It was April 9, 2015. It was three days past my due date. I had been here before – waiting out the minutes and feeling very antsy about meeting the new guy! We were also working on a bit of a time crunch – Whit was only home for a week before he had to go back on the road. Who knew that 2015 would bring a new baby, a record deal, and a Kenny Chesney tour? These are all amazing, wonderful things that happened to happen all. at. once. Go big or go home, right? After what had seemed like an eternity of walking, acupuncturing, massage, reflexology, sweet William was just happy as a clam to keep on cooking. But this was a Thursday, and daddy had to be on a plane to Texas the next Saturday. So. Sorry young Will – you needed to be evicted by any natural means necessary. I started the day with a yoga class (I’d been on maternity leave since Monday) where we did a lot of bouncing and squatting. We then went to see the midwife where she stripped my membranes. Her words: “You may feel some more intense cramping after I do this. Hopefully we will see you in here by this weekend!” Mmmk. I had my doubts. I knew membrane stripping didn’t always work. So we went home, and I laid down for a nap. Around 3:00 I woke up feeling some pretty “intense cramping.” I thought that was all it was, but to be sure I tried taking a shower. No change. I took a walk. No change. My sweet friend who was walking with me said something like, “umm, just so you know, your ‘intense cramping’ is coming about every 3-4 minutes. Maybe you should call your doula?” Ha! Little did I know that was the start of a very quick, very intense labor to bring young William into the world! By the time we got back to the house, I was sure I was in labor. I had called my doula and she told us to get to the hospital. This baby was coming fast! I suddenly felt completely unprepared for the hospital. Who is unprepared when you’re past your due date? That would be me. I couldn’t find my hairbrush. Why this was so important at the moment I have no idea. And then I had to say goodbye to Lucy. I held her for a minute (in between contractions) and took in her scent, the weight of her in my arms, her snuggle. I drank it in, knowing that this was our last moment as just…the two of us. Soon there would be another baby there along with her. Things would be different. I teared up but didn’t let her see that, and we were then on our way to the hospital. I’m pretty sure that was the longest 2-mile drive of my life. Having intense contractions in a moving car – NO fun. I don’t recommend it. We got there and went to triage. It was around 5:30. It seemed to take forever to get a room, so I was just breathing and trying to stay focused on relaxing. Finally we got to a room and I put my headphones in, letting my “yoga music” (Whit’s term) help me relax and prepare myself to breathe this baby on out. And, as it was with Lucy, right before Will was born, he became distressed. He wasn’t getting enough oxygen, his heart rate was dropping. The room filled with people, the lights came on, and the midwife was yelling at me to push harder than I had ever pushed before. All the hypnobirthing training I had done (twice now) flew out the window and I was suddenly not calm at all. I was terrified and trying to keep it together to PUSH. This is where I’m so thankful for my doula. Beulah, who also coached me through Lucy’s birth, somehow got me to focus all of my breath, my energy, my thoughts, on pushing. I was screaming and crying, which are not super productive when a baby needs to be pushed on out into the world. Once Beulah helped me calm down, Will was out a few minutes later. As the midwife was telling me that if I didn’t get him out in the next couple of pushes they would have to use medical intervention (which in my head meant c-section), I remember thinking, “I’m going to f-ing do this!” And then if “beast mode” was ever an actual thing for me, this was probably my one big shining moment. I got that baby out. I felt a rush of relief as I heard the familiar “pop” when I felt his body leave mine and enter the world. And then suddenly, he was on my chest. He was still attached to me via the umbilical cord, and nursing at the same time. He was so soft. And squishy. And absolutely perfect. It was so surreal to me – with Lucy’s birth I had been so exhausted I (irrationally) felt guilty for months afterwards, feeling like I had missed out on those first few blissful moments where you can just enjoy your baby. With Will, thanks to a much shorter labor, I felt that. I felt the magic between mama and baby, meeting each other for the first time. I felt my heart grow twice as big so it would fit two babies. In the hours after, Will couldn’t maintain his body temperature. He would be fine, we learned, but I held him skin-to-skin for four hours in order to help him warm up. I cried thinking of so many mamas, ones I know personally and many that I don’t, who didn’t get that opportunity. Babies who have to go to the NICU, babies who need more medical intervention. I was tearfully grateful for my healthy baby that only needed my snuggles as an intervention. Welcome to the world, William Edward Sellers. 8 lbs, 1 oz, 21″ long. You are loved, you are cherished, you are ours.