Kristina and I agreed early on that she would call me, when she was headed for the the hospital and I would follow ASAP, because her hospital of choice - New Hanover Regional Medical Center - was almost two hours away from her and an hour away from me. Her choice of hospital might seem strange to some, but New Hanover is a VBAC friendly hospital and, at the time, the closer hospitals to us were not equipped to handle a VBAC. This is precisely why I include New Hanover on my list of hospitals that I'll easily travel to ( Onslow Memorial Hospital, Naval Hospital - Camp Lejeune, Vidant, and Cape Carteret are all on that list! Don't be afraid to ask about other hospitals, too.).
Okay... Back to the story, because it's important! Kristina called me in the late afternoon/early evening of April 12th, 2017 and told me that she was pretty sure that she was in labor and heading to the hospital. I got my kids settled, made my husband cancel his t-ball practice (Thanks, Night Ninja parents, for understanding my urgency!), and packed my bag, before setting out for the hospital. On my ride down, Kristina kept me updated about what was going on and that they had decided to keep her. And I arrived to find her in triage, waiting for a labor and delivery suite to be ready for her.
Triage rooms are notoriously small and they only allow two people in with mom at a time, so I rotated in an out with Kristina's birth support team. I love being part of a team that realizes how important we all are to a birthing mom and that we all have to work together to be whatever it is that she needs. What does that mean? It means that sometimes I have to set the camera down and hold a hand or whisper words of encouragement or dry eyes or whatever it is that she needs from me in that moment.
Thankfully, we didn't have to rotate for long, because they soon had a big, beautiful labor and delivery suite ready for her. This room was huge, which is important, because everyone seems to be standing on stop of each other in some delivery rooms. Even better... They provided Kristina with anything she asked for - from a ball to a monitor that she could shower while wearing and even a nearly pitch black room for labor and delivery.
As labor progressed, Kristina's husband was able to be on the phone. We did our best to help her FaceTime him, but his connection wouldn't allow for both; either he could see and not hear or hear and not see. Something was better than nothing, though! And James was able to watch the birth of his sweet daughter and pantomime encouragement for Kristina as she brought Penelope Rose into the world.
Penelope Rose was born just before 11:00AM on April 13, 2017. She was 9lbs 4oz and 20.5 inches long. (And I had SO MUCH FUN pantomiming that to James, while we were holding the iPad, so he could watch his daughter be weighed, measured, and tagged!) When I finally left (18 hours after I'd arrived), Kristina was nursing sweet Penelope Rose.
Kristina is a rockstar. She brought her daughter into the world via successful VBAC, while her husband was on the other side of the world, fighting for our freedom. Kristina is a rockstar.