We have a baby

“Marshall… Marshall? I think my water broke.”

I was on the couch in the living room with Gage. She was reading, back in the bedroom.

It was about 10:30pm. I should have noted this at the time. I didn’t.

The first thing I did was google “how to know if water broke.” Come on, I work at Sonitrol – I’m all about verified alarms. After some back and forth, though, I was convinced.

Meagan’s parents planned to come over to watch Gage at the house, so we started changing the sheets on the bed. We won’t do this next time.

While Meagan called her dad, I called my mom.

“Would it be okay if we dropped Gage off with you? Meagan’s parents are planning to come up in the morning, but we’re headed to the hospital now.”

“Oh, of course. Would it be better if we came to pick him up?”

“No, we’ll be fine,” I said. “It’s only a couple minutes out of the way, and we’re headed out in a few.” We won’t do this next time either.

About 20 minutes later, we pull up at their house.

“I can go in by myself,” Gage said.

“I’ll walk you in. We just need to go quickly,” I said.

Now it’s spitting rain with thunder in the distance. Naturally both of us – all three of us, really – are wearing flip flops. So we’re hurrying but trying not to slip as we make it into the house.

“Thanks, guys,” I said. “I have to go.”

I think my mom said something like, “Okay, it’s so exciting,” and Ted said, “Congratulations!”

Poppy asked if he could walk out with me and pray for us.

We made it to the car, but it’s time to go. My dad’s praying for us as we close the door.

The contractions are coming now, one after the other.

“Just go,” Meagan says.

We run the first stop sign.

Now, if you’ve ever pulled onto Hurstbourne Lane from Timberwood Circle by Kroger, then you know there’s this set of double traffic lights. It’s like an air lock – you always get caught at one of them. Well, we made the first one, but the second one turned yellow. We were a ways back, and the streets were wet, spitting rain, remember?

“Hold on. We’re going for it.” I may or may not have borrowed that line from my dad.

I flipped on the emergency lights and through it we went.

At a little after 11:00pm, the streets are fairly clear. There were only a couple other red lights along the way. We treated them like guidelines and made it safely to the hospital entrance.

In our hospital tour, they’d told us we could park right up on the curb and leave our vehicle there. “Just leave your emergency lights on,” they had said. “As long as you move it within half an hour, security is okay with it.”

When they told us that, I knew we’d take them up on that offer. I also knew we’d probably not be back within half an hour. I mean, if it’s that far along for us to need to stop the car on the curb, am I really going to be thinking about coming back down to move it?

Anyway, we rolled up, turned on the emergency lights, and parked it.

Meagan’s mid-contraction, of course. I got out to see if I could track down a wheelchair. We had to get to the elevator to get to the second floor.

I walked in and found a security guard.

“I need a wheelchair. Can you help me?”

“Yes, well, the nearest one is in the emergency room area,” he said. “It’s a walk. Can you… can she wait?”

“I don’t think we have a choice. Let’s go.”

We took off down a bunch of halls trying to find a wheelchair. By the time I finally got back, Meagan had managed to walk herself out of the car and into the lobby. She’s leaning on a desk.

There’s no one in this lobby, I guess because it’s too late and I took the security guard with me.

I wheel the wheelchair around behind Meagan, but she can’t sit down.

“Let’s just go,” she says.

So slightly between contractions (but not really), we make to the elevator. The security guard helps us inside. I think he congratulated us too, but he didn’t get in the elevator.

Button #2. Up we go. Doors open. Meagan’s not going anywhere.

We waited there for about a minute, waiting for the contraction to pass. It didn’t.

Someone in the lobby must have told the receptionist who must have told some of the nurses who must have figured out what was going on. After about a minute of me holding the elevator door open with one hand and Meagan’s hand in the other, a few nurses rolled into the elevator with a wheelchair.

Meagan still can’t sit down. We’re slowly trying to walk, like, “Meagan, you can do this. Let’s go.”

Now they start asking a bunch of questions.

“How far along are you?” Thirty-six weeks.

“How far apart are your contractions?” One after the other.

“How long have you been in labor?”

Looking back now, it makes sense that they’d ask this, like what crazy fools wait until the last minute to get to the hospital?

“My water broke at 10:30,” Meagan said.

“This evening?” someone said.

Someone else asked for her social security number, her doctor, if she had any allergies or complications (was that what they called it?), and a bunch of other things.

I knew answers to maybe 37% of these questions but certainly couldn’t rattle off any of them at the moment. Meagan’s a trooper, though – she could barely breathe but she answered everything they needed.

We make it into a room where we get Meagan on a stretcher. Then we make it into a delivery room. Everyone’s scurrying around, trying to get information and help out. Meagan’s on her side and can’t get all the way onto the bed.

A little, teenage nurse (okay, maybe not really) was on Meagan’s left side holding that hand. The nurse looked her in the eye and said, “You can do this.”

When the doctor arrived in the room, he took a couple looks and said, “Do you want to push, honey?”


“Okay, let’s do it.”

Meagan pushed like twice, and we caught sight of a head.

One more and our full baby came right out, looking as surprised to see us as we did to see him that soon.

The rest was kind of a daze. Well before that day, I wondered if I’d cry when he was born. I didn’t. Ain’t nobody got time for dat. It happened way too fast. They were already like, “Dad, do you want to cut his umbilical cord?”

So I did. Then they took him to another table and started doing their thing.

Meagan turns to that teenage nurse like, “I’m so, so sorry. I felt like I was crushing your hand.”

I’m thinking, Don’t you even worry about her hand. She’s got another one. You just pushed a small human out of your body.

Time? 11:35pm.

I pulled out my phone and group texted our parents.

“We have a baby!”

Then my phone died.