When I got pregnant for the third time I knew it would be the last time. It started with twenty solid weeks of miserable nausea, and it didn’t end until after I’d endured a long summer of hundred degree days. The night before I was due we had friends over for a game night, and I bemoaned that fact that I had probably another week of waddling around and constantly peeing. We stayed up too late that night, but it didn’t matter because I was too pregnant to sleep anyway.

Two hours later I dragged myself out of bed and knew immediately that something felt different. I peed and then crawled back under the covers. I laid perfectly still trying to be one of those women who can sense everything little cellular movement in her body. I’ve never achieved that level of being in tune, but when it happened just a few minutes later I knew exactly what it was. My water had broken. It was time.

Unexpectedly, I stayed extremely calm as I woke up Tom, called my parents to come watch Lana, and put our bag in the car. I cried when we went in to see Lana, soundly sleeping, unaware that everything would be different when she woke up. Other than those quiet tears, I didn’t feel much of anything as we headed to the hospital to meet our baby. When we walked into the emergency room someone brought over a wheelchair and insisted I sit. Tom checked us in, and then they wheeled us upstairs to labor and delivery. It was time.

After a string of doctors, nurses, exams, room changes, and words I couldn’t pay attention to, I was settled into the sterile safety of beeping machines and looking forward to my visit from the anesthesiologist. We sent all the necessary texts to update friends, and nervously laughed when the doctor said we’d probably have a baby by dinner time. As the pain started to increase I withdrew into myself. Tom asked the nurse again when I’d be able to get the epidural. She said I was third in line. I knew things were progressing, but I was determined not to say anything until I’d had my shot. I watched Sandlot through gritted teeth and squeezed Tom’s hand until it turned that bloodless white.

It all started to happen very quickly. I got the epidural, told the nurse I thought I might be ready, and the room flooded with doctors. The medicine didn’t even have time to kick in before I was looking around with pure bewilderment and horror saying over and over again, “You don’t understand. I really hurts.” It took a few minutes for it to settle in: it didn’t matter how much it hurt, my son was coming. It was time.

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