“I care.” She turns and waddles back into the bedroom. “You change, I’ll change, and then we can go,” she says calmly, “Gabriella!” She yells for her sister. “Can you bring me the underwear with the pads?”
“I never in my life want to know what that is,” Gabriella states, coming into the room as I kick off my shoes.
“It’s on the chair.” She points to the chair with a change of clothes, as if she knew this would happen. She plans for everything every single time,
“Oh my God.” Gabriella picks up the cream-colored thing in her hand. “This is underwear and a pad all I one.”
“Yes,” Abigail says, pulling her dress over her head. “Bring it to me.”
I pull off my socks and toss them in the corner and I’m about to say something when Abigail yells out in pain. “Get in the car!” I yell to Gabriella. “Have the car running”
I walk over to Abigail. “I need you to lift foot.” I hold the underwear on the floor.
“I can do it,” she retorts, grabbing it from me and quickly putting them on. It takes thirty seconds to get her into the car.
I sit in the back with her, my arm around her shoulders. “I’m having another one,” she announces to me, putting her head on my shoulder as she tries to breathe through the pain, but this time she moans out.
“You got this,” I soothe her and by the time we reach the hospital, she is having them every single thirty seconds on the nose.
Gabriella parks at the entrance and jumps out, running into the hospital, while I start to get out of the car. We have to stop while she has another contraction, this one is more intense than the last one because she moans the whole time. The breathing is out the window at this point. “I’m not one to complain, but this shit hurts,” declares sitting in the wheelchair.
“You have a human person coming out of your ho ha,” Gabriella reminds her and I glare at her. “What? Like she doesn’t know a human is going to come out of her?”
“Listen, as much as I love to hear you guys bond,” Abigail says, “I need to get in there.” I hold on to the wheelchair and push her into the elevator.
I put my hand on my forehead. “We forgot to call in,” I admit to her. “That was like the number one thing on my to-do list.” I look down at her as she tries to smile but then put her head back and groans out as she clutches her stomach.
The door of the elevator swings open and Dr. Emmy is there waiting for us. “Well, if isn’t it my favorite couple.” She smiles at me and then looks down at Abigail. “How far apart?”
“She just had one,” I say as I wheel her out and she groans again, “that’s been like maybe ten seconds ago.”
“Let’s get her hooked up to a monitor.” Dr. Emmy grabs the wheelchair from me and briskly walks down the hallway and into a room. With the bed in the middle of the room, I walk with her, holding her hand, and when she gets up, she stops midway to groan again. “I need an IV in here,” Dr. Emmy says, “now.” Her voice sounds calm but I can see the nurses assess the situation. “Contractions are one after another and I think she’s going to be ready to push.”
“What?” Abigail says, standing up straight. “No, I don’t think so.” She walks over to the bed. “Besides, I need the epidural.” She looks over at me and I can tell she’s scared. “We talked about it.” She blinks away the tears that are forming in her eyes but one escapes.
My hand comes up to wipe it away. “It’s okay,” I tell her softly as she turns to get into bed and groans again, this time her body shaking. I look over at Dr. Emmy who looks at Abigail.
“When did this start?” she asks her. I watch Abigail now start to shiver and her teeth start to clatter together.
“A couple of days but I thought it was fine,” she admits and I just stand here shocked. She looks at me. “I didn’t want you to worry.” I put my head back and tell myself she doesn’t need me going crazy right now. My body fills with rage that she was in pain and didn’t say anything because of me. “It’s fine.” She walks out of the room quickly and I look back over at Abigail.
“We need to move quickly,” the nurse declares, coming to stand beside me. “We need her out of her clothes and into the hospital gown.” I nod at her and watch Abigail move side to side to get the dress off of her. But she has to stop at least twice when contractions come on.
I move out of the way when the nurse comes back and starts an IV and, in a matter of minutes, she’s hooked up to the monitor and the sound of the baby’s heartbeat fills the room. Dr. Emmy comes back in and she’s in blue scrubs. “How we doing?”
“Not good,” Abigail says between clenched teeth and it’s the first time she’s shown that she isn’t okay. My head whips to her and I see the tears in her eyes now, leaking down her face. “It’s burning and there is a lot of pressure.” She looks at me and it breaks my heart that I can’t do anything for her.
I rush to her side, wiping the tears off her cheek as she closes her eyes and puts her hand on her stomach, groaning out in pain. “You got this,” I say, my heart speeding up as my whole body goes cold. “Breathe, baby,” I urge, putting my forehead to her temple as she cries out.
“Okay, let me see what is going on here,” Dr. Emmy states calmly and Abigail opens her legs. I spot the blood right away and my eyes fly to Dr. Emmy, who smiles at me reassuringly. “This is all normal.”
“It hurts,” Abigail moans as she moves her head side to side and starts to shake in my arms.
“Okay, Abigail,” Dr. Emmy says, her voice is firm now. “I’m going to need you to focus on me,” she orders her. “We need to get your baby out.”
Abigail shakes her head side to side, “I can’t do it. I need the epidural.”
“What did I miss?” Gabriella asks, rushing in the room and then looking at the bed. “Ouch, that has to hurt.” She points to Abigail.