Last Sunday was a great day as Freeman and I enjoyed time together walking through Central Park, attending church with our community of friends, taking a stroll through the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and attending a hair bow party hosted by great friends. We topped off the night with the finale of Downton Abbey with the Field Family. All the while, we felt a little intuition that Fairley girl would soon be joining us. We enjoyed this last day of non-parenthood marriage but longed to meet our new daughter.
Taking a walk through Central Park on our way to church
That night, I tried to get some sleep, but the contractions I had been feeling all day began to increase in intensity, so Freeman and I stayed up all night. He would time the contractions and lovingly coach me through the pain. By early morning, they were coming at five minutes apart, so we prepared to leave for the hospital. We had everything ready and basically just headed out the door to catch a cab. Unfortunately, the cab we caught did not have a working meter. When we got to the emergency room, Freeman gave the cab driver all the cash he had, but reminded him that since we didn’t know how much we owed/since his credit card machine didn’t work, we kind of had our hands tied. The cab driver was not pleased and continued to push the issue. All the while, I’m breathing through contractions and waiting for my husband to walk me into the emergency room. Finally, I remembered I had a $20 bill that we could give him, and he kept $10 out of the $20, for what was probably a $4 fare. Oh well – we just wanted to be finished with it so we could get into the hospital! I guess that’s New York for you!
Before heading to the hospital early Monday morning
We finally made it to the labor and delivery unit of St. Luke’s Roosevelt hospital, and things became a little anti-climactic. When they checked me, they let me know that I had not progressed even one half a centimeter since my last appointment the Thursday before. I was crushed. I cried – out of both pain and frustration. How could I have spent a whole night contracting without showing any signs of progress? The sweet staff at the hospital sent us home but told us they’d see us again soon. They said to wait to come in next time once my contractions were three minutes apart…
So we walked home…disappointed. I wanted to walk home to try to progress my labor. We made it home, and Freeman went and bought me some Chirping Chicken and a shake from Shake Shack to try to cheer me up. We spent the rest of the afternoon continuing to breathe through contractions. By mid-afternoon, my contractions were three minutes apart, so we headed back to the hospital again. We walked again because I was determined to get to stay this time. I’m sure I was a sight to see walking down Broadway/Amsterdam stopping every 100 feet to breathe through very painful contractions. One sweet security officer even came to check to make sure everything was ok.
We checked back into labor and delivery only to find out that I had progressed…one half a centimeter. This time my doctor came in and offered to start pitocin to induce labor, but I wanted to wait it out a little longer. So she gave me a prescription for some medicine to help me sleep and sent me home…again. Freeman and I came home, tried to relax, took the medicine, and went to sleep. Well, tried to at least. I woke up every ten minutes or so in excruciating pain. All day I had been praying that my water would break so I could head straight to the hospital. Finally, around 10 PM or so, it did! We were overjoyed because we knew they couldn’t send me home this time!
During our third appearance in labor and delivery, we found out that I was now three centimeters dilated, but they didn’t believe that my water had really broken. (It was a high leak, so it was a slow leak, but I didn’t care. I was determined that it was enough to keep me in the hospital this time.) They said it wasn’t really enough to keep me there but to send me home again would be inhumane. I agreed wholeheartedly and soon found myself in a delivery room waiting to receive my long sought after epidural. Let me just tell you – I loved this thing. I thank Jesus for giving someone the idea to invent the epidural. Seriously. It allowed Freeman and I both to get about four hours of sleep – something we hadn’t experienced since Saturday night, and something we knew we could soon forget about getting after having the baby.
The next morning, they started a slow pitocin drip, and I quickly went from the five centimeters I had finally progressed to to the ten centimeters I needed in order to start pushing! Before that, we had a little scare from my lying on my back…Fairley’s heart rate dropped, and we couldn’t get it back up because my contractions were coming too often for her to have a chance to recover. The doctor came in and told me to get on all fours. (Try that when you can’t feel anything from your waist down.) Fortunately, with help, we were able to get me into position, and they also gave me a shot to stop my contractions. Praise the Lord that Fairley was fine after that. The only problem was that a shot to stop contractions is not a great thing right before you’re ready to push. (Neither is the fact that I kept hitting the special button on my epidural that gave me an extra boost of pain blockers…my doctor let me know that I needed to feel a little pressure and should probably stop pressing that magic button.)
So after both of these issues were resolved, I was ready to push! With great support and coaching from my doctor, nurse, and Freeman, after only thirty minutes of pushing, Fairley was in the room with us! What a relief to hear such a beautiful cry and to see that beautiful head full of hair! I got to hold her immediately and just marvel at the miracle that God has given us. We were completely enthralled by her and just enjoyed our time together as a new family.
Our First Family Portrait
As the nurses cleaned her up, they all agreed that she looked like her dad (but now we’ve all decided she looks like both of us – my hair and eyes and Freeman’s cheeks and chin.) Fairley Anne was born at 11:20 on February 21, 2012, and weighed seven pounds, thirteen ounces. She measured twenty one and a half inches long!
We then moved into our postpartum room where we would remain for the next two days and nights and were greeted by family and friends who wanted to meet our new girl. We also were encouraged by emails, texts, and facebook messages from friends and family who live farther away but wanted to congratulate us on this new bundle of joy! We are so blessed to have a healthy, happy new baby girl and friends and family who have shared in our joy. We thank God for all the blessings he has given us, and we pray that he gives us the grace and wisdom we need to steward His daughter during our time together on Earth. We pray that she comes to know Jesus intimately and that she responds to His grace and extravagant love at an early age.
Fairley Anne Field