Let me start from the beginning. Well not THE beginning, but the beginning of the birth.
I imagined how it would feel to touch his skin... warm, soft, delicate... so very fragile. I could imagine the day I could hold him, rocking him, earning his bright smiles and hearing his voice. It seemed so far away. I had been expecting the day to come, and with each day came a longer, more anticipated, more anxious wait.
Until February 15, 2010.
It felt like the day. I had already passed two due dates. TWO. I never expected to make it to my first due date, since I had been three weeks early with my first child. But alas, the date I was given at the beginning of the pregnancy had passed, along with the date I was given at the middle of my pregnancy due to the size our baby was measuring.
But none of that mattered anymore. We knew it was the day.
I spent the day making sure the house was ready, preparing a meal to have either that night or when we returned home, and trying to read what my body was telling me. Was it time yet? I knew that somehow this baby was going to come out, because, really, ten days past my due date was enough. TEN. My positive thinking would have a hard time going past that number. I didn't even know if my counting would work past that number. What comes after TEN? NEVER?
I was hearing stories of women lasting almost three weeks past their due date. THREE WEEKS. That is just incomprehensible. And any woman that's gone past her due date will tell you that at a certain point you have a thought that if labor doesn't start RIGHT NOW, that's it, you're never going to have this baby. You'll be pregnant forever.
I had to push those negative thoughts out of my head all day. THREE WEEKS. THREE WEEKS! Yeah, welcome to my mind.
I felt fine. Completely normal. Like my body was deciding that this is the new normal. PREGNANT. I had been feeling contractions for two months and then all of a sudden NOTHING.
But it didn't matter, I knew it was the day.
By 9pm, we had Aliyah in her bed sleeping soundly and we were settling in to rest in our bed. I knew I couldn't sleep, I still had three hours left in the day and I still had to go into labor. When I sat down on the bed I felt a cramping pain in my lower back. Nothing too bad, I pretty much had felt a cramping pain in my lower back ever since every organ inside my body shifted to a new location to make room for a fetus.
I leaned forward for Chris to rub my back and I suddenly felt like I was about to leak all over the bed, so I darted to our bathroom. I let out a trickle and the entire time I'm thinking AM I REALLY THAT BIG THAT I CAN'T FEEL MYSELF PEEING ANYMORE, I have to rely on the sound of the trickle to know what I'm doing? But the trickle never stopped. I realize that this was taking a ridiculously long time and couldn't be urine, my water must have broke.
I call my midwife, and after answering a few questions she assures me that my bladder hadn't grown to the size of a watermelon and that it really was a leak in my sack and then she asks, "Well, are you having any contractions?" and I'm all, "Yes, I think so, about every 15 minutes or so I think I feel something."
I can hear the smile in her voice as she says that my contractions should start picking up now that my water has broken. Once I get the point where I can't talk through a contraction or they get to be just a few minutes apart I should head to the hospital.
At that point I decide to take a shower while Chris send's a text to my parents telling them my water broke, and that is was time to get Aliyah, no rush. By the time I'm out of the shower and dressed, the truck is loaded and warming up, since there was a large snowstorm that evening, and my parents are en route to get my daughter.
A few minutes later, I wake Aliyah up. I wasn't sure how she'd react. She'd been just as anxiously anticipating this moment and was excited to go to Papa and Nana's house, but waking her out of dreams of rainbows and lollipops? I wasn't sure what to expect. Thankfully, her reaction was excitement when I told her it was time to get up, that mommy was going to the hospital to have the baby, and that Papa and Nana were here to get her. And then she turned over and pulled up the covers.
My parents carried her to the car.
Now, we wait. Contractions are getting closer, a little, but otherwise not much different. We're in the kitchen timing contractions and looking for snacks when we realize that Aliyah's antibiotics are still in the refrigerator. The prescription we filled after a recent doctor's visit because she had a mild cold and the baby was supposed to arrive TEN DAYS AGO and we didn't want anyone even slightly sick.
After a quick call, my brother stopped by to pick it up and we decided that we'd waited long enough. Like giddy little kids going on a road trip to their favorite amusement park, we leave for the hospital. Will the park be open when we get there? Do they still have elephant ears? ARE WE GOING THROUGH THIS WHOLE TRIP FOR NOTHING?
Positive thoughts. It is happening!
I know that since my water broke, no matter how it happens, I'll be holding my baby within 24 hours. 24 HOURS.
Take that, THREE WEEKS.
We drive through the freshly fallen snow, the wet powder reshaping itself around the weight of the truck. The drive is surreal. And quiet. Time stands still as though we're in a cocoon knowing that our lives are about to be changed forever, again.