent in that whispers were as much as we expected from the midwife and John.  I would muffle out the moans and try to breathe through the pain.

I waddled to the bathroom and John quickly called the midwife.  I took a quick shower while John set up the pool.  I tried timing the contractions but in the shower it was hard to count.  It seemed like they were coming too quickly.  Fear fell over me as the water pounded on my shoulders.  Was I ready?  Was John?  I know we have forgotten something.  My mind wondered in the seconds between the pains.

I wrapped a towel around me.  It gaped at the side my belly was so large.  I stopped in the doorway as I saw John swishing the water back and forth in the pool.  He was making sure it was warm enough.  The sides of his mouth turned up slightly in a small smile.  I could see the anticipation on his face.  The love was shining as he carefully filled the pool.  My heart leapt with joy.  Today my family would be whole.

I sank into the pool and got comfortable.  John answered the door when Christine arrived.  She checked to see how far along I was after getting settled in and said we would be seeing our new arrival much quicker than she thought.  First pregnancies typically take a long time she had told John and me several times over through these last several months.

An hour later I was pushing.  I had been a trooper they kept saying.  I didn’t feel like a trooper.  I felt like I was being ripped in half from the inside out.  I wanted to stop.  I thought I was an idiot for choosing to do this at home.   I thought this is never going to end.  I pushed.  I pushed harder.  I gave it everything I had.  Finally….relief.  She was out.

Christine and John quickly tended to our little miracle.  I laid my head back against the side of the pool.  I watched bleary eyed as John held her up.  She was perfect.  Purple little fingers and toes, a set of lungs, she cried out, and lots of hair.  Beauty embodied.  

John’s chest seemed puffed up with pride I thought.  I felt my body relax into the water.  It was warm.  I was cold.  I was tired.  I wanted to rest.

I remember thinking we did it.  The quiet birth.  It was so quiet.  I felt the quiet wash over me.  I slipped down a little lower in the water hoping the warmth would blanket me.  I was cold.  I was beginning to shiver.  Sleep…I needed some sleep.  Wait…I wanted to hold her….but I was so tired.  I could just close my eyes for a few seconds while they finished things up.

I heard hustling and commotion.  But my eyes were heavy.  So heavy.  I felt Christine grab my hand and push gently on my wrist.  She was gently patting my face.  “Michelle….wake up.   Stay with me.” 

“I’m so tired.” I whispered out.

I could hear John on the phone.  He sounded panic stricken.  I opened my eyes but they just rolled to the side and I couldn’t keep them open.  He handed the phone to Christine and I could hear her giving vitals to the EMTs. 

“John they’ll be here in two minutes.” I heard her assure him.

John knelt next to me.  He held my hand and kissed my forehead.  He whispered in my ear.  “You can’t do this.  You have to fight.  I can’t do this alone.  Please. Chelle..please my love.  I need you.  FIGHT.”  He pleaded.

I managed to whisper out, “I love you, tell her I loved her too.”  Sleep fell over me and I was warm.

As I drifted to my ever lasting slumber I heard John say “Lily, today water gives us life, and it also takes it away.  Your mommy loved you.”


36 comments:

Carrie said...

Oh man....That wasn't how I wanted it to end! Oh, I'm going ot go to bed thinking about this poor fictional little baby with no momma!!

You've written a very realistic piece. Simple language for the most part but that makes it all the more raw when the end is revealed

Tammy said...

OMG...that was so good but so sad...I didn't think it would end that way. A mom's worst nightmare! Great job...very creative.

Holly said...

You knocked it out of the ballpark for your first time. I can only imagine the agony of what such a scene would bring to a family. Childbirth is such an amazing moment but always filled with possible tragedy. Really beautifully written.

Cristina said...

whoa! I wasn't expecting the end. now I'm sitting here in tears. well done!

erin margolin said...

For your first time, Brandi, this was a wonderful job. The ending made me sad, but childbirth can be such a tricky thing, even these days with all our technology.

Glad you linked up!

Lapiz de la Guerra said...

Great post! I wished it hadn't ended that way, but killing off a great character is hard for any writer. Well done! There were some grammatical things that jumped out at me, but beyond that, this was a great piece!

Nancy C said...

Brandee! So glad you linked up! I love how we are right there with you. That line about the husband's anticipation is heartbreaking when we find out how it ends. Nice job.

Mrsblogalot said...

Holy crap that was unbelievable!

Am I a dork for tearing up at the end?

singedwingangel said...

Well crap I have gone through all of these other prompts and not teared up and THEN I come here. That was my biggest fear with my babies is something would happen to me and they would be motherless..

Denelle @CaitsConcepts said...

A few grammar issues/typos, but this was overall a great story! Very captivating. I'm glad you linked up this week to share.. Good job!!

Daffy said...

I know you've written much before this, but very cool of you to link up this time and post it. Would be great to see more of your writtings shared. You've such a great way of drawing the reader in so quickly and cutting to the chase.

Not surprising, Brandee, that is was Fantastic! Even if it did steal my breath and choke my heart. I loved it!

Daffy said...

Obviously Ducks lack the ability to proof read.

(Florida) Girl said...

Oh, as soon as I saw that ending coming I started to brace myself. Sadness.

Stopping by from TRDC.

Mandyland said...

Wow. Um. I wasn't expecting that ending. This was a fantastic post. I had to re-read it from the beginning just to capture all the reasons why my stomach knotted in the first read.

amygrew said...

Well this made me cry, so it was written well. Good job!

Tonya said...

Wow. This was your first time participating in the Red Writing Hood?! This is amazing.

I was not expecting that ending at all. It knocked the wind right out of me.

Well done.

Kristin said...

Like I told you last night, thanks for making me cry, A-hole. Hahaha! Love you and your mad writing skillz!

Andrea (ace1028) said...

Damn, woman, I was so excited to see that you had linked up (I didn't catch you there, I found it here) and now I want to throw up. It was so powerful, I really loved it, and then I got towards the end and felt it coming. I hate that her husband had to say that to the baby. I am so MAD that she submerged that way. And I am so proud of you for sharing! It's freakin' scary, isn't it? :) You kicked butt with this one!

Shell said...

Wow, girl. I don't care if you went a little over the word limit, b/c you had me engrossed in your story!

Selena said...

WOW. I'd totally forgotten you'd said it was fiction. I was right there with you. AWESOME.

Yuliya said...

Oh now why did you have to kill her! What did she ever do to you? I'm bummed.

From Tracie said...

I was not expecting that ending.

So sad.

You definitely nailed the prompt.

Babes Mami said...

I wasn't expecting that ending but it's a very real fear. It was one of the reasons I was scared to commit to a home birth but I didn't want a lot of interventions. Came to have to be induced, long painful labor and finally an emergency c section so not quite what I wanted.

Loved this piece Momma!

Sandra said...

Fantastic story, but please tell me it's complete fiction!

Erin said...

ACK!!! NOOOOOOO!!!!
How horrible, but so wonderfully written. I was so hoping for a different ending!!

It happens more times than we know! Heartbreaking!

Angie @ The Little Mumma said...

Your first time? Well done!

As others have said, some issues with grammar, some awkward phrasing and maybe a teeny bit of cliche here and there but overall, the journey you take the reader on is raw and sad.

Thanks for sharing!

Ash said...

Stories like these always make me so happy my birthing days are behind me. So many things to go wrong on a day that should go so right.

Excellent first shot. Can't wait to get to know you better through TRDC.

Ilana @mommyshorts said...

Oh no! I totally thought it was your real birth story til I got to the end. Wonderfully descriptive and so so sad.

Rebel Chick said...

I hope you do more trdc prompts, I really liked this! You can definitely paint a picture with words.

Veronica said...

As a mom, this is just heartbreaking. Very well written and captured just perfectly, but heartbreaking.

Glad you linked up!

Cheryl said...

So glad you joined us!

A very sad, sad story, especially as I had a home water birth - which turned out MUCH differently, thankfully!

Jen Has A Pen said...

Wow. I teared up. Unexpected.

The Blue Zoo said...

Aw! Geez. Great story, but now I have to go read something happy before I can go to sleep!

Really though, it was AWESOME!! You did great.

Mo 'Betta said...

wow! I have chill bumps. As a former labor and delivery nurse, I am very much against home births, and see... this is why! It's a worst-case scenario but very possible! Great writing!

Noelle said...

And now I will spend the day telling myself 'this won't happen to you.' it was beautifully written!

Michelle Pixie said...

I have goosebumps! Amazing! You are quite the writer my dear. I was right there in the moment.