May 16. The night was like every other. I tossed and turned, at this point accustomed to never really feeling comfortable in any position. There was lots of unceremonious rolling out of bed to use the bathroom. Sprinkle in some dull, achy contractions here and there, but nothing out of the ordinary.
After another unsatisfying bathroom break, I climbed back into bed and settled on my left side. A painful contraction washed over me, and then I heard and felt it – the mythical “pop” that started a slow leak. I immediately jumped out of bed, waking Evan in the process.
“My water broke!”
And just like that he was up, getting dressed and packing the bags that we had procrastinated about for many weeks. Just like last time.
The amount of water wasn’t what I expected, so I sat on the toilet waiting for the gush that would never come. I requested toast from Evan who was ready to go, but I wanted to time my contractions which were still pretty tame and coming every 2 minutes and lasting 45 seconds or less. I talked through them fine as I called my mom to give her the green light.
I started to wonder how long I could linger. I was uncomfortable mostly because I felt like I wanted to go number two, but as the saying goes, shit or get off the pot. Right? Maybe? Moving on.
Eventually I called the Birth Center’s on call line while attempting to pack my own bag. Rachel called me back within a few minutes and I explained to her that water broke—it wasn’t as much as I expected—and I was walking around bare ass wondering how quickly I needed to move. At this point, I told her my contractions weren’t too serious but they were consistent.
“Well, I would probably think about heading in,” she said nonchalantly. Then we discussed the interesting situation of the Birth Center not opening until 7:00am, so I could come to the hospital then we could proceed there “when the time comes”. It was 5:15am.
After hanging up, I realized I couldn’t pack my bag. Contraction consistency hadn’t changed, just the intensity, and I now had to focus at the peak of each one.
“We have to go,” became my mantra as I started to panic at the difficulty I was having. It was happening quickly, so I threw on underwear and a maxi skirt while instructing Evan to pack for me in between chants of “we have to go, we have to go.”
Evan already told my grandfather we were heading out, and my mom was on her way, so Sienna would just have to stay asleep until she arrived. Luckily we didn’t disturb her while I frantically paced around. We abandoned the toast on the counter and headed out just after 5:30am.
Daylight. The sun was rising and it was crisp, which I was thankful for as we got in the car for our 20-minute drive. Great thing about this time of day was that even on a Monday morning, the roads were pretty clear. This was a blessing as it was taking all of my concentration to keep my anxiety down while vocalizing through each contraction. By now I’m pressing my feet into the floor enough to lift my ass of the seat. Sitting was just not quite happening.
Oh God, I thought to myself. I don’t want to have a baby in the car!
We got on the highway and the cool wind whipped in my face while I mumbled, “I’m on a beach, my toes are in the sand, I’m listening to the waves.”
I think Evan admired my attempt to go to a happy place. I admired his ability to get us to the hospital in 15 minutes instead of 20.
He pulled up to the ER and came around to open the door. I had to breathe/moan through a contraction before hoisting myself out of the car and waddling as briskly as I could up to the desk where I announced, “Hi, I’m in labor!”
Thankfully, the waiting room was empty. A contraction hit and I felt the urge to push. I made it out of the car, I didn’t want to now face the possibility of having a baby on the floor of the ER waiting room. I held myself together as best as I could by swearing my head off. I managed to eke out an apology to the ladies at the desk as Evan came in, who promptly became annoyed that no one had come to get me yet.
That moment felt like eternity before Rachel emerged and greeted us.
“How are we doing?”
“I HAVE TO PUSH.”
And with that she whisked me away on a wheelchair with Evan following closely behind. Up the elevator we went while I made some pushing sounds through a very intense contraction.
“Just breathe it away!” Rachel instructed me, and I thought ‘yea right!’ But I did do just that through the next one as we hightailed it down the hallway of L&D.
Inside the room, there was a crew of nurses setting everything up. I was instantly on my feet kicking my bottoms off while eyeing the restroom.
“I feel like I have to… no, he’s coming!”
He was already crowning as I leaned over the bed with one leg up and pushed.
“There he is!” someone announced, and with another good push I felt the release of his head. I was then being instructed to get my other leg up on the bed, then to drop my left hip, then to just get on my left side.
Right leg in the air, I gripped the side rail and gave a push as hard as I could muster and within seconds Sylas was placed on my chest.
To say that timing was of the essence is quite the understatement. Our timing was impeccable. Sylas’ timing was even better.
I thought my 6-hour labor with Sienna was intense (it was). This was a rollercoaster ride and it was absolutely surreal. The moment we had been anticipating, one of us painfully so, had just scooped us up in a whirlwind and now, there we were on the other side.
Now, gratitude is the name of the game. Once again, my body knew just what to do and when I tuned in, the series of events unfolded about as best as they possibly could.
I’m grateful that Sylas had a swift and easy delivery, considering he came with his hand by his face which left him nice and bruised for a good 24 hours or so. I’m grateful for Rachel for acting quickly, for suturing me up nicely (only a first-degree tear this time), for being pretty awesome in general.
I’m grateful for my elevated blood pressure that kept us in the hospital overnight so that Evan and I could have a real chance at bonding with Sylas and resting up as much as possible before embarking on life as a family of four.
I’m grateful for the outpouring of love and support from our family, friends, coworkers — and to Evan for constantly demonstrating what it is to be an *amazing* father, husband, and man.
I’m grateful that through this transition, Sylas has shown himself to be a peaceful, loving baby who is just perfect for us. We are complete.