on July 2nd, my best friend arrived at our place from California. back in April, we moved, which is a whole other long story. i wasn't due for another two weeks, so most of the time Emma and i were together, we lamented how sad it was that she wouldn't meet this baby until Christmas. we took the boys to a local bookstore for the free AC, because it just so happened to be 100 degrees with awful humidity. for a few days prior i had felt...off. but just chalked it up to the end of pregnancy. with this being our last babe, i truthfully wasn't ready for it to be over. for every person that told me how giant i looked, how i wouldn't make it to my due date, i rubbed my belly and was grateful for the time we had ahead of us.
while we wandered the book store i frequently had to sit down. i was having some pretty intense shooting pains and braxton hicks. again, just chalking it up to the end of pregnancy aches and labor practice. we dumped the boys with my husband, got a pedicure, hugged/cried and said goodbye.
i guess i slept ok that night, i don't really remember. i woke up the next morning, took this picture and sent it to my friend. braxton hicks getting intense i said.
that day i took the boys to my 37 week appointment. we went out for chinese food and then headed to my in laws for the rest of the afternoon. when Chris met up with us after work, we headed home, and hit Friendly's on the way for dinner. i ate a burger, fries and a milkshake. we went home. i plopped down on the couch. it was 6:15. at 6:30 Leo walked up to me to show me something. i struggled to sit up. and then...pop.
it truly was like in a movie. neither of my previous labors started this way. i was in shock. did my water seriously just break at home?! i hadn't even gotten to the point in my pregnancy where they were checking me at appts. even though i was 37 weeks and 5 days it was "early" to me and i was nervous. unprepared. we didn't have a bag packed! the carseat was still in the trash bag my sister in law gave it to me in!
so i sat on the toilet while Jack and Leo packed their own overnight bag to stay with my in laws. Chris packed our stuff, i called/texted our team. and we headed in...
after dropping the boys at my in laws, we were at Mt. Auburn hospital by 8:15pm. at which point we stopped to take this photo. because, like, holy shit.
i actually kept telling myself, it's just pee, you'll get sent home, you'll have your two more weeks. but after a quick paper strip turned bright blue, it was confirmed that my water had broken. i could stay and walk, i could leave (since i wasn't really feeling IN labor) and come back, i could be checked, i could not be checked. i decided i wanted to be checked, just to see where we were. well...4cm dilated, 90% effaced and she was touching his scalp. so, uh, no, you can't leave. you can stay and walk around...
we went to the solarium, this room in the postpartum wing. see, here in Boston, hurricane Arthur was about to make landfall. so they pushed the 4th of July to the 3rd of July. Chris and I sat in a room with new parents, nurses, midwives, tiny babes. i contracted and fireworks boomed.
there was a pre-hurricane storm due to hit. after the fireworks ended at 10pm-ish we walked into an empty, dark labor and delivery room. we held hands. we heard the rain pouring down and felt the rumble of incredible thunder and lightning. i contracted. we waddled back to our room. we took stock of what was coming. holy. shit.
the rest is mostly a blur. somewhere around 1am i asked to get into the tub. and at 1:57am Arthur Douglas Furie Bowman was born. and no. he is not named after the hurricane. coincidentally, Arthur was on the top of our list from the get-go.
(above image taken by my dear friend Breanne)
it was the most difficult delivery for me, mentally. i can't quite remember hitting the wall like i did with Arthur. just begging, pleading, i can't do it anymore, help me, get.him.out. his placenta was the most difficult to deliver and required much extra tugging and coercing. but oh my god, the weight of him on my chest. the wet, silky, creamy white lanugo. wrapping him completely in my arms. you're here. you're here.
i'm the photographer who didn't have her shit together and brought a dead camera to the hospital. all i have is what i took with my iphone.
...and since that night, we've just been adjusting to life with Arthur. which is mostly pretty damn sweet.