Exactly one year ago, I was 1 day past my due date and had taken every tincture, tea and old-wives-tale to induce labor, to no avail. We figured the best way to get this baby to come would be to make other plans, so we made plans to celebrate Wyatt Day. From the moment we got up, we did all Wyatt’s favorite things. We went to the puppy store, the arcade, the petting zoo, and the playground. We had a whole list of things to do.

I had been having mild contractions since I woke up, but I had had Braxton hicks for months, so I figured that was all it was. I had done this before, I knew what to expect when I was really in labor. It was at that playground though, that I started getting contractions fairly regular and constant, so we called my midwife and asked for her advice. I told her I wasn’t sure if it was time and I strongly did not want to go to the hospital and wait around all day. She suggested I visit her office and get checked and then make a plan of what to do. I figured we’d do that and then maybe go have dinner at Peter Piper Pizza and wrap up Wyatt Day and then go to the hospital.

Those plans went out the window when our midwife informed us that I was 8cm dilated and unless we wanted to have the baby in her office, we would need to run-not walk- to the hospital. Thankfully, our good friends Ashleigh and Teri live across the street from the hospital. Thankfully again, Ashleigh and Teri happen to have a daughter Wyatt’s age and Ashleigh happened to be home. And thankfully again, when we called and asked if we could drop our 16-month-old who had almost never been away from us, tended to freak out any time he was left with anyone else, and was on the brink of a complete life change off and leave him for an unknown length of time, Ash was totally chill with the idea. Thankfully again, because we had had such a great day and Wyatt was content and exhausted, rather than the screaming session we feared, Wyatt marched right into Ashleigh’s house and made himself comfortable with her puppy. I had so many reasons to be thankful that day.

When we got to the hospital, the midwife had already phoned us in, so the L&D room was already prepped for us. When we got settled in, I sent Carlos to go get me pineapple (my greatest craving at the moment) and I got comfortable and chatted with the midwife. It was in this conversation that we decided since the baby could come any moment, I would not attempt to get an epidural. Thankfully again, my midwife used this time to give me some pressure points and relaxation techniques that were gigantically relieving. When Carlos got back, I started having freaking terrible contractions and I told him to do the pressure points and he didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. That annoyed me.

About that time, my labor suddenly slowed down and the nurse wanted to break my water to get it going again. I told her that I would allow that over my massive, whale-sized body. With my first pregnancy, my biggest complaint was that my water broke 12 hours before Wyatt was born, and it felt very uncomfortable (I agree, that is a wimpy complaint). As we waited for labor to progress, Carlos entertained me by singing me the song he dedicated to our evening, “Push it! push it real good!”. And then he argued with me because I refused to change out of my cutoff shorts and into a hospital gown. There’s no dignity in a hospital gown. I was so glad to have that man by my side through this, along with every other situation life has thrown at us before or since.

Finally, after sitting around surfing Facebook for about 4 hours, my body finally ready to push!! When I started pushing, I remembered why I promised myself in my previous birth that I would treat myself to an epidural in this one. I was cursing myself for not doing more yoga and exercise during pregnancy. I was so out of shape and my body wanted to give up. I remember my nurse saying my baby’s heart stopped in each contraction and I needed to get him out in the next contraction. I remember telling Carlos, “I CANT DO THIS! I CAN’T DO THIS!” As if he’d somehow be able to fix it for me. He told me I could do it, and I felt bad for him because he was wrong. I guess I figured they’d give up and let me stay pregnant.

When the next contraction came, I gave that baby every ounce of energy my body could muster (Carlos said I was purple at this point) and got that baby out!! I remember the nurse and midwife exclaiming the umbilical chord was around his neck. Then they said it was wrapped a second time. And then a third time! No wonder his heart stopped with the contractions. I remember when the nurse put the baby on my chest, he was listless and purple. The nurse and midwife quickly rubbed his body and tapped on his feet and hands to get the blood flow flowing again. Finally we heard him cry out. It was such a relief to hear his little voice.

I’m so thankful for so many things that day, but high on the list is that my friend Christian, who was an L&D nurse, started her shift right about now. At this moment, my body was beyond spent and my heart had felt so many extreme emotions in such a short period of time. I can’t describe how overwhelmed I felt. Having Christian there to take care of every little detail for me and my baby is something I know God orchestrated.

Later that night, Carlos went and picked up Wyatt and brought him to meet his new little best friend. Wyatt couldn’t talk yet, but he grinned from ear to ear and hugged his little baby.

Two days later, we got to take our boy home. The following year, he has grown into a jolly, intelligent, lovable, giggly little boy. He fills our home and hearts with joy every day. So thankful God chose our family for Easton Cash to complete!