I was afraid I would give birth in the car. Then it happened.

Seth went to sleep, but I spent the whole night working through annoying but manageable contractions. At 6 a.m., they became uncomfortable enough that I took a shower, where they tapered off again. I crawled back into bed, next to my oldest daughter and husband. At 6:55 (according to my phone’s time stamp), I took a picture of the two of them sleeping next to one another.

One hour and three minutes later, a 911 operator would be declaring my son’s time of birth.

Perhaps 10 or 20 minutes later, I woke up to my water literally bursting across our bed. I jumped up and yelled at Seth. He saw the bed, and immediately jumped into gear, calling the babysitter and his parents to cover childcare (again). I stood in the shower screaming, already in the last stage of labor called transition. He dressed himself and me in record time; our babysitter, who had just left our house four hours ago, was somehow back at our door in minutes, dressed and delirious. We owe her big time.

I had two contractions on our way down our stairs and out the door. Seth later told me he thought I would give birth on our porch. I stood on the stairs moaning loud enough for our neighbors to hear at 7:15 in the morning. Seth was on the phone with his parents, who were trying to get details on how to care for our kids (whether they’d eaten, etc.). But as he watched me groan on the porch, Seth told his mom, “I can’t do this right now,” told her to talk to the babysitter, and promptly hung up.

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