So Aidan Olivia Nibley surprised us all Saturday night, brashly pushing her way into our lives a full week early. The nerve of that girl! Here's how it went down, from my point of view:
Friday, 10:00 pm-ish: Steph starts having contractions, which she always does throughout her pregnancies. These were a little harder so we called the doctor and the doctor said, "No more monkeys jumping on the bed." Sorry, stream of consciousness there. He actually avoided mentioning monkeys and said not to worry about it unless things changed. We went to sleep.
Saturday, 8 am-ish: Steph loses something called a "mucus plug". For me, that usually means I can finally breathe again after having a cold. Apparently, this is different. The doctor assures us that everything should be fine – labor can come weeks after this blessed incident. Steph decides to go get her hair done.
1:45 pm: Steph gets back home, tells me she may go in and get checked, just to be safe. Sounds good to me. I take Alex and Andie to The Lightning Thief. In hindsight, maybe not the best plan, but it felt fantastic at the time.
2:15 pm: Steph's putting some laundry in the washer, and experiences what is technically known as a "gushing" sensation. She puts a towel between her legs, drops Avery off at Evans', and drives herself to the hospital.
3:17 pm: About half an hour into the movie, I get the following text: "Ummmmm. Yes, my water gas broken. Call me." I wonder what "water gas" might be, and if I need to call a repairman, then smartly deduce that maybe Steph meant to write "has", but her fingers were shaking because she was going into labor. Holy crap! Water has broken!!! I call her, and am indeed told I need to get to her right away. It was, as they say, TIME.
3:19 pm: I sneak back to our seats and tell the girls that Mom's having the baby, we've got to go now. Andie's face lights up like a spotlight. Alex doesn't hesitate: "Kay, let's go!" We pile into the car (after getting our rain check, of course – see you again soon, Lightning Thief) and haul toward home.
4:30 pm-ish: After dropping off the girls at Evans' and grabbing both cameras from home, I enter the hospital at a rather brisk clip, ready for battle. Steph is hooked up to all the usual accoutrements, and doing fine. I'm feeling like she's more calm than I am. We have a little bit of a Holy Crap! moment together, and she is whisked off for her spinal. I suit up in my HASMAT suit/baptism outfit/Ghostbusters costume, and wait to be summoned. It isn't long.
5:15 pm-ish: I enter the delivery room. The nurse tells me that Steph panicked a bit initially (she does that when her blood pressure drops after getting the spinal) but she's doing better. Like always, it's crazy for me to see her strapped down to the table, ready to be, as she says, sawed in half. I'm always so proud of her when we get to this point, because I know how hard it is for her, and I see how determined she is to get through this strong. She wants my hand, and I feel how cold hers is. I talk to her, trying to keep her mind off of what's happening in some way. I start blabbering about a conversation I had with a realtor that morning. She tells me to talk about something else. She winces as the doctors tug at her stomach muscles, cutting through them layer by layer. We talk about this and that, mostly about this imminent kid. I keep glancing over the curtain, camera in hand, getting ready for the big moment. It arrives pretty quickly, and at . . .
5:35 pm: . . . Aidan is literally yanked out of her happy, warm, dark, protected existence into a bright, loud, crazy, new world. She shows her superior lung capacity from the get-go, letting us all know exactly how she feels about the situation. I look at Steph, and we share a glorious, tear-filled moment in time – the same one we've had with each of our girls, hearing that voice for the first time and knowing that it's completely unique, and belongs to a whole new person that will command our time, focus, attention, and love for the next lifetime. And we know we'll gladly give it all to her.
Aidan's already a little different, though. The doctor shows me her umbilical cord, and points out that it has a perfect knot tied into it. Apparently, Aidan did some serious in-utero somersaults. He mentions that it's usually never a problem, just interesting. She's preliminarily cleaned up, weighed (6 lbs. 8 oz.), and measured (21 inches long). She's wrapped up burrito-style and brought over to meet Mom. Another glorious, tear-filled moment, one of those things that is absolutely special every time.
She's then whisked away for all sorts of tests and a bath. I stay behind with Steph, and we sit there together silently, happy she's here and healthy, and happy it's over.
Over the following couple of days, we've had so much fun getting to know her. We weren't quite sure before she was born, but her name will definitely be Aidan Olivia. Aidan means little bright fire, and it really seems to fit her. She reminds us mostly of Alex looks-wise, but we catch shades of Andie and Avery in there, too. The girls are smitten by her, and literally fight over who gets to hold her, for how long, etc.
Thanks to all who have called, texted, or visited with your congratulations and well-wishes. Thanks especially to Anna and Babi for all your help. Thanks in advance to Katie for coming up to help in this nasty weather next week.
Here's to a lifetime of more fun experiences, Aidan. Thanks for coming to the party.
P.S. Sorry about the glut of photos. Couldn't help myself.