If you haven't read Part 1, you can click here to read it first.
Until I stepped into the shower I had my mind on getting out the door. The moment I stepped into the shower I was no longer mentally preparing for a trip to the hospital. Neither was I preparing for delivery. I was just coping from moment to moment.
I was aware of my mom arriving, and heard Greg's greeting to her: "We're not going to make it out of this house."
This announcement was the first time the reality of how imminent Daniel's birth really was started to sink in. For just a moment I was surprised by this realization, and that Greg knew before I did. My full attention then returned to the task at hand.
By this time I was aware of feeling a lot of pressure.
Greg and Mom agreed they needed to call the paramedics, and Greg went to place that call.
My next words were, "I feel his head!"
Without even needing to think about what to do, I slowly knelt in the bathtub as first Daniel's head and then shoulders gently slid into my waiting hands.
Once he was fully in my arms I carefully sat back, still on my knees in the tub. I gently laid my baby on my belly.
It was 11:50 pm.
For one brief moment we all stared at this new person and may have even wondered out loud, "What do we do now?"
In a matter of seconds we had our bearings and the action began again. There was work to be done! We made sure he was breathing (he was), stimulated a cry, and got a towel to keep him warm.
My dad arrived at the same time Greg was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher answering questions about our conditions.
Within a couple minutes the paramedics arrived, although at this point there wasn't much left for them to do! Our helpful pair seemed pleased with the condition they found things in.
Greg and Mom left the tiny bathroom while they went to work cutting the cord and drying and cleaning Daniel. My Dad was on guard quietly and gently reassuring boys as they woke and - for the moment - sending them back to bed.
Somewhere along the way we had acquired a fireman (in his big red engine) and a big burly policeman. Lots of my clean towels were taken out and passed around. I'm not sure what they were all used for, but they seemed to feel we needed them. Even the big burly policeman was reaching in and passing them out!
The lady paramedic carried Daniel to the ambulance, and a minute or two later the man helped me up. The gurney couldn't turn in the hallway, so I leaned heavily on his arm (we were both cautious of my foot that had fallen asleep earlier) and walked to the hallway where they buckled me up onto the stretcher.
I waved like a princess as they rolled me out the front door. While still sitting in the driveway they placed an iv and a couple of monitors, and quickly reunited my boy and me.
Just before we left I looked up to see my dad with Alan - grinning from ear to ear - peeking into the back window of the ambulance. A giant wave and smile to them, and then we were on our way!
Before we were even out of the neighborhood Daniel latched on and began nursing like a pro, which he continued for most of the ride. Greg and Mom followed close behind while the paramedic and I chatted like old friends. Dad stayed home to fill the boys in on all the good news and get them tucked back into bed.
The nurses at the hospital were all eager to hear our story, and just like with the paramedics, there wasn't much work for them in the labor and delivery room! Our stay there was less than an hour before I was walked to postpartum.
I knew I needed sleep but it took a while to settle my mind from the events of the last 3 hours. Had all of that really just happened!??! It has been so fun to relive the experience and retell the story in the days following. As always, above all, God's grace, mercy, and gifts are so evident through it all.
We are blessed, and we are thankful!