BABY A

The jail phone rang a little after 3am, and my first thought was "Which one is it". We had two inmates due this week, one was mine, and the other was Sydnie's....It was mine! Her water had broken, and she was on her way to the hospital. I got myself up and ready to go, grabbed my bag, kissed my family goodbye as they slept soundly, and headed out the door.

When I got to the hospital, I could tell she was in transition. I asked her how she was, and she asked me when she could get an epidural. I told her she would have to ask the nurse that. But I had an idea what the answer was. We had a few minutes to talk, and I helped her calm down some, enough that she could focus and breath. She told me that she was having a boy named Shawn, a sweet baby boy.

The midwife arrived shortly after I did and checked her. She was 10cm and could start bearing down with her contractions when she felt like it, which she did soon after. It was not long before baby was crowning, and we were all gently encouraging her to welcome her baby boy in to the world...Except to everyone's surprise, it was a baby girl! She was happy with this surprise and had a beautiful name picked out already! Baby girl A was born at 5:52am, weighing 7lbs. 7oz and 19 inches long. She had the sweetest, roundest cheeks and lips, just like her mother! She had planned on breastfeeding to make the most of their short bonding time, but for health reasons, was not able to. She did spend every available minute holding her baby skin to skin, staring at her, and talking to her.

Baby A would be going to her sister until she was released from jail, which would hopefully be in the next few days. She had a court date scheduled for Wednesday afternoon and really wanted to be back at jail so she didn't miss it. As we talked about it, she asked what she should do...should she take advantage of every minute that she could be with her baby, or try to get released early to make court? I reminded her that her time was short as it was, and what would happen if she left early to go to court and didn't get released? It was a tough decision, but one she would have to make on her own.

The next day Sydnie Arnold visited her to see how she and baby A were doing. She was doing well, and the baby was, too, except for a little trouble with spitting up after feedings. She hadn't slept all night because she didn't want to miss a second of her baby, and as most of our inmate mothers do, she planned on not sleeping until she went back to jail. She had decided to leave to make her court date, and knew that their time together was shorter than most. But she was hoping for the best outcome...

It broke our hearts to learn that things had not turned out as hoped. She was sentenced to 300 days and likely won't hold her baby again until sometime next year...