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The surge of adrenaline that kicks in at the realization that my baby might finally arrive, on his own, within the next 24 hours (give or take) wears off as the pain of the contractions escalate. Admission takes time, and they have to reach my doctor who’d been notoriously bad at returning phone calls. As I began contracting more heavily, I started to worry that I might not be taken upstairs in time to get my epidural. And I really, really wanted that epidural.

Finally, the call came in, and I was wheeled into an elevator to go upstairs. The anesthesiologist had to be paged, and was finally administered around 1:00 a.m. My texts to my husband are as follows:

1:08 a.m. Epidural is magic. I love you so much.
1:17 a.m. Water just broke.
6:13 a.m. No baby yet. Threw up twice.
7:22 a.m. We’re going to start pushing

And then, at exactly 7:30, my darling child burst forth into the world, 9 lbs even, 21.5 inches long. My husband, who had just dropped off my son at daycare, arrived about ten minutes afterward, which was ideal, considering the mess was cleaned up and all I had to do was present him with his beautiful son.

We had our moment, tears and hugs and most of all, love. Everything else faded away in that moment, we had what was really important. Now the hard part could really begin.