We held hands and bowed our heads, silently asking God for guidance and grace as we waited to take whatever steps were next. Kimberly was beyond nervousness and fear of the unknown, so exhausted that she would have fallen asleep on her feet if not for the adrenaline coursing through her body. All we were waiting on was someone to tell us what to do. As it turns out, the midwife's idea was as simple as it was brilliant: Push Really Hard And See What Happens. 😲
I glanced at Kimberly's face, and saw a look that few get to see. It only comes out when my never-ending sarcasm has pushed her too far or when Charlie gets into her closet and chews up all of her shoes: Kimberly was pissed off. 😈 I could hear her thoughts: "That's the brilliant idea?" She laid down on the bed on her side as I nestled in behind her, trembling with excitement as I was certain the fireworks were about to begin.
The midwife looked at both of us, "On the count of three I need you to push really hard, and we are going to try to rupture the amniotic sac. If it doesn't work then we may need to go to the hospital and seek medical intervention." I knew what Kimberly was thinking, after almost 18 hours of labor it would be crushing to not be able to bring her baby into the world naturally. Her face screwed up with a mixture of fear and determination, and her hand reached back and grabbed mine, pulling it to her side. Her head tilted back, her eyes closed, and the count began..."one, two, THREE!!"
Her fingers clamped down on my hand like a vice, squeezing my fingers together and trapping my wedding ring in between the knuckles. 😕 I let out a silent scream, biting my tongue as Kimberly held her breath and pushed with everything she had. ⏰Time lost its grip on us as our entire world collapsed around that small bed, our minds focusing in on just the two of us, holding on to each other for dear life as Kimberly descended into the unknown. All of a sudden we heard an audible pop, followed by exclamations by the staff. Her water had broken! Pure joy shot through my body like I had just mainlined adrenaline, "Are we almost finished?!?" The midwife smiled a knowing smile at me, "We still have some work to do."
The next 50 minutes can only be described as the most intense experience I have ever been a part of outside of combat operations in Afghanistan. Kimberly dove headfirst into pushing, her face and voice full of excitement and confidence, until the pressure became so intense that her grunts turned to screams, and her sweat began to mix with tears. I had no clue what to do, so I just leaned in and whispered in her ear, "count to five, push for five, rest for five, push for five" saying and doing anything I could think of. It seemed to help...until it didn't. Soon the pressure became so intense that her pushes became less enthusiastic, and you could tell that the pain was starting to make her lose hope. Then something magical happened.