It was a Tuesday, February 22nd, and Sokha had told me early that morning that she was feeling pains, "are they contractions?", I asked
"I'm not sure", was the response. I suppose it had been awhile since the birth of Uriah. I called in to work to advise of the situation.
Tuesdays are one of two days that Uriah goes to Kidz 1st run by Brenda, and Sokha and I decided he should go. We had to make two stops as Sokha felt sharp pains on our way to Kidz 1st. We stopped into McD's because we'd all missed breakfast, and although it wasn't nutritional she was feeling really hungry. The food couldn't go down and she had to endure a period of time without food. Uriah was dropped off around 9.00am and we returned home. As soon as we pulled up, my supervisor from work called to ask how things were going, I mentioned the infrequent contractions and that the shortest interval was 6 minutes. Her advice was to leave immediately to the hospital, however Sokha had no intention of having to wait around, pacing about the the white and blue painted halls, trying to encourage baby to make her grand entrance......or dramatic exit. I explained that to my supervisor, and she said "well we will probably hear of a birth in your car ha ha ha" little did she know what was about to take place. I called the mid-wife and advised of the frequency (or infrequency) of the contractions. And she concluded that it wasn't time to go in.
We continued recording the times, and the pains were getting worse. She started muttering how she couldn't do it anymore. The previous Sabbath I was reminded in SS class about praying for strength and patience to endure pain rather than asking for things to quickly be over and done with. I remember saying to her to pray for strength, she attempted but couldn't concentrate in her pain so she asked that I do it. So I did, feeling rather embarrassed to do so, as I wasn't the one in pain. In less then a minute God answered her prayer.
Her whispers soon turned to "I can do this" and her breathing was so even, that I was unable to determine whether the pains were that serious for want of hospital attendance. The numbers didn't lie three times in a row, 3 minute contractions with a 5-6 minute interval.
As I called the mid-wife, my conversation was distorted by bad reception. So I had to move from the lounge sofa to the front door. The mid-wife confirmed that we needed to go to the hospital, but as the words came from her lips, simultaneously Sokha cried out "I need to push!"
"Call the ambulance now" said the voice on the phone.
I immediately hung up the phone and called 000, I could feel and unfamiliar feeling of anxiety as the ring tone seemed to take forever. Finally an answer. I explained the situation, and then she asked for details, as I tried to answer, my spiel was interrupted by a louder voice in the background"Arrggggh! David I need to push, quickly!"
I put the phone down and immediately attended to Sokha. "Baby's coming David" and with one last cry, it seemed baby appeared in less than 30 seconds, and was resting in my arms.
I felt myself enter into some analytical mind frame and scan whether the cord was wrapped around her, liquid in her mouth, and then in an instant I was overwhelmed with the fact that my baby was sitting in my arms. I checked if Sokha was okay, and she indicated the positive. I could hear a voice blaring from somewhere, and then remembered the operator on the phone. "Are you okay", said the operator
"You need to breathe"
"Oh....", I then controlled my breathing
"Is mother okay?"
I took another glance over baby, and everything looked intact, as far as I understood, "Yes"
"Have you covered her?"
"No,I'll get something", as I handed baby to Sokha and looked for a blanket to wrap around my baby girl.
"Okay now wait there, the paramedics will be there in any minute, you did a great job"
The encouragement was appreciated. All of us in the lounge sat in awe, as I looked at Sokha as she said "Wow, a home birth aye?" I don't remember my response, if there was one at all.
It wasn't long before the ambulance arrived and did a top job in performing the follow-up requirements. I had the privilege of cutting the cord, and I distinctively remember Sokha saying as she left on the hospital bed, "Sorry about the mess"
I can't believe after all that, Sokha was able to process that thought. She is such a tough cookie.
I'm so thankful that although we weren't in a hospital, I have no doubt that God's birthing team was on hand and allowed our little girl to come into this world "safe and secure from all alarm"