Tuesday morning began at 2:30am.  I was startled awake by heavy breathing and panting from my wife.  I pried open an eye to see if I was any part of the festivities.  Nope.  A few sleepy brain cells connected, then deduced it was not lust!  It was labor!  So I rolled over and buried my head under the pillow and nodded off again.

(10 minutes later)  Come on Steph, I’m trying to sleep here. Waitaminute!  I roll towards her.

“We’re having a baby today, aren’t we?”

“I think so.”  she replied.

I giggled like a teenage girl getting asked to prom.

The contractions weren’t getting any closer than 10 minutes apart, so I revisited my unproductive slumber.  Steph swayed in the rocking chair patiently waiting for more.  (Here, a knight in shining armor would have been simultaneously rubbing Steph’s back, neck, hips and feet during the pre-laboring.  But this wise serf thought that storing up energy for the hard work ahead was going to bear the best fruit for our labor…and make me look fresh for pictures afterward.)

The sun came up 4 hours later.  The dogs were scratching at the door to be let out.  Worm was lounging in his crib and singing about mama, dada, pop pop, nana, cee, and his future sissy.  (Oh, how I do miss a quiet house in the morning…)  Hospitals don’t like to feed laboring women more than salt water and needles, so we made time for bacon, eggs, and toast.  I scarfed down a breakfast sandwich and launched 5 spoonfuls of yogurt into my trap before it was really time to go.

1 minute contractions, 6 minutes apart.  (Our doctor said we should get to the hospital at 7 minutes apart, but what’s life without a little suspense?)

We show up at the same emergency room parking lot as we did 21 months and 13 days ago.  I circled for an hour and a half looking for the parking space I used for Worm’s birth because maybe it could bring us luck.  (Mom, I’m just kidding…I settled for a spot two cars away.  Close enough.)

“I need my ‘Last of the Mohicans’ soundtrack CD.  Can you get it from the CD case under the seat?” said the laborer.

We’re going to war?  I couldn’t find the CD or the words for “I hope this birth experience isn’t a battle like we had in our first one.”  I swallowed my fear and crossed my fingers for anything better than this time.  With gear in arms, I steadied myself for a positive birth and a healthy wife and baby afterwards.  Though track 5 could get anyone through the battle of birthing.

As we crossed the same street towards the same hospital, Steph had to stop at the same point in the road for a contraction.

“If people won’t stop for a laboring woman in the middle of the street, what would they stop for!” said Steph.

I couldn’t argue with that logic!  Or argue with a mother ready to have a baby!

(The similarities between our two birth experiences ended right there.)

We get into the hospital elevator and a random guy jumps in at the last second.

“Looks like someone’s having a baby.  It’s a good thing you brought a cooler full of beer!” as he looked down at my awesome older-than-me Oscar cooler with the green top that they don’t even make any more and still holds 10 beers with ice and possibly a sandwich if you can perch it just right on top to not squish it but you have to close the lid ever so gently.

“Man, that’s a much better use of the Oscar than my idea of keeping my stolen placentas cold.”  (I kid.  A little.  Ok, I stole one!  Well, I just borrowed it.)

We entered the hospital at 8:20am.

At 10:28am, Addison Zoe was born, aka Smush.  Steph cleared her last time by a full hour.  The next child will probably be born even faster, so I’ll have to prepare for a car or driveway birth.

So far, mother and baby are healthy!

We will tell the birth stories of Worm and Smush sometime in the near future.  And even though they look so much alike, their stories are very different.

Holy Duplicate!  It's a Worm Look-a-like!  Welcome Smush!

Holy Duplicate! It’s a Worm Look-a-like! Welcome Smush!