28 hours ago, baby Chloe wasn’t here. I was at home, aggravated that both of my kids decided to forego their normal naps on a day when I really needed one. 38 weeks pregnant and grouchy, I was tired of the random contractions that I had had with each pregnancy that seemingly went nowhere, and I was more tired of the interesting new pains that this pregnancy had introduced to me. All I wanted was to rest, and the cry of my daughter from her room 1 1/2 hours earlier than usual followed by the sound of her brother’s feet running down the hallway let me know that no one was going to nap, anymore.
Fast forward 2 hours, and I’m still having sporadic contractions, except this one really hurt…a lot. I guessed I needed to toughen up because the previous contraction was 15 minutes earlier, hardly the pattern of true labor. 15 minutes later, I went up the stairs after another contraction to tell my husband that we were not waiting until these things were 5 minutes apart–we were heading to the hospital when they got below 10. 4 1/2 minutes later, another contraction, and Matt began loading the car. Another 4 1/2 minutes, and I was “Ah-Hee-ing”, trying to relax as my belly clenched tightly inwards. We made it to the car, and off we went.
The whole ride to the hospital and in-processing couldn’t have taken more than 30 minutes, and I was not surprised when the mid-wife confirmed what I already knew–I was dilated to 10 and could push when my husband made it to the room. I was minutes away from meeting my baby girl. 1 hour ago, and I didn’t even know I was in labor.
A little more than 5 minutes later, I was holding my beautiful daughter with 0 ideas of what to call her besides “Baby Girl.” As I stared into her eyes and saw her brother Caleb and sister Hannah Grace (and of course, none of me), I felt as if she had always been in my arms, yet I had everything to learn about her. I thought about all the precise timing that brought us to that delivery room instead of the hallway in my home, and I didn’t care. Yes, my head was spinning, but my baby had me anchored to the ground. My new love was here, and I would learn 19 hours later that her name is Chloe Elizabeth.