Anna was sitting in the recliner watching TV when her water broke. She dashed to the bathroom leaving drops of water behind her. William looked up from the newspaper he was reading, startled. "Anna?"
"Yes, it's time," she told him.
They collected the suitcase which had been packed and ready for a couple of weeks and headed for the hospital. On the way there Anna felt some contractions that were quite powerful. She practiced her breathing exercises.
At the hospital she was taken up to the labor and delivery floor in a wheelchair. A smiling nurse greeted her. "Hi, I'm Julie." She got Anna settled into bed and started her IV.
"Could I please have something for pain?" Anna asked.
"Sure." Julie added a dose of Demerol to her IV. Anna lay back and closed her eyes, waiting for the medicine to take effect. William paced nervously around the room. "Are you OK, hon?" he asked her.
"In a few minutes I will be." The medicine was giving her a pleasant buzz in her head. William's voice sounded far away to her. She had a couple of contractions which she didn't feel at all. Julie checked her and told her that she was dilated four centimeters.
William had found the remote control. "What would you like to watch, love?" he asked her.
"I'd rather have music," she said.
William found the relaxation CD and put it in the CD player and turned the CD player on. He sat in a chair by the bed and gazed at the woman he loved. He was so glad that he had taken a chance on love once again. And now he was going to be a father, something he had dreamed of for so long. He and Anna had been married for about a year when they both decided that they wanted a baby and Anna went off the Pill. They tried for several months only to be disappointed when it didn't happen. Then Anna started feeling queasy in the mornings and tired all day, and her breasts became swollen. William would never forget the day she took the pregnancy test and they waited on the results together. When the test came back positive he gave a whoop of joy and hugged Anna and kissed her passionately on the lips.
Anna's pregnancy was fairly routine. After the first few months the queasiness and tiredness went away, and she was thrilled the day she felt their baby's movements for the first time. William remembered the two of them lying in bed together with his hand on her swollen belly so that he could feel every kick and turn of their little one.
The nurse came in and examined Anna and said that she was now dilated six centimeters. Anna asked for more Demerol.
Several hours later Anna's contractions became stronger and closer together. William helped her with the breathing exercises they had learned together.
"God, Will, I don't think that I can take any more of this," she cried. "I feel just like I'm being ripped apart."
"You're doing just fine, honey," he told her. "Just a little bit more and it will all be over."
Anna's eyes held a look of panic. "But I don't think that I can take much more of this!" she said.
Just then the doctor came in and examined Anna. He put her feet up in stirrups and told her to push hard whenever he said to.
By now the contractions were washing over Anna like waves on an angry sea. She looked frightened. William looked at her helplessly, wishing that he could take the pain for her himself. It was so very difficult for him to see the woman he loved in this much pain.
"Push hard, Anna," the doctor said. She grabbed the sides of the bed and pushed as hard as she could, grimacing with the effort.
William watched, fascinated, as the baby's head began to appear. The doctor performed an episiotomy, and William watched as the rest of the baby's body gracefully slid out.
"It's a girl!" the doctor said. There she lay, wrinkled and red and kicking and screaming. William was overcome with an emotion he had never felt before. Fascinated, he watched as his daughter was weighed and measured and her Apgar score was taken. Then she was wrapped in a blanket and placed in her father's arms.
Anna was still having her episiotomy repaired. "Is she all right?" she asked William.
"She's beautiful, just like her mother," he said with a grin. He gently placed baby Kayleigh Anna in her arms.
"Oh look, Will, she has your eyes," Anna said. They both gazed lovingly at their daughter's big blue eyes. "Welcome to the world, Kayleigh Anna Thacker," William said, kissing his daughter's tiny hand.