our very last night


We cleaned the house. Tom took a nap while I laid restlessly beside him trying to quiet my mind. We had lunch at Chili's, and then went to meet our friends' brand new baby. Then we loaded our bags into to the car and went to have a baby.

It was a bizarre feeling, knowing the exact moment that our lives would change. Most women spend the last few weeks of pregnancy on pins and needles, knowing that any minute could be the one. It's the most stressful and exciting waiting game you'll ever play. I didn't really get to experience that. As all the women I'd walked through pregnancy with went into labor and brought their babies home, I knew in my gut that Lana wouldn't make it that easy. When the doctor told me it was time to schedule an induction I wasn't surprised. I would check in Wednesday night, and be induced the next morning. 

After loading up our bags we stopped by the Chick-fil-A where we both worked for two grilled club meals and to say a final "AHHHH" to our friends. I don't think we talked much during the thirty minute drive. I do remember Tom counting it a blessing that we didn't make the drive while I was in full on labor and threatening to kill him if he didn't drive faster. We walked in and told the receptionist that we were there to have a baby. Everybody was kind and shared in our excitement. They took our information, and then showed us up to the room. The room where I would spend my last night alone with Tom. The room where I would finally meet my daughter. The nurses got us situated, our doctor dropped by to check on us, then they gave me some medicine to help with sleep and left us alone.

I think there was probably a lot of nervous laughter as we settled in. Tom set up the computer so we could watch Deathly Hallows: Part 2, and climbed into the bed next to me. We laid there trying to understand exactly what we were feeling. I'd taken the pills to help me sleep, but between the adrenaline and rapidly increasing discomfort (thanks to that nice balloon they said wouldn't hurt) there was no chance of getting any rest. I tried to mask how much pain I was in, and Tom asked how I was feeling every five seconds. At one point a woman gave birth in the hallway right outside our door. It wasn't a very reassuring sound.

I can still feel the quiet anticipation that pulsed through our room that night. We'd spent months preparing for this exact moment. Here we were, about to meet our baby. I don't think we were nervous exactly. It was more of a "what the heck is this really happening holy crap I can't believe this" type situation. But in those few hours, in that room lit only by the glow of Harry and Hermione hiding from snatchers in the Forest of Dean, we were more connected than we'd ever been.

Through each wave of pain I clutched Tom's hand tightly while silent tears rolled down my face and splattered on my over sized hospital gown. I was desperate to absorb that feeling, him next to me, the only one who could know exactly what I was experiencing. Nothing existed outside that door. It was just our little family growing together in a way I could never have understood before that moment. As we silently clung to each other I cried. I cried tears of regret for all the hours we'd wasted fighting pointless fights, tears of relief for the nights I'd laid awake afraid something was wrong with Lana. I cried because I was afraid that our relationship would suffer, and I cried because this experience had bound us together so beautifully. The tears fell, one by one, not an uncontrollable stream but a steady release of all the emotion I'd spent nine months clinging to.

We let go of all the expectation we'd carried into that room. We held onto each other and rested in those final early morning moments. By the time the sun rose and the doctors and nurses flooded our room we were ready. It didn't matter what that day brought, we were completely in sync and so, so ready to meet our little girl. 

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