By the time we pulled up to the hospital for the second time in 24 hours, I was having a hard time talking.
The contractions were fast and strong and had moved to my back.
I waddled back to the fourth floor and once again repeated the hopeful phrase, "I think I'm having a baby," this time with a little more confidence, considering the fact I was forced to grasp the counter in an attempt to catch my breath through a contraction.
We were shown to an actual delivery room.
I tied up my gown, once again.
I put on my blue socks, once again.
I hopped into bed and curled into a ball, willing the pain to stop and cursing the nurse who was taking her dear time to get to me.
Said nurse (who was actually quite fabulous) finally arrived, skipped the fanfare and went straight for the progression check.
I silently prayed that I was at least dilated to a four, hoping that magic number would secure me a permanent spot in the bed that I probably couldn't have left if I wanted to.
"Well, you're going to have this baby in an hour or two. You're at an eight and completely effaced, and once your water breaks, that's it. I'll go call your doctor."
Jaw. On. Floor.
This is precisely when I determined that I adore morphine more than anything on the earth, seeing as it how it allowed me to sleep through hard labor. Two thumbs up.
Within the next hour we checked off several of the things high on my "scary things list" (IV, epidural, ice chip diet). Honestly, everything was infinitely less scary the second time around. Probably something to do with knowing what to expect as opposed to plunging into the unknown.
We called our families with the news, and mine immediately hopped in the car and headed to Salt Lake.
Then came the waiting game.
Oh, and my doctor was spending the day with her daughter and would not be delivering my baby.
The doctor who would be delivering my baby could not make it to the hospital to break my water until at least 7 p.m., which meant hanging out in that room with no food and no feeling in my legs for a looooooooong time. But I was grateful things were under control.
James' heartbeat was strong. I was starving, but otherwise good.
We were blessed.
By the time my doctor actually arrived, it was close to 7:30. She broke my water (gross) and after about another hour of waiting, it was time to push.
I asked my mother and my two sisters to be present at the birth.
And though I may have traumatized Alysha and Kelly for life, I'm grateful that the women I love most were able to witness my son's first breath alongside me.
Because there's nothing quite like experiencing a miracle together.
For ten months, my son grew inside me.
Became a part of me.
Gave me constant reassurance he was there.
In just four pushes, we met face to face for the first time.
And just like with Lola, I fell instantly in love with the tiny person I'd never seen before.
My sweet baby James was finally in my arms.
All 8 pounds 3.5 ounces and 21 inches of him.
And he gave me a glimpse of Heaven.