At 12:29pm I received a text from my friend Eric. It went a little something like this…would you be interested and available to be here with us? Brit said she wants you here and I agree. If you’d like to come to the house for emotional support, Brittany is asking for it. If you’re not able to, that’s 100% fine.
My friend Brittany was in labor. After getting updates over the previous couple of days, we knew it wasn’t very far off. Over the course of the pregnancy, she had mentioned that she may want me at the hospital. I didn’t expect anything, just knew that if/when she needed me, I wanted to be there for her. I read the text out loud to my husband and he said “you should go.”
I showered, got ready and said goodbye to my kids. In less than an hour, I was at their apartment. Just chatting with Brittany, making sure she had what she wanted and more importantly that I was doing what she needed. For about 2 hours, we just did everything we could to keep her comfortable and calm in her home.
Around 3:45 she wanted to head back to the hospital. She had been there earlier in the morning, but was sent home to rest. After arriving at the hospital and checking into triage, she was checked. Dilated to between a 4 and a 5. It was time to be admitted. I know that was a huge relief to Brittany. We were in her room by 5pm.
Since Brittany didn’t want to have an epidural, she only had to be on monitors intermittently. Which meant she could get up and move around. She was sitting on an exercise ball, rocking on the bed and even went into the shower for a bit. While in the shower, she asked for some drugs. Though she still made it clear that she didn’t want an epidural. About 6pm, she was given a small dose of morphine.
I told Brittany from the beginning, any time she didn’t want me there or anything she didn’t want me to see, to just let me know. I was there because she wanted me to be, for whatever help I could lend. Which during the contractions was mostly back rubbing and some hand holding. I tried not to talk too much which is hard for me. Just lending some encouraging words every once in awhile, telling her how awesome she was doing and that she was kicking ass.
A natural, but slow progression was definitely happening. She was dialating about 1cm an hour. The contractions were definitely getting more intense, but she was doing awesome. A few swear words here and there, but mostly just controlled breathing. Brittany also kept saying out loud, I CAN do this. Looking at Eric, holding his hand and saying “Dear, we got this.” She knew she could handle this and she was so right.
At 11pm, after 23 hours of contractions, Brittany was finally ready to push. The nurse told Brittany all the jobs that there were for those of us in the room. I was extremely honored to be in charge of holding Brittany’s right leg/foot up and in, while she was pushing. Which also meant I had a front row seat to this beautiful miracle taking place.
After an hour of pushing, at 12:01am their son Elliott Lee Pennington was born. Weighing in at 6lbs 15oz. He is a beautiful little peanut. I held him when he was less than 15 minutes old. I kissed him and told him how much I loved him, while tears rolled down my face. It was a beautiful moment, that I won’t ever forget. I will never forget what an honor and privilege is was to be asked to be there.
I have had 3 children of my own, naturally without medical intervention. In theory I knew what she was going through, I also knew that she was fully capable of making it every step of the way. Seeing the whole labor/birth process from this side of things, was a completely different experience. I have never been so proud of another human being in my life.
Thank you Eric and Brittany. First for being two awesome friends. Then for allowing me to be there with you. Lastly for letting me love that little peanut. Congratulations!