I was socializing downstairs over at Rachel’s aunt’s house when Kris yelled downstairs, “Tucker… Rachel’s water broke”. Not believing her statement because, for one, she said it nonchalantly, and second, it was a week before the due date, I yell back “OK Kris”. I share a chuckle with Ryan who was under the same impression as I about the legitimacy of Kris’s statement when she called again, “Well, are you coming?”. That’s when I first realized that the situation was real and I had to act. I take one last glance at Ryan giving him my “oh shit” face and bolt up the stairs.
I found Rachel coming out of the bathroom calm as a cucumber. I frantically tried to grab everything we needed so I could load up the vehicle and head off to the birthing center. Once I got everything in the car and helped Rachel get in she instructed me to head home to my amazement. She insisted that she wanted to wait it out at home until the contractions became closer apart. I was at ends while driving. I wanted to drive fast because of the severity of the situation but at the same time I knew I had to take it slow and easy for the mother and babies sake.
Once we got home I tried to accommodate Rachel’s needs as best I could and also frantically pacing when I couldn’t think of what else to do. As soon as Rachel thought it was time, we headed to the hospital. They expedited us to the delivery room where I was thoroughly surprised with what it had to offer. Very spacious, a big screen TV, and specifically a large bathroom with a shower that had jets everywhere. This will come into play later. By the time we got into the room the contractions had picked up quite a bit for Rachel. She was showing signs of discomfort, so I tried to relieve some of it by rubbing her back.
Shortly after, our doula arrived. She instructed me how and where to apply pressure on Rachel’s back, which helped her a great deal. She was also coaching Rachel on her breathing. We pulled out the exercise ball that was in the closet and Rachel sat on that in the squat position while I kept pressure on her back. Soon the discomfort was too much for Rachel and she insisted on moving the operation to the shower. I joined her to support and help her as best I could. We would continue going back and forth between the exercise ball and the shower for the next hour and a half until the doctor gave the word that it was just about time, so Rachel got into the bed. I stood next to her holding her hand and saying whatever supporting things that I could think of. It was difficult as I, myself, had no idea what was in store.
When Rachel was pushing, I stared into her eyes, scared for her, but also anxious to see our child. It didn’t take very long from when the pushing had started before our child was born. When that happened…it hit me. I immediately started to cry. Not only because of the beautiful child that emerged, but because of the sense of relief I had knowing Rachel was all right. The surreal feeling I had before was gone and what took it’s place was a feeling of complete joy. Her name was Annie.