Alex and Angelina sat in the living room watching the snow pile up and they snuggled under a blanket and just enjoyed each other’s company.
“Honey can you help me to the bathroom, my back is killing me today. The baby is just pushing down so heavy today.” He stood and offered her his hands. In one swift motion and she was up. He kissed her lips and forehead.
“You are so beautiful Mrs. Rossi. I just want you to know that.” She smiled and started her waddle from the bathroom closest to them in the office down the hallway.
As she shut the door behind her a sharp pain hit her. She grabbed onto the counter and water gushed from between her legs. Alex stood just outside the door and heard her ear piercing cry.
“Angie you okay?” no response left him worried so he fumbled with the locked door. Another cry followed by a thud made the panic rise in his heart and he kicked the door hard. Success.
Angelina kneeled down on the floor tears running down her face as he saw the bloody mess that laid on the ground beneath her. “Oh fuck! Hold on baby I’ll call 911.” he grabbed his phone and dialed holding her hand. She slid back and leaned her head on the counter, blood covering her legs and feet. Footsteps came booming down the stairs above and Howie called out to them both.
“In here…” Alex shouted as another wave of pain took over his wife’s body.
“Oh my God Angie, are you okay?” she shook her head no as he grabbed a big fluffy towel and tried to help clean up the messy floor under her so she could stand.
“Okay, listen baby, an ambulance is on the way to us. It’s being redirected from the other end of town. They’re guessing it’ll be at least an hour in this snow. The lady told me to get you up on a bed and try to make you comfortable. Okay? Can Howie and I pick you up?” she nodded as tears poured down her face. Fear hid behind the big brown eyes she had. Alex brushed hair from her face and kissed her temple.
“Put your arm around my neck Angie baby. That’s it, good, good. Just like that. Now, hold on tight. Howie is gonna support your legs and bottom, just let us do the work. You keep breathing for me.” she nodded and held on tightly as they carried her into the hall. She bursted into tears.
“Alex please! It hurts! I can’t stand it, put me down please! PLEASE!” she went pale and laid her head on his chest. They backed up into the office and laid her on the couch.
“Okay baby. You’re down. You’re safe.” he kissed her forehead and Howie stood to get some blankets. She grabbed his hands and pulled him close to her.
“I’m so scared. That was a lot of blood to just have been my water breaking Alex.” he held back his negative thoughts and kissed her hands. She laid her head back and tried to steady her breath. She took a breath in through her nose and out through her mouth. Her lips quivered but her face held determination.
“Alex,” Howie motioned him to the doorway. “Hey do you want me to call someone to come in case the ambulance can’t make it in time. That baby is coming, like it or not.” Alex thought for a minute and looked back at his wife whose eyes were closed and taking long ragged breaths through her mouth laced with gentle sobs. He couldn’t stand to see her scared. It wrenched his heart.
“Nothing stupid, Howie. This is my wife.” Howie could hear the desperation in his voice, despite his gritted teeth. He patted Alex’s shoulder as he grabbed his cell phone out of his back pocket.
“Hey, Stephanie. It’s Howie. Yes, I know I didn’t call you back last Friday. The office was slammed. I’m so sorry. I know you also probably don’t want to answer this next question but i need a favor-... my sister in law is having her baby right now but the ambulance is being rerouted and they’re an hour if not more out from us. Can I come get you to help us? It’s just me and Alex. She’s in a ton of pain-... Stephanie, you’re awesome. I’ll be at your house in ten minutes.” he hung up and ran to his SUV.
Alex joined Angelina’s side again as she came down from another painful contraction. He grabbed her hands and kissed her fingers.
“Alex, I’m scared but I’m so ready to meet our baby.” she managed a small smile as Alex brushed a tear from her stained cheeks.
“Howie knows a nurse, she said she could come help us deliver this baby and then the ambulance can take you to the hospital to make sure you and baby are okay. Can you do that for me?” she nodded and laid her head back as another contraction quickly ripped through her. Another came and went as Howie and Stephanie returned.
“Hey mama!” Her face was bright and full of positive energy which instantly relieved some of Angelina’s worries. She sat down her bag and took out her stethoscope and listened to her heart and then her belly. She timed her next contraction and asked the boys to help her slide down on the couch so she could examine her dilation.
“You’re going to start pushing very soon Angelina. You’re doing so so great!” she patted her knees and took off her gloves. She stood and told Howie to find some sharp scissors and go boil them for her. He nodded and ran off.
“Alex, when we start pushing, you’ve got to support her body, hold her up. She’s fading fast. I’m not going to lie to you. She’s lost a lot of blood and she needs to get that baby out fast. I’m going to call my charge nurse and see where that ambulance is and let Halifax Regional we’ll be incoming with her. We can do this!” Alex nodded and poured himself a quick drink as Stephanie returned to her side. He was scared. He couldn’t lose either of them. He would literally die for them. He would gladly take her place so she wouldn’t have to endure the pain and be so scared of the next few hours ahead of her.
“Stephanie I’m dizzy…” Angelina rubbed her eyes trying to focus on the nurse’s face as another strong contraction came on. She arched her back and grabbed the back of the couch for support.
“AAHHHH! ALEX!” he ran to her side and sat behind her, supporting her head and shoulders as she crashed back into his chest. He rubbed the back of her hands and Stephanie checked one last time. She made eye contact with Alex and nodded. He returned the gesture.
“Okay mama, now. With this next contraction you need to push as hard as you can. Okay?” Angelina nodded and Howie returned with the sterile scissors and a stack of fresh white towels. He sat next to Stephanie, ready to help any way he could.
“Push baby, you can do this! I’m right here with you. Come on!” Angelina bared down for a count of ten seconds and let her breath out loudly as she relaxed her shoulders waiting for the next contraction to push.
“This next one will birth the head honey! Push Angelina!” She nodded and grabbed Alex’s hand for support. And sure enough the baby’s head appeared in Stephanies hands.
“Angelina push now! Don’t wait for the next contraction, we gotta get this little one out, NOW. Do you understand me?” her eyes locked with Alex’s though. It worried him.
“COME ON BABY! Do it for us! Do it for the baby! We will be the first person they see, we can’t let them down!” She pushed for a count of ten and the next contraction hit her and she screamed and flung her head back into Alex’s chest.
“HERE HE IS! Your baby boy is here honey! Great job mama and daddy!” She handed the baby to Howie who had a towel out and waiting. He wrapped the baby loosely and handed him to Stephanie. She carried the baby to the mini bar converted to baby station to suction out his nose and clean him up. She turned around and put the baby on Angelina’s chest.
“Pull down your shirt and let the baby lay on your skin. It’s kind of cold in here.” she helped tuck the little bundle down her top and Angelina’s head fell limp on Alex’s chest. His eyes shot up to Stehpanie’s and she shook her head.
“She’s fine. This isn’t uncommon.” She swallowed hard and came around with her stethoscope, took her time listening to her heart and to the baby’s breathing.
“Howie, is that the ambulance?” he jumped up and ran to let them in.
As the ambulance drove off Howie wrapped his arms around Stepanie’s torso from behind.
“Thank you. I mean it. I don’t think we could have done what you did.” She glanced over her shoulder to look into his eyes. They were tired. He took her hands and got lost in her gaze. She was mesmerizing.
“Come on. Let’s get a drink. I think we both deserve that.” Howie grinned and ushered her back in from the cold.