When the contractions subsided, I went to bed. A couple of hours later, I was awakened by a huge gush of water between my legs. "My water just broke! I'm not ready to have a baby!" I cried. My husband called a car service to take us to the hospital while I took a shower.
In the car, I suddenly felt a tremendous urge to push the baby out. I remember telling Charles that I wasn't going to make it. He begged the driver to go faster.
At the front entrance of the hospital, my water broke again, this time all over a gentleman who had the misfortune of standing next to me. Needless to say, he wasn't pleased.
I declined a wheelchair escort and made my way to the Labor and Delivery floor on my own two feet. There, I was examined by a nurse who was just as surprised as I was to discover that I was nine centimeters dilated! She even suggested that I continue labor without an epidural since I had already made it so far. What?! Turn down a way to make the pain stop? She must have been joking. I grabbed her wrist hard and demanded drugs.
The relief was instant. I was so happy to be without pain that I didn't even mind that I still had to wait for the baby to drop enough for me to start pushing. I spent the time talking to Charles and my parents and chatting on the telephone with friends.
Finally, it was time to get to work. I pushed as hard as I could, desperate to get it over with and to finally meet my baby. Half an hour later, I gave birth to a beautiful girl named Abigail, who weighed in at a whopping nine pounds, two ounces!
The only other person who was more surprised with the early birth than us was Jenny. I'll never forget the stunned look on her face when I walked into her room (just two doors down from mine) carrying Abigail. We spent the night cooing over our little bundles of joy together, helping each other nurse, and trying to heal our sore bodies. Talk about a girls' night out!