The next two weeks were a roller coaster of emotions for Evelyn. She hated being stuck at home and in bed. The first day Roxie came over and they played several board games and went through her yearbooks from high school. The second day Ellie came by with Ava and let Evelyn snuggle her. The rest of the first week she had a stream of visitors while Anderson was at work. When he came home, her friends would leave, and he took care of everything she needed. Friday of the first week she went to her doctor’s appointment.
“Hello Evelyn, how are you feeling?” Dr. Young asked, walking into the exam room.
“Bored,” she replied, and the doctor laughed.
“No more contractions?”
“None, Anderson has been making sure I take my medication regularly.”
“I’m glad to hear it. After next week you can stop taking the medicine and whenever you go into labor, we will deliver your baby,” Dr. Young explained, looking through her paperwork.
“Your blood pressure is a little high. It could be because of the medicine. I want you to come back in three days and get checked again. If it is high, then I will admit you to the hospital and we can monitor you closer,” Dr. Young continued and Evelyn deflated. She did not want to be admitted to the hospital.
“Anything we can do to keep it down?” Anderson asked, squeezing her hand.
“Just stay in bed and try not to stress,” Dr. Young replied and Evelyn frowned. That was a stupid answer and she could tell Anderson knew it too.
Unfortunately, her blood pressure did not go down but went up so she was admitted to the hospital. Anderson took off the rest of the second week to stay with her. He came and went using the help of his dad to finish the nursery.
“Evelyn,” Anderson called walking into her hospital room. He carried a bag from Mia’s, her favorite place to stop for a yummy pastry. He wore a long-sleeved navy blue shirt with dark wash jeans. His hair had been pushed out of his eyes, and she could see the bags under his eyes. He wasn’t sleeping any better than she was. While in the hospital he wasn’t allowed to spend the night with her. He had to go home at the end of visitor hours. Sleeping without him had been awful, she woke every few hours reaching for his warmth in her bed.
“Did you bring me one of her scones?” she asked, eyeing the bag. Anderson laughed and handed her the bag. She ripped it open to see not only her scone but a few chocolate chip cookies as well.
“You are the best,” she gushed, biting into the scone and moaning when the delicious strawberries and pecans hit her tongue. Anderson settled next to her on the bed.
“I’m glad I could make your day. Today is the day they take you off the medicine and we don’t have to stop your contractions,” Anderson commented and Evelyn nodded. The prospect of going into labor scared her, all the horror stories her baby groups shared made her nervous.
“We are in this together,” Anderson promised kissing her gently. She nodded and rested her head against his shoulder.
“I’m scared,” she whispered and he wrapped an arm around her shoulders.
“Me too, but we have the best doctor and nurses. They won’t let anything happen,” he assured her and she could tell he was saying it to help himself just as much as her.
“Good morning Ms. Tate, you ready to have a baby today?” her nurse Milly asked coming into the room.
“Will it be today?” Anderson asked and the nurse nodded.
“Her last dose was last night. It should be out of her system in another hour or two. When that happens labor should start. I’ve seen it happen almost every time we stop the medicine,” Milly replied, coming in to take her vitals and check the machine attached to the baby monitor on her stomach.
“What happens if I don’t start?” she asked, wanting to know everything before she was distracted by her contractions. Anderson and she had decided she would make the decision to get an epidural when the time came.
“We give you Pitocin to kick start labor. We are going to change out your saline bag to keep you hydrated and after that scone, no more eating,” Milly ordered and she groaned.
“Why?” Anderson asked and Milly smiled.
“Just in case she needs a c-section.” Evelyn felt him tense next to her and this time it was her turn to comfort him.
“We saw all about them in our birthing class,” Evelyn reminded him and squeezed his hand.
“They are fairly routine these days,” Milly added. Anderson still had a look of fear on his face. Evelyn knew it wouldn’t go away until Jonah was delivered.
“Anderson, want to call your dad and let him know he is going to be a grandpa again?” she asked, trying to distract him.
“I will once we know you are in labor,” he replied, not releasing his grip on her hand.
“I’ll be back in a couple of hours to check in on you. If you need me earlier please press the call button and I’ll come back sooner.” Milly left them alone and Evelyn laid back to rest.
“I’ll let you sleep. They said in our classes to rest as much as possible before full labor begins,” Anderson kissed her gently and settled in a chair off to the side, dimmed the light, and pulled out a book to read. Evelyn watched him for a minute, but closed her eyes and let sleep pull her under.
She didn’t sleep for long, within a half-hour she felt the beginnings of contractions hit her. She opened one eye to see Anderson asleep in the chair, his book rest on his chest. Not wanting to wake him, she breathed through the contractions. They weren’t anything she couldn’t handle, yet. She slipped out of the bed and grabbed her IV pole and walked around the room trying to alleviate some of her discomforts.
Another two hours went by with Evelyn not waking Anderson as her contractions became harder. Soon she couldn’t hold back her groan of pain and his eyes shot open. Immediately he was up on his feet and by her side rubbing her lower back. Sighing from the relief he offered she held onto his forearms.
“How long has this been going?” he asked her, rocking back and forth with her.
“About two hours,” she answered, closing her eyes as another contraction started to build.
“Why didn’t you wake me?” he demanded, she heard the hurt in his voice and sighed.
“I didn’t want to wake you because you looked so tired when you came in. The pain wasn’t terrible until just now.” The contraction crashed down on her and she dug her nails into his arms breathing heavily through the pain. Her contractions were sitting in her back and made her feel like someone was stabbing her with a knife.
“Do you want me to call the nurse?” he asked. She waited until the contraction passed before answering him.
“Yes. These are close and awful,” she moaned. He walked her back over to the bed and pressed the call button for the nurse. Milly showed up twenty agonizing minutes later.
“How are you doing?” she asked walking over to the machine and staring at the blank papers.
“I’ve been walking around, the contractions started about two and a half hours ago. The pain feels like I am being stabbed in the back,” she complained as Milly bustled around her.
“Let’s check you and the baby,” Milly ordered motioning for her to lay down. Evelyn settled and Milly reached down to check how far dilated she was.
“Wow Evelyn, you are about eight centimeters,” Milly commented, feeling her stomach and then paused.
“I don’t like that look,” Evelyn commented seeing the frown on Milly’s face.
“I am going to get the doctor, give me just a minute.” Milly rushed out of the room and Evelyn turned in a panic to look at Anderson. His face was pale, he looked like he was going to faint.
“Anderson sit,” she ordered and he dropped into the chair like a rock.
“Don’t think the worst,” she demanded, knowing he didn’t have the ability to function at the moment.
“I can feel the baby kicking, he is okay,” she promised and his face relaxed.
“This is very stressful,” he finally admitted and she laughed.
“No one said having a baby was easy,” she replied with a smile.
“I know,” he answered with a small smile and moved over to sit on the bed with her. He wrapped her up in his arms and they waited for the doctor to come. Throughout their wait, Anderson helped her through her contractions.
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