on thursday night at the restaurant, i got the text. kind of. it was more like a series of texts from my mom, going back and forth between "i'm pretty sure this is it" and "i don't know what to tell you sarah, i'm not sure, it could be nothing." we had been texting all day about what was going on, and we all thought that thursday would be the day, but there was nothing really solid happening to justify my up and leaving quite yet. but after a quick phone call in the middle of my shift, i decided to just go for it. even if T wasn't in labor yet, it probably wouldn't be long, and i would only be missing one work day if i was wrong.
by the time i was packed and on my way an hour later (at 9 p.m.), they were headed to the hospital, and i was praying hard that i would make it in time. please let me be there. i was driving from nashville to charlotte, so there was a good six to seven hours in between us and what if i'm too late? i'd like to say that i was calm and trusting of the fact that it would all work out, that the one who is in control is always faithful. but quite honestly, i was kind of freaking out.
thankfully, i had heather on the phone with me for most of my drive. she stayed awake and helped keep me awake and focused (and distracted from worrying). my mom would text her updates and she would relay the messages to me, reassuring me each time that the chances of me making it in time were good. i can't imagine it was easy for her, to stay awake all night and also to know that while i was on my way right then, she wouldn't be on her way for another six days. but she made my drive go by a lot faster and easier, and i'm so thankful for that.
i arrived around 4 a.m., just as they were getting ready to prep T for delivery. i was exhausted, to put it mildly, but i was about to finally meet my nephew and i had made it in time to see him take his very first breath.
T was amazing. she didn't feel amazing, or like she was doing exceptionally well (does anyone?), but let me be real here for a minute. because i walked in there thinking i would walk out sure that i would never want to go through that myself. i couldn't imagine what it must be like–how so many women go through it (and more than once!). i mean, physically. i know it's all worth it and beautiful and whatever (and i got a small glimpse of that, as an auntie), but that doesn't change the fact that you're pushing an eight-ish pound human out through a space that's not really big enough. and there's no sugar coating when you're in that room, experiencing it secondhand like that. it's the real deal, and i was about to find out all the behind the scenes things no one tells you about having a baby.
except it wasn't like i expected. at first all i could think about was surrogates and how carrying a baby for someone else is like, a huge favor. (i don't know why this came to mind, but while playing that game of hypothetical situations, i once said i would carry a baby for T if she couldn't. and watching her give birth was like a reality check of what that would actually mean.) but T was so great, even in the pain. it was kind of inspiring, and made me feel like i could do it (someday) (after lots of mental preparation, and a wedding and stuff).
i said this later, and T just looked at me with her eyebrows raised because, i don't actually know what it feels like. and, as she's stated more than once, it was hard and it hurt, and even days later it still hurts. but i didn't have the reaction i thought i would have, plus i have a beautiful baby nephew, so it's all a win at this point.
and here he is. meet luca.