About 6:15 am the phone rang. I usually keep my phone next to the bed as my phone has a Maryland number. I prefer not to be disturbed by solicitors calling from the east coast. They don’t know I’m on CA time. A few minutes later it rang twice again. Oh! it must be the baby! And sure enough it was. Razan was ready and waiting with her bag for the hospital when I arrived at her temporary housing in a motel room close by. Off we went!
We arrived at hospital during shift change so there was a wait for a place to sit or rest. Her contractions were strong and getting closer together. The Triage nurse was terrific! She was from Iran and most understanding. We used the hospital translation device which worked great! Razan was asked several things and she had all her questions answered. The baby monitor loudly announced that her little one was doing fine.
It had been 40 years since I was in a delivery room when I was the patient myself. Now I was a birthing coach, a role never imagined when I joined the Refugee Resettlement team. The Lamaz breathing exercises came back to me quickly. Razan and I practiced breathing together during every contraction. Another Team volunteer, Jamie, brought Nadia to sit near her mom’s bed in the delivery room and waited. Waited we did. Nadia said she did not want to be a doctor or nurse or any type of medical person – then went home a bit after noon. Razan kept up the breathing exercises with every contraction. Around 1:30 the baby monitor slowed considerably indicating he wanted out! Mama’s more heavy breathing helped. The baby slowed down a second time. The nurse said “we are taking him” next time he slows down. That was it!
A Doctor & more nurses joined the party. Razan pushed as instructed. It was my honor to be her coach. Again the translation device was wonderful, except for one nurse who initially talked too fast. She learned to slow down her speech. Razan and I took deep breaths and counted to 10 several times. Then, at 2:23 pm Baby Adam entered the world – he started yelling even before his feet had come out. What a guy! Healthy, over 7 pounds, 19 inches long with head full of dark hair. He took to mama right away. A joy for all to welcome this little guy into our community.
by Anne Thorward
Co-Leader, Refugee Resettlement Team #2