Chapter One

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The Birth

“Deborah! Is she pushing? “It sounds like she is pushin!” Mary whispered.

Deborah stood up from her seat to check on her daughter. Still wrapped up in her sweater that she wore because of Annie’s insisting that she was hot, so the nurses kept the room at a frigid temperature.

“Annie?” Deborah spoke softly. “Annie are you pushing?”

A groggy Annie huffed a long breath. “Yes”.

Mary left to tell the nurse what was happening while Marshall and Deborah both helped Annie to get positioned on to her back. The nurse and Dr. Westerlund quickly hurried into the room with Mary following behind them. Annie felt pressure on her tailbone area and felt the over whelming need to push. She tried to breathe through the pain, but instead felt herself clenching her teeth, but pushing actually made the pain lessen. With every contraction she would bear down and push holding for 3, 2, 1, then relax to catch her breathe.

“Push Annie, you are doing great. The nurse encouraged her. Bear down, you can do it.”

Annie would push with everything she had, catching her breathe, then pushing again. Marshall stood beside her still holding her hand, speaking softly to her as she delivered their first child into the world. Minutes passed that felt like an eternity. When will this be over Annie thought? In High School Annie had run on a Cross Country team, she knew what it was like to be tired and exhausted, but delivering her baby required another kind of endurance.

“I can see her head Annie, you are almost there, rest in between contractions, then push. The Dr. explained. You are doing great.”

Excitement came over Annie, she regained her energy as she felt the baby’s head crown. She could feel her baby pass through and out into the arms of the Dr. Cries of joy came from everyone in the room and at that point Annie realized that her mom was no longer there. The nurse had escorted the two grandmothers from the room when Annie started to deliver. Only Marshall, the nurse and Dr. Westerlund were a part of the excitement. Annie had labored from the morning before, until her water broke that night, then through the early hours until 4:54 a.m. her wait was over.

Once the baby had been born, Marshall was given the task of cutting the dark gray umbilical cord, the nurse placed a towel over the baby’s eyes to shield them from the bright light in the room. Annie looked down at her baby girl noting every detail, from her pale skin that was wet and slippery, and speckles of blood that covered her, from the journey. She had a full head of black hair, and some swelling on her face from the adventure of entering into this world. Keeping her little fists in a tight grip close to her face, she was quiet and cooperative, allowing everyone in the room to take a good look at her. She already seemed to love the attention from cameras. Eventually the nurse had to “borrow” Annie’s princess to take her vitals, suction out her mouth and nose, she took her to be weighed and wipe her little body down. Then the nurse wrapped her in a white towel, and placed a petite cotton white hat on her head. It all happened in a matter of minutes. At last Annie heard the cry of her baby girl, a joyful and joyous moment, a feeling of relief came over Annie from the strong sound of her daughter.

“Would you like to meet your daughter Annie?” The nurse asked. She stood over her wearing a green pastel scrub top, her curly hair was black with streaks of grey. Annie looked at the middle aged nurse’s smiling face and nodded. Reaching out with nervous hands, she noted to herself how the nurse held and supported her baby’s head. Carefully taking the baby into her arms then positioning her on her chest, she stared at the most beautiful miracle she had ever seen. “Love.” For the first time in her life she truly felt what love was. Her heart exploded with emotions that she had never known before. Even though she loved Marshall, this love was different, this love was great and powerful. Annie stared into her daughter’s little round face, she stared at the miracle she had created. The moment felt frozen in time, everyone and everything around her disappeared. It amazed Annie at how much she looked just like the baby from her dream months ago. Perfect. She was undeniably perfect in every way. Annie was unaware that Marshall had scooted into the bed beside her, she was too preoccupied with absorbing every heartfelt second of holding her baby girl for the first time.

“Awww, look at you.” Annie said with a beam on her face. “You must be as tired as I am.” These were the first words that Annie spoke to her newborn baby, Briana Yvonne Scott. Born on June 20, 1998.

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