APRIL 4, 2010: Jen says "Jared... I'm having contractions" at around 2:00 a.m. I simply reply "ok" and lean over to grab my phone. I'm not a reactionary person by nature and this is no exception. In addition Jen has been having contractions for about 3 weeks so I figure this is probably just another false alarm. I open the phone and begin timing her contractions. First two are about 8 minutes apart but the third drops down to 7 minutes. After about 10 contractions we are steady at 7 minutes apart so I place my feet on the floor and say "I think this is it". Jen looks over at me and says "well I'm going to get in the shower"..... I say nothing and begin to activate the drill sargeant inside my head. As I figure it we are going in to battle and I have to get the troops organized and ready here. The entire time Jen is in the shower she calls out when the next contraction starts, I told her before she went in "I NEED TO KNOW when you have a contraction so DO NOT FORGET to call them out". I am in the bedroom going down the list of everything we need, thinking of Andon, the ride, when we should call our friends to drop Andon off etc when Andon just walks in the room and says "Is it morning yet"? (reason he is asking is he knows morning brings his present and Easter basket) I say "Yes but, the baby is coming so we need to go to the hospital". Immediately Andon shoots back "WHAT ABOUT EASTER?" and begins the face transition from sleepy to melt down! I jump in quick and say "Basket is downstairs and you can have it right now" Off he goes and I think one less thing to take care of on my list. This entire time Jen has been calling off contractions and all I need to do is hit a button on the phone. I decide now is a good time to look at the history to see where we are at... EVERY 4 MINUTES NOW! I walk straight in to the bathroom and say "Let's go now, we are every 4 minutes... NOW JEN". Jen spends the next 20 minutes getting out, getting dressed and calling off contractions. I am now downstairs waiting on her.
We're in the car and heading towards Mat and Brittani's house, Andon wide awake and showing me his candy and new toys (I'm sure he ate some candy due to the rate of words per minute flowing from his mouth) and Jen contracting. We pull up and Jen gets out to say goodbye. In my mind this is a drop and go situation, I even had the random thought of slowing down enough and having Andon just jump out! Jen on the other hand is in a conversation with Brittani when I look down at the history and see we are now EVERY 2 TO 3 MINUTES!" As I said, I'm not a reactionary person by nature but my mind is calculating the time it will take to get to the hospital vs her contraction time and reminds me that I have ZERO medical background so... "JEN, NOW" is all I get out.
We are now driving towards the hospital and Jen says "Left" so I do it but then she says "Left again, the movies Jared" and I remember we have rented movies in the car we need to drop off at the Red Box! I jump out in the quick mart parking lot, movies in hand and run towards the machine. Now if anyone has returned movies at the Red Box you also know that it's not the fastest process in the world. So I hit RETURN and slam the first one in the slot. The machine takes the movie BUT... Flashes a message across the screen "Experiencing some difficulty please stand by" Immediately my mind responds "Throw the other movie at the cashier and scream for him to return it WE GOTTA GO MAN!" but I take a deep breath and wait. Just a minute later the screen returns to normal, I slap the movie in and run back to the car.
Now we are REALLY heading towards the hospital and the contractions are EVERY 2 MINUTES STEADY. The ride is a blur, I vaguely remember some red lights I ran, some groans from Jen about the pain and mostly my inner voice running down lists! We arrive at the hospital and realize that the parking lot is a bit off the hospital. We park on the third floor and the second we are out Jen has a contraction. I prop up the suitcase and pillows so she can lean on them and focus. Contraction over I say "LETS MOVE" and begin walking towards the hospital. 2 Minutes later I hear a voice in the distance behind me "Jared I'm having one" and as I turn around I realize that I have walked about 15 yards ahead of Jen! OOOOPS. I run back, prop up the suitcase and pillow and hunker down with Jen. This routine happens three more times before we even hit the hospital doors.
In the hospital, checked in and changed I have made my calls and begin the process to devote every part of me to Jen. Our last experience was filled with surprises and I know the only thing that will offer Jen stability is my full attention. The nurse comes in checks Jen and says "7, almost 8 centimeters, this should be fast" We are then carted off to "the room" and Jen is hooked up to all the machines. A flurry of nurses are in and out and while I am staying in tune with Jen I can also hear several of the nurses conversations. One in particular catches my attention and basically boils down to that Jen's 8 centimeters vs the doctors distance from the hospital might result in no doctor. At this point I could care less and look at Jen and say "GREAT JOB, I'M SO PROUD OF YOU".
Jen's labor lasted approximately 4 hours. Their were times I felt completely connected to her. I love this opportunity and time (I loved it last time) It is such an opportunity to have a deeper understanding and intimacy with Jen. The entire time she was in labor she looked in to my eyes and I would carry her away and through the contraction. Jen and I used to run with each other and we had one hill at the end of the run that was a killer. After running for a while Jen changed our perception of the hill by telling me to run faster and attack the hill and it worked. I returned the favor and said to Jen at one of her hardest contractions "Remember the hill when we used to run, we are there now. BREATHE deep and lets take the hill. We are at the beginning but keep going Jen, soon we will be up" and as I looked at her we both left that room and found ourselves on the hill, I felt her leave with me. It was an amazing experience.
SNAP BACK TO REALITY and the Doctor walks in. Gets in position and calls for the push. 4 sets of pushing and Adelyn Christine Mirabile enters the world at 7:27 on April 4th 2010 at 8 pounds 10 ounces. Jen says "Go see her" and my mind flashes back to when I left her alone right after Andon was born and I simply look at Jen and say "I'm not leaving you this time, she's fine".
Unlike last time we were able to have our newborn with us right after birth. Andon was unfortunately raced off to the NICU but Adelyn was able to stay for hours. It really gave Jen and I the opportunity to reflect. The last three years of our lives has been filled with "hill top" moments and the valleys. As we sat their we could not help but to know His power, plan and hand on every moment. Adelyn is the hope and faith realized after years of service. This birth is so unlike the last we almost feel like it's the first. We are so thankful for both experiences, both perspectives and both children.
I could spend the next few hours writing about the hospital stay, coming home and being home with a new baby but all in all we are blessed and fulfilled. Momma is sleeping as I type along with Adelyn. Andon is being a 6 year old and Dad could not be more happy about his family!