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October came and Sarah was excited to welcome her baby into the world. The due date was October 9th, but the doctor observed that the baby was large and they needed to induce labor three days early.

The evening of October 5th, John and Sarah went to a seafood restaurant with his parents. Sarah knew that, after that night, their lives would never be the same again.

The next morning, the young couple drove in the darkness across the state line to the small Catholic hospital.  It had an excellent reputation and was only a few years  old. It looked more like a hotel than a hospital. The rooms were huge and the nurses very attentive.

When Sarah was checking in, the nurse on duty asked her shoe size. Sarah thought that was odd, but answered, “5 1/2.”

It wasn’t long until the doctor induced labor. Sarah relaxed comfortably in the bed, talking with family, when she started having mild contractions. When she got up to walk around, her water broke. Around lunch time, the contractions were getting harder, but still nothing she couldn’t bear.  She was too excited to think about pain.

There was a woman in the next room who was making lots of noise. When Sarah learned that the lady was birthing her fourth child, her pain got a lot worse! If that woman was hollering so much with her fourth baby,  how much pain will Sarah have with her first? Sarah called for the doctor to give her an epidural.

At 4 pm, the contractions were coming one right after another and the doctor said to start pushing. Her mother and John were on either side of her, holding her hands and counting to ten. Sarah pushed and pushed with everything in her. The contractions were coming on top of each other. She couldn’t tell when they began or ended. The baby’s heart rate was dropping and they put an oxygen mask on Sarah.  The baby’s heart rate continued to drop and the doctor said an emergency c-section was needed. After two solid hours of giving it all she had, Sarah stopped pushing. She had never been so tired and wanted to close her eyes and go to sleep, but she was determined to stay awake to see her baby.

John thought that he was going to wait with the rest of the family since Sarah was headed to the OR, but was surprised when he was handed some scrubs.

In the OR, Sarah fought sleep with every breath. She couldn’t see what was happening, but frequently asked John if everything was okay. She heard the the doctor refer to the baby as a she, but at 7:05 pm, her son was born. As the nurses took the baby to be weighed and cleaned up, Sarah caught a glimpse of him. John said, “There is your baby boy!” In the next instant, Sarah was asleep.

The next thing Sarah knew, a nurse was waking her up, wanting her to hold the baby. She was back in her room now. The nurse laid the baby in Sarah’s arms. He was so beautiful and tiny! He was healthy, weighing 8 pounds, but had a slight cone shape on the back of his head from all that pushing. After the nurse took him from her arms, Sarah fell back to sleep. In the night, Sarah heard the baby crying. She could not reach the button to call the nurse and she could not get out of bed. She tried to wake her sleeping husband by calling his name, but he didn’t wake up. Her little son heard her voice and stopped crying! He knew her voice and it soothed him!

It was the next day before the nurse brought the baby to be breastfed. Sarah loved having her little one in her arms. That morning, she saw the nurse who asked her shoe size. The nurse said that she knew Sarah would have to have a c-section because of her small bone structure.

When Sarah went for her checkup a month later, her doctor said that there was no way she could have given birth to that baby because his head was too big for her pelvis. Sarah was thankful for good doctors and modern medicine!

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