Sarah had her weekly appointment with the midwives scheduled for Thursday, June 4 at 10:30am. I had not been going with her to those appointments recently, but we decided that I should be with her at this one since we assumed it would likely be the last check-up she had before Ellis was born. That decision turned out to be right one.
As pregnant women do, Sarah had to go to the bathroom as soon as we got out of the car. We stopped at the first bathroom we found on our way into the midwives office. When she came out of the bathroom, Sarah looked at me sort of quizzically and said “I think my water just broke?” How serendipitous.
We walked to the office and checked in, telling them that we thought her water had literally just broken on our way in. The receptionist checked us in excitedly and got us back into the room where we’d have our appointment. Then we sat there for half and hour waiting for the midwife to see us. Pregnancy and delivery are both a lot like that: excitement, anticipation, but mostly just a lot of sitting around and waiting.
The midwife confirmed that Sarah’s water had indeed broken, but only in part. Sarah was four centimeters dilated. They put Sarah on the monitors to check her contractions and Ellis’ heartbeat. Everything was looking good. The midwife said “we’re having a baby today!” but then told us to go home. So we did. We fed the cats, packed our hospital bag, ate some food, and said a prayer together. Somewhere in all of that, I called Norah’s day camp and told her that we were probably going to have Ellis today and wouldn’t be picking her up. She requested “Lisa Chipps, please!” when I asked which of our friends she wanted to stay with while we were at the hospital. I’m fairly confident that her preference for the Chipps’ had something to do with the fact that they have a dog, a cat, a hedgehog, AND a seven year old daughter for Norah to play with. For her part, Lisa stepped up huge and went out of her way to make it so that Norah could appropriately take a back seat in our minds for the rest of the day. And if it hadn’t been her, we were lucky to have other friends who were fully prepared to do the same for us. Having good and selfless people in your lives matters a whole bunch, y’all.
Sarah and I arrived back to the hospital at around 2:30pm. We got checked in and settled into our delivery room. For the next couple of hours, we mostly just sat there. Ellis wasn’t doing much and Sarah’s contractions were relatively mild. The nurse and midwife thought that the labor process might be helped along if Sarah were to receive some IV fluids to increase her hydration levels. As is usually the case, the professionals were correct.
The process started to really pick up around 5 or 5:30pm. Sarah’s contractions became stronger and she spent some time in the jacuzzi. After about 45 minutes in the water, she got out and walked a few laps around the delivery ward. She stopped with each contraction as it came and either squatted down or leaned over to help Ellis move into the necessary position. She cried a little. She said once or twice that she didn’t want to do what the midwife was telling her to do. But she kept going.
Sometime around 6:45pm, Sarah said that she needed to stop walking and go back to the room. She said she thought we were close.
Ellis was born at 7:16pm. The half hour between between 6:45pm and his announced birth time was predictably intense. I did what I could do to encourage and support her, but all credit and praise for how Ellis came into this world falls squarely on Sarah. She focused her mind, controlled her body, and pushed out a 9lb 2oz baby in just six minutes. She did it all without fear or apprehension, and most impressively without any medical intervention to mitigate the pain.
Colloquially speaking, Sarah handled her shit like a boss. As with Norah, I cried when Ellis was born. But the tears were not so much tears of joy as they were tears of awe and pride at the work done by my wife. There will never be anything more impressive to me than what I saw her do to bring our children into this world.
Regarding the name:
Ellis means “the Lord is my God”. We hope it’s a name that gives him continual purpose and a commitment to the Truth in this life.
Marus (mare-us) is a family name that connects Ellis to the men who have come before him on my dad’s side of the family.
Everyone is healthy and well.