We were headed out of town for our last family of three vacation - little did we know how that vacation would actually end.
Just five weeks shy of my due date we were going to soak up some Christmas spirit in Williamsburg. My whole family came down to be there and we must have walked ten miles around Christmas Town that night - but it felt more like twenty for me anyway.
I remember my Mom saying, "this walking might do it for you", and I'll be the first to admit it, Mom, you were right!
Everyone went home, since the following day was Monday, but Robbie, Robert Vaughn and I had our hotel room for another night. You ever have those moments when you are told to do something but you don't listen. Take it from me and listen. Something told me to go home that night. Something said to pack up and drive instead of going to sleep in the hotel room. I should have listened! I had just about convinced Robbie to drive home, we were just about to leave the hotel, almost had everything packed when the ten or twenty miles set in. I was exhausted. So we went to bed instead. I remember rolling over to look at the clock and seeing it was 3:12am. My parents and siblings got home around midnight and I hadn't slept a wink. Then I felt something - something that felt like I literally peed myself. With Robert Vaughn my water broke but I didn't know it (odd I know) so I had no idea what it felt like, until I stood up out of bed. I will never, as long as I live forget the sheer panic when the water poured from me. I was almost four hours away from home and my water just broke! We were almost four hours away from our closest family members. Oh and I wasn't due until JANUARY 2ND. The words then left my mouth in a very high pitched scream "ROBBIE, WE HAVE TO GO, MY WATER JUST BROKE."
You know that scene in Home Alone when everyone is hurrying to pack because they overslept for their flight?? Yeah, you can say that's exactly what it looked like in our room. Robert Vaughn was begging me to lay down with him because he just wanted to go back to sleep, if only I could have. I will always remember the sound of my Mom's voice on the other end of the phone when I called to tell her what was happening. They were throwing on clothes and would be on their way. Just the other day my MIL told me that after I called her she went in to wake up my FIL and ask if he could drive her to Williamsburg, at 3am. All I can do is laugh at the thought of that conversation.
Just a few minutes later Mom calls back and said, start driving south. If my contractions began I would have three hospitals that I could stop at to deliver - so start driving south is what we did! Everyone I've told this story to so far immediately says how long that car ride must have been for me - I was in no pain so it wasn't long for me at all, but I'll tell you who it was long for: Robbie. Bless his soul. I can remember looking over and his hands were gripping that steering wheel like it was his first time driving. He later said that all he could think about was how he might find himself delivering a baby - HIS BABY - on the side of the road. What a story that would be!! And I am thankful that's not the way this story went!
Would you believe we made it all the way to Salisbury, Maryland before I had my first contraction?! Literally we were two minutes from PRMC. Thank you God!! I get wheeled up to Labor and delivery at 6am (Robbie was not wasting any time driving if you're doing the math in your head right now) and I was the ninth woman to be in labor that morning! There was a tenth and eleventh that came in after me (and soon found out that there were EIGHTEEN babies delivered on December 3rd). After getting into my room we played the extremely long waiting game. Whoever said that the second baby comes quicker and easier, you lied! I was not ready to push until fifteen hours later and had to push for three and a half hours. WHEW is all I can say. Oh and remember how I said I was five weeks from my due date?! Well my boy Luke weighed a whopping 7lb 14 oz and was 19.5 inches long, born at 10:14pm. Can we just take a quick moment of silence for toddler I would have had to shove out had I been 40 weeks along.
After he arrived he needed some help with his breathing so he was taken to the Special Care Unit - aka the most amazing unit ever, ever. They took such amazing care of our boy, I'll forever be grateful. Then the fun part came. My dear placenta did not come out after delivery. I remember my Doctor saying that if we couldn't get it to come out within the next twenty or so minutes we would need to go back to surgery. Surgery?? I just delivered a baby down there and now I need surgery? And before I knew it I was whisked back to the ER to have my placenta vacuumed out. I have to stop and say, the female body is an amazing thing. By the next morning I was feeling no different than when I had my first son. I was up and walking and beyond thankful that the rest of my stay went so smoothly. Just a few days later and our baby boy was released and big brother finally got to meet 'Baby Luke.' I'll never forget the look in his eyes when he saw him. Complete joy and wonder.
After several nurses told me, that my birth story wins I thought, I need to write this down. I need to remember just how Luke came into this world, but I feel certain I won't ever forget it.