I ignored the pain in my back and the fact that I had lost my cervical plug earlier that day and ate bite after bite like there was no tomorrow.
After we were full of pie and conversation, we left Isy's apartment only to run into a lady from church across the street from our home.
For another hour, we stood in the street beside a parked car while my mom talked and I shifted from foot to foot in an attempt to deflect the growing pains in my legs and lower back. Finally, I grabbed at my swollen belly and said, "I have to pee," which allowed me to escape to my "bed" (really the couch in my parents' house on which I slept).
As my father watched movies on Netflix, I toured Hulu. In the middle of Lie to Me, my favorite show at the time - now canceled, I realized I was SO HOT and retrieved a sheet from the closet to keep my sweating legs from sticking to the leather couch. That's when I felt it: as I was bending over the couch with my hand stuck between the sofa cushions and its back, I felt a POP from within and liquid swishing into the inside of my pants. Without a word, I dashed down the hallway to my parents' room.
"Mom. Mom!" I whispered as I gently shook her, "I think my water broke."
"Are you sure?" she asked, blinking at me in the light coming in from the bathroom.
"I mean, look," I said as I held out my cupped hand full of liquid.
"Call the midwife."
Calling the midwife was the last thing I wanted to do at 5:30 in the morning. I had heard way too many horror stories of women being stuck in the hospital bed, hooked up to machines and IVs wearing that awful hospital gown and being unable to eat or drink anything. So I responded, "In a little bit," and then ran around the apartment trying to gather the hospital bag I had neglected to put together: charger, snacks, lotion, panties, shirt... Then, I poured myself a bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats.
Halfway through the bowl of cereal, I couldn't put one more bite in my mouth without gagging. The pain in my back was overwhelming so I ignored the midwives' advice, "If your water breaks, don't take a bath. Just come in," and jumped into the shower. Bent over in the tub, with the hot water running over my back, I felt free. "You can do this," I told myself, "You can do this."