If you're a guy reading this, what came next is a baby girl. Her name is Tess and she burps like her daddy.
It's VBS week and I'm feeling a little guilty for not helping since the baby hasn't come yet and I'm still feeling so good. Each morning that I show up at church with the boys, half a dozen people come up to me and say, "What are you still doing here?!" I'm starting to wonder the same thing, since it's Wednesday and now five days past my due date. I mention something to one of the girls like, "I think I might have had a couple of contractions this morning, but I'm sure it's nothing." Because God is good, they offer to take Chase for the morning to give me a break (who doesn't technically qualify for VBS until he's 3), and I finally agree.
Tyler leaves work and meets me at my doctor appointment that morning, where we find out that I've really not progressed at all from the week before. Are you kidding me? Five days past my due date and going nowhere. Now that's depressing. And I'm thinking that Tyler is way more depressed than me. The truth is that Tyler wants this baby out NOW. A week ago actually. He's a planner, you know, especially when it comes to babies.
We get three options from the doctor: induce, wait it out, or have a non-stress test in two days to make sure the baby is still looking good. Tyler votes to induce, I vote to wait, and so we both walk out frustrated with a non-stress-test-compromise scheduled for Friday. Now to be fair, Tyler's desire to induce stemmed out of genuine concern for a lot of things: childcare for the boys, health for the baby, predictability for all involved (especially for me and the epidural I missed last time!), and the certainty that he wouldn't deliver our fourth baby in our driveway (Chase came 30 minutes after we arrived at the hospital). Oh, and nevermind that his mind officially checked out of work five days prior. He should have been on vacation by now, you know.
Now we're standing in the OB parking lot getting ready to go our separate ways: Tyler back to work, and me to the church to pick up the boys. Tyler really can't understand why I wouldn't want to induce, and I say something about God's timing and my body doing it's thing. It's rare that Tyler and I don't agree on something, so this is really starting to get to me. After a way too emotional discussion (argument is such a strong word, isn't it?!), I say that I'll call the office that afternoon to schedule an induction. I might have even said "...if it will make you happy," but don't quote me on that. :)
I pick up the boys at noon, and have to stop mid-sentence while I'm saying goodbye to a friend. I tell her that I think I might have just had a contraction. Sure enough, what seem to be decent contractions come closer and closer together the whole drive home (which ends up taking 45 minutes instead of the normal 15 since I65 is closed due to an accident and I have to backtrack through town!). Trey gave the play-by-play the whole way home ("She's havin' a cramp guys.... oh, man, she's havin' another one..."), and if I wouldn't have been driving and in labor, I would have wrung his sweet little neck.
We finally make it home by 1pm and I whip up some mac and cheese for the boys for lunch. They're starving don't you know, and I'm in major denial. I begin to write down the times on the contractions since they seem pretty frequent (and since I had to stop twice to breathe while scooping out the pasta). Everyone gets their food and I see that I have a new message on voicemail. I push play to hear Tyler's sweet voice, saying he's sorry for our conversation earlier, and please don't schedule the induction. Today will be his last day of work, and we can wait for the baby together. I laugh out loud, realizing that the last two contractions were only four minutes apart. Yeah, I'd better return his call.
Tyler heads home, calling the babysitter on his way. Her ETA is 30 minutes, but remember that little detail about Tyler not wanting to deliver our baby at home? He's not one to mess around. Before I know it, our sweet neighbor friend is in my kitchen with her two kids, ready to fill in until the babysitter can get there. I'm trying to get Chase to eat his last few bites of lunch, and Tyler tells me that - really - Nikki can finish the job. He won't eat for her, though, I think to myself, and then he'll be hungry. Tyler insists that we need to go NOW, so I reluctantly put down the fork, kiss my boys and head out the door.
Somewhere between our house and the hospital contractions get to be two minutes apart, and I remember praying to God for them to slow down. I also remember praying specifically for my attitude since I was sure I wouldn't get there in time for the epidural. I was not myself the last time that happened. Maybe if I could just prepare myself mentally this time around, then Tyler wouldn't have to hyperventilate from all the chaos.
You sure are a trooper if you've read to this point. This is really the end of the story guys...er, I mean ladies.
After 15 minutes in a room by ourselves, Tyler speaks his mind at the nurse's station to let them know that this baby is coming fast. No one is available but the OB Director of Nursing, so she helps to deliver Tess in her dress clothes about 30 minutes later (2:53pm... and the boys got out of VBS at noon!). And wonder of all wonders, my doctor arrived in time, and so did my epidural. Is the Lord good or what?
Her name is Tess Elena (Elena after Tyler's Meemaw Elene), and what a surprise it was when the doctor said she was a girl! In three short months she's already softened up every single one of these boys. How about that for a way to spend your summer? I'll take her over Disney World any day...