It was just another day, 2 weeks before my due date. Well, that’s not true. It was also my deceased father’s birthday, but I was trying to put that out of mind. Ruby and I headed to the doctor for my weekly appointment at 9:30. I was flustered and didn’t stop for coffee because of a long line. This is the part where the narrator would say, “She soon learned that she’d made a terrible mistake.”
When we got there, I spent the bulk of my time with the nurse asking her if she could find some reason to induce me sooner. I just wanted to sleep on my tummy and breathe and eat without major reflux. She laughed and told me there was nothing she could do, as we were both the picture of health. It was kind of nice to hear, after so many scares during my pregnancy. We were both healthy.
Dr. Hymel came in. I, again, told her how ready I was and suggested we pick an induction date preemptively. She also laughed at me and suggested we wait until after my exam. She would see if I was maybe ripe enough to do a membrane sweep.
And then I saw a face I’d never seen Dr. Hymel make. And then a, “Um, I think… I think your water just broke… Yep, your water broke. Congratulations! We’re having a baby today. Let me go get you some pads.”
I texted Todd and he thought I was kidding. Everyone knew how ready I was… and everyone knew that Ruby had been removed my force. The doctor’s office has terrible reception, so when I finally had a strong enough signal to call, he panicked and rushed to get out of the office. I called my best friend, Brittany, and she rushed to meet me at the house to pick up Ruby. I called my cousin and the girls’ godmother, Kristen, and she started looking for a flight out of Miami. Todd called his family.
I’ll be honest. I kind of panicked. It wasn’t my finest hour. I was really, really ready to meet Lucy, but I suddenly realized I wasn’t that ready. I thought I had more time. Thankfully, I have a good friend in Brittany. She not only took care of Ruby, but also installed Lucy’s car seat while I walked in circles and leaked amniotic fluid everywhere. Then, she came back to the house to clean and finish decorating the nursery with two toddlers in tow.
We got to the hospital around 1pm and things moved slowly. I mean, slooooooowly. I was glad my water had broken because otherwise they surely would have sent me home.
My contractions were consistent enough and I’d dilated enough to get an epidural. I felt silly getting it, when things were moving so slow, but Todd reminded me of my last slow and painful wait for the anesthesiologist, so I relented. I thought she looked familiar, but I wasn’t sure if she was the same doctor I’d had for my last epidural. When I asked, she laughed and said she remembered my Frankenstein tattoo, so she was indeed the same one.
Todd came back in the room and things continued to move painfully slow. Around 5, I was giving up hope that she’d come at all and definitely wouldn’t share my dad’s birthday. But then a nurse named Brandi entered the room. She was our night nurse. I told her that the date was special, it was my dad’s birthday, and how sad I was that we were probably going to miss it by a few hours. Miss Brandi looked at me and said “If you want this baby out by midnight, we are getting this baby out by midnight. I’ll be back, I’m going to get my magic peanut.” Her peanut turned out to be a gigantic peanut shaped pillow thing that she would continue to torture me with for several hours. Todd once again watched the monitor and saw my contractions coming before I felt them. He still said that was the worst part.
As luck would have it, that same pinched nerve or whatever eccentricity that kept my epidural from reaching half of my body during Ruby’s birth reprised its role. My contractions weren’t quite as intense, but I recognized that old familiar feeling once again.
And then, all of the sudden, Lucy was engaging and I was screaming. There were many F words said on the day of my sweet baby’s birth. Many, many F words. Todd turned on the Ramones for me, which actually turned out to be excellent laboring music, with their simple 4/4 beat helping me keep track of my breathing.
Around this time, Kristen was speeding across the Causeway from the airport trying to get to us before Lucy was born. Things had moved so slowly and then they were speeding ahead with no brakes. And this is the point where the narrator would say something like, “Alas, she would not.” Because Lucy was ready.
Todd called in Nurse Brandi around 10:30 because I was fairly sure Lucy was trying to claw her own way out, with or without my pushing. She rushed in to check me and suddenly the room exploded into activity, with me getting strict orders to keep my legs closed and not push. I thought that only happened in the movies. The same quiet nurse who’d become my cheerleader during Ruby’s birth was also in attendance at Lucy’s. We all quietly thought Brandi might be delivering Lucy that night, but Dr. Hymel made it just in time to hear my delusional rambling about the light that looked like a Catstronaut, but it really did. I took a picture in my delusions and people agreed.
Lucy was out in just two pushes (something she can hold over her sister’s head when I’m annoyed with them). Lucy’s cord had been wrapped around her neck and she needed suction, but she was perfect.
Kristen burst into the room, out of breath, about 5 minutes after Lucy was born. Her eyes lit up. Lucy girl, you are so loved by so many. As the room slowed down, we played her Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds and took turns snuggling her. She was perfection and joy and purity. I couldn’t get enough. No one could.
The next morning, Ruby came to meet her baby sister. She was so mesmerized. It was the beginning of the sweetest relationship I’ve ever seen. Ruby really is the best big sister. She loves Lucy so much. And Lucy loves her.