The contractions started to come, about 8-10 minutes apart. I remember holding my beautiful belly, talking to the baby, saying goodbye, that I would miss him inside me and that I was so happy he would be in my arms soon. I told the baby I loved him, no matter what, that we were going to do great, to not be afraid. We had been through so much together already, we were strong, and we would be ok.
It was just the three of us – Ethan, me, and the baby that would soon be here on the outside. I thought about the daddy, the man I had loved so much who helped me to create this child. Things were so different now, so different than they had been when we had made our baby. He didn’t love me anymore, wasn’t there for me, and in this moment, I was ok with that. I was strong, and I could do it. I texted him, he didn’t respond for hours. By then I was in full labor and it didn’t matter anymore. He was not going to be a part of this after all. Deep down I had already known that it would be this way, and I knew it was exactly the way it was supposed to be.
At around 4 am, the contractions became so intense that I ditched the yoga ball and made my way into the bathroom, where I closed myself inside with each passing contraction. At 3-5 minutes apart, I was no longer riding waves but tsunamis, and I had to muffle my face in a towel to keep my screams from waking the entire house. Soon, I heard a little voice at the door whisper, "Mommy," and I opened the door and smiled for my angel, telling him that his brother or sister was on the way. With each contraction, I’d close the door gently, and from the other side that small, brave voice told me to "breathe Mommy, keep breathing." And I did.
Soon, it was really intense, and I knew I needed help caring for Ethan. I told my son to wake up my brother and my mom. My brother came down, finding me doubled over my bed, hardly able to move, and he let me squeeze his hand and he rubbed my back for a minute. I was so grateful. Contractions were about 2 minutes apart, and he said I should call the birth center; I argued for a second and then gave in. When the midwife called back, I was grateful to hear the voice of Susan Thomforde, the one I had felt the safest and most comforted by. She said I should come in.
Susan began to fill the tub as I labored by myself in the darkness. After the water had filled the tub, Susan helped me in. The water eased the pain somewhat, and I could feel my body floating through each contraction. Within a few minutes, I could feel the baby start to come. I remember thinking that I didn’t know how to do this, that logistically I could not make sense of the whole experience. I asked Susan what I was supposed to do, and she said to do what my body was telling me. So I listened.
The baby floated under the water, and then Susan and I helped the baby to the surface and he was in my arms. I didn’t even think to look at the baby’s sex, all I could see and feel was a perfect, round little creature, my child. Sweet sweet joyous moment. Then, Susan asked, what do you have? And I looked and saw that it was another son, a brother. And that is how Christos arrived. It happened on January 7, 2010 at 6:35 am, on my father’s birthday.