Then I jumped out of bed, remembering what we were anticipating, and ran downstairs.
I found my sister in the bathroom on the toilet. She told me she thought her water broke. But she also was curious why all the blood. I stood at the door and looked at her and was so excited! It was time, Zion was coming! The blood wasn't shocking to me. I had never experience true labor, as all of mine have been c-sections. I had no reason to worry! She called the midwife and started getting ready to go. The memories from those moments are a little blurred now, but I remember cleaning the blood on the bathroom floor up for her and ensuring that we had all the snacks and things for the birthing center.
We packed the car and loaded my baby girl in with us. She would be at the birthing center with us, because I had never left her. I texted my friends around 530am on that Saturday morning and said "Shabbat Shalom! It is a great day to have a baby!"
They knew what that meant because I had been in Gilmer for the past week waiting for Zion's arrival. I had lived too far for the other three babies and I was so excited to be part of his birth with my sister! Every other birth I had debated coming in, but the 20 hour drive was just so far, that I decided to wait until I could be sure her babies were here and I could spend my time with them! This time, I lived very close and I COULD be there! What a freaking blessing! The week before I felt I NEEDED to go! Everyday through that week I would laugh 'what the heck, I was sure my feelings meant Zion was on his way sooner rather than later!' But despite it all, everyday was so fun as we all hung out and waited for Zion. We had spent the week together and it was so fun! We went to splash pads, lakes, walking trails, we went to parks and just had a blast! Britt and her family were staying with my inlaws so we were all together day in and day out!
The day before Zion arrived we went walking at the track. We were doing all of the things to help get Zion to come earthside. I remember watching Britt and thinking how cute she looked! My oldest daughter was stung by a wasp and we learned then she has an allergy to wasps. This is such a vivid memory to me because a couple of days later my husband would take her to urgent care, instead of me, because I was with my sister. During the next days, parts of me would change and one of the biggest was relinquishing control over things I really had no control of. It sucks bad things have to remind of you have that.
The night before Zion came we were at my inlaws, along with both sister-in-laws, Rachel and Hannah. We joked, but kinda got serious, about maybe just doing a home birth here at the house. All of her previous babies had come naturally and perfectly. Man, I am so glad we didn't do that! Britt bounced a lot that night and this picture is also engrained in my forever memory. We sat around the living room laughing and enjoying life. I love this picture because it is her real smile and after all she went through, this smile was hidden by her sad eyes for a very long time.
This smile was the innocent face of a mother anticipating the sweet birth of her baby, a smile of a mother before she had met grief face-to-face.
*I'll meet you back here in a couple of weeks to keep going with this story, from my point of view*