I sat on the loveseat Tommy and I had bought for the nursery and rubbed a hand over my stomach. On my unpacking breaks, I liked to sit in the nursery, sometimes reading a little but sometimes just thinking. Tommy and I had decided to go with blue for the nursery, regardless of what the baby is.
Sighing softly, knowing I needed to get back to being productive, I pushed myself up and lumbered out into the dining room. The new table was covered in boxes of kitchen stuff that still needed unpacking. The only room fully put together was the nursery; the rest of the house was still a work in progress.
I went to one of the boxes that actually didn’t contain kitchen wares and took out one of the framed photographs. We’d only had room to put a few pictures up at the old house, but not we had quite a few more walls. I hung the picture and smiled at the arrangement I’d made.
Thinking of the old house brought with it a twinge of sadness. It had been much harder than I’d expected to say goodbye to it. I’d learned to live in the real world in that house. Tommy and I had started our life together there. He’d proposed to me in the back yard. It was the house we’d come home to after two wonderful weeks in Isla Paradiso. We’d decided to start our family there. As excited as I’d been to move, when it came down to it, I’d cried more than a little as we’d driven away for the last time.
I rubbed a hand over my bulging stomach, the persistent pain in my lower back flaring. “Easy in there, kiddo.”
At once, the back pain flared and expanded, tightness constricting my entire stomach until I thought my knees were going to buckle. “Oh!” I’d dealt with Braxton-Hicks contractions a couple of times in the last month – this was the real deal.
Shakily, I dropped down into one of the dining chairs and took out my phone to call Tommy. After a few rings, he picked up. “Tommy, it’s time.”
“You’re having contractions?” He asked in a rush, sounding half-excited, half-terrified.
I rubbed my taut stomach slowly. “I had one. Is that enough to ask you to come home?” I knew they could be few and far between in the beginning. Maybe I was jumping the gun a little asking him to come home now.
“Fuck no. I’m leaving now. You better call your parents.”
“I will as soon as I hang up with you.” A minute later, I had Mom on the phone. Though I’d been seeing an obstetrician here in Oasis Springs for my regular appointments, Mom was going to be the one to deliver her first grandchild.
About the time I got off the phone with mom, another contraction hit. The pain almost made me forget the breathing exercises I’d learned in Lamaze. Were they supposed to be this close together this fast?
Oh god, what if Mom didn’t make it to the hospital in time?
I looked up from my pacing, tears streaking my face. “What took you so long?” I asked accusingly.
“There was an accident on the highway.” He rushed over to me. “What’s wrong?”
I fisted my hands in his shirt and leaned against him, trying to soak up some of his strength. “I’m scared.”
His arms wrapped around me tightly. “It’s going to be alright, baby. Remember, your mom is going to be there to see you through this.”
“What if she doesn’t get there in time? My contractions are coming so much faster than I thought they would. I don’t want a stranger to deliver the baby.”
“Dr. Martin isn’t a stranger,” Tommy said soothingly. “You’ve been seeing him for months. He’s a good doctor. But your parents are going to make it.” As he spoke, he herded me out of the front door and to the car.
When we got to the hospital, I practically rushed the reception desk. “Is Dr. Shirley Hines here yet?”
“You must be Ms. Thoreau. She isn’t here yet, but she just called,” the receptionist assured me in the kind of soothing voice that suggested she dealt with panicked, frazzled patients everyday. “She’ll be here in about half an hour. Why don’t we get you checked in?”
I shook my head and paced the entry way, waving off Tommy’s attempts to get me to sit down or check myself in. This baby was not coming out of me until Mom was here.
Twenty-eight minutes and three contractions later, Mom and Mama walked through the door. Mom smiled at me. “What are you doing out here? Let’s get you in your suite.”
I held my son, Logan Alexander Thoreau-Smithson, against my chest. He was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I needn’t have worried about Mom getting there in time. I’d been in labor for sixteen hours before Logan had finally made his way into the world. But it didn’t matter now.
I smiled at the baby in my arms and pressed my nose against his downy head. I was a mom.