On Friday the 13 of June, Jared and I checked into the hospital for our morning induction. Despite it being a full moon and despite what everyone was telling me about second births, I was certain this baby girl was going to take her time and probably not arrive until the following day, just like her brother.
The morning was long and uneventful. We watched an episode of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Jared took a nap. I ate graham crackers and drank my weight in apple juice on the rocks. My mom arrived sometime around noon with a little coloring page from August for his baby sister. The three of us went for walks around the labor ward in hopes of convincing this baby to come on out and meet us. No dice.
I bounced on the birthing ball and spent a couple of hours just laughing and chatting with my mom and husband, all the while trying to seem in some form of labor (which I was not) every time the nurse would come in (which was a lot). Eventually the doctor decided to break my water, but first suggested I request my epidural if I wanted it because 'second babies come quick'. So even though I wasn't feeling much in the way of labor, I requested the drugs.
A girl who seemed younger than me came carting in the dear, dear blessed epi. She was incredibly sweet and broke the rules and let me hug Jared while she administered it. Soon after, the doctor came in to break my water. This sped up the process a little, but not a whole lot considering both the nurse and the doctor, who were certain they'd be there to meet my baby, left to go home because their shift ended. The next doctor and nurse came in to introduce themselves and, of course, claim that they would be there to meet my baby. I smiled and nodded and hoped they were right.
It was raining all day long, but it wasn't until late that night that it started thundering and lightning. Labor began to get more intense and I had to close my eyes and steady my breathing. There was a moment between my contractions when the power went out. It was probably only out for one minute before the generators kicked on, but it felt like an hour. The nurse came in to check on us and confirmed that it wouldn't be long until our baby was in our arms.
The room was quiet, except for my deep breaths and whispered encouragement from my husband. My mom offered to leave the room for the delivery and I must have looked at her like she was crazy because she stayed and took photos. And although my labor was longer, my delivery was much shorter and I attribute that to my mother. Knowing she was in the room with me made me feel strong and fierce and safe.
Our daughter was born at 11:49pm, proving me wrong by 11 minutes. She was laid on my chest and Jared came over and called her by name. As soon as I heard him say it, I felt like I took my first breath along with her. Auden Bird.
The dark storm clouds and the bright full moon and the power outage and the late, late night of Friday the 13th, they all belonged to her. It was her orchestra of arrival. It was as if the entire city was enthralled by her magic.
And she is, she is just that. Magic.