She was many days overdue. We had been waiting for what seemed like forever after. It felt like she’s been pregnant for years, we’ve been in this waiting period for so long.

She went out for a day adventure while I slept. I was making dinner when it happened. She starting making the sounds and hobbled my way. 

“Is it…?”

“Yeah, go get my phone.” She said, doubled over in pain as a fresh contraction was hitting her. I sprinted up the stairs and back down again, and I managed to not burn the flour tortillas. 

Things progressed really quickly after that. We sat down to dinner and she called the midwife who dispensed the perfect advice.

She began recording her contractions on a sheet of paper. By the time dinner was finished, the notations were growing into a long list.

I began running full speed around the house getting things into order. Within a couple hours the doula arrived. Contractions continued heavily, finally real ones. Not the practice ones like we had been experiencing the week before.

I was sweating by the time her water broke. It was like in the movies, all at once. 

“Wow, it’s finally happening.” I thought to myself. 

Just hours before, Shaleia shared that she was letting go of having a home birth, that a hospital birth would be okay. She just wanted her baby. She didn’t think she would go into labor in time before she needed to be induced. She let it go.

She said she felt so much relief from her water breaking. She even looked visibly smaller. But just as suddenly as they started, the contractions stopped.

Nothing seemed to help, and by the morning, nothing had changed. We were told we had a 24 hour window from her water breaking before she went into proper labor before she would need to go to the hospital. Later that morning she decided it was time.

There was a lot of surrender in that moment. Letting go of home birth, something Shaleia had been working toward for nine months, was difficult.

We pulled some oracle cards to help her get clear. It was safe to surrender. There was no one to impress, no expectations to meet, no people to please. Just her and her joyful birth.

I had been feeling the pressure all this time to support my wife in a home birth. I felt really bad once things stalled. The moment she decided on the hospital I felt huge relief.

Arriving here I was singing happily, the bounce came back to my step. So much relief!

After a lot of getting settled into the room, her epidural and pitocin flowing, and some soup in front of her, she was finally happy and relaxed. The stress and pressure of having to perform were gone. The color returned to her cheeks, the lightness in her laugh. Her smile came back to her face. We built an amazing birth team but man, the power of the hospital system is awesome. Adding the hospital to our birth team was like the cake underneath our frosting and the cherry on top.

We feel so loved and supported by the nurses and doctors and staff here. Everyone is so helpful and caring and considerate. Everyone seems so happy to be here for us on our very special day.

As I write this we are resting in preparation for a long night. The big day is here and the moment is arriving in mere hours. I’m going to be a dad, Shaleia is going to be a mom. Our dreams are coming true.

Written by Jeff Divine