Around noon, they began to die down.
Oh. HECK. No.
Jay made the excellent point that once I went to the hospital, they would starve me until she was born, so he suggested I eat something, anything. Nothing sounded good except for a Togo's sandwich, so we grabbed sandwiches and went to the park where I walked around and did squats. One of my friends suggested deep squats when contractions stalled. I was 41 weeks pregnant and already not the most athletic person, so I did cheat squats (held onto the fence) and did the deepest squats I could manage. (I actually think I gave my quads a crazy workout – the next day they were pretty worn out!) They picked right back up again, and they were SO MUCH MORE painful. At that point, I was kind of crazy emotional. Wondering if she would come that day or the next, wanting her to come the next day and yet dreading that day as I always do. March 20 of 2014 was six years since my mama passed and I truly felt that it would be poetic and redemptive and totally fitting if sister came on that day, and yet somehow it would be heartbreaking as well. I was also overwhelmed to be experiencing labor coming on naturally and praying and hoping that I could continue unassisted. I was watching Adelaide climb on the play structure and realizing that possibly in a few short hours she wouldn't be my only. I was hours away from meeting my second daughter. I was a mess.
Adelaide had been such an angel during all of this. I was never vocal through the pain, but she could tell something was going on. Whenever a contraction would come on strong and I would stop to focus on breathing, she would stop what she was doing, fall silent, and watch me with her brown eyes huge with concern. As I gathered my things to leave for the hospital, realized that this was it. The days of Mama and Adelaide only were over. I had of course thought of this many times over my pregnancy, but it was now a reality. As Jay and I left, I hugged Adelaide good-bye, and didn't want to let her go. Her life was never going to be the same again, and she didn't even know it. I sobbed the entire way to the car for my sweet baby who was hours away from becoming Big Sister.
I remember the rush of motherlove I felt when I first heard Adelaide's piercing cry. From the second that tiny cry reached my ears, I needed her in my arms. I honestly don't remember if Phoebe cried or not – I don't think she did. Having her placed skin to skin seemed to calm that mommy panic I felt when I was separated from my first baby. Jay brought her to me, and for the first time I gazed into those little dark eyes, and she snuggled into my chest immediately.