So after this, Adam and I were off to the hospital. Contractions slowed down while riding in the car so we stopped off at McDonalds for breakfast (a rare treat for me). By the time we got to the hospital contractions were probably back to 10 minutes apart and wimpy wimpy. We walked into "the starting place" (as the sign said) and no one was there. We walked back into a nice lobby area with a tv, couches, birthing balls, bathrooms, etc. No one bothered us in there and I had everything I needed. But after about 30 minutes with no progress in contractions I told Adam we needed to leave the hospital and go for a walk. We moved the car to a long-term parking area and all the while Adam was trying to convince me that we should go to a movie. He even started looking up movie times and locations on his phone. Wolverine was playing at 12:30 p.m., but at this point it was only 10:30 a.m. I knew I wasn't going to make it that long and ignored his silly idea. Instead we walked through a historic neighborhood just north of the hospital. We held hands, we looked at the beautiful gardens and houses, he made me laugh a lot (like when I would complain about how small and weak my contractions were he'd say, "You mean it is just a baby contraction?" and then laugh at his own joke). I really have to say it is one of my favorite memories I have of Adam and I together, that 30 minute walk before our forth baby was born. We got back to the hospital, bought a whole wheat bagel from the cafe, and contractions started to pick up. It was a really busy day at St. Joseph's Labor and Delivery. Nurses and receptionists were in a flurry. Some attributed the rush to a change in the weather or cycles of the moon. At any rate they ended up having twenty two births on May 11th when normally they have less than ten. After check in my midwife found me to be dilated to a 5 and said I could stay. They moved me to the most wonderful birthing room with a giant jacuzzi, state of the art bed, and leaves imprinted into the ceiling tiles. Adam and the nurse filled up the tub and I can't ever remember being more comfortable (in between contractions, that is). I really mean it. Something about hot water and the massaging jets put me totally at ease. A few months ago I was considering hiring a doula for this birth. In the end I told Adam, "You will just have to be my doula. Your job is to put hot washcloths with drops of lemon oil on the back of my neck and to give massages." He didn't protest and even picked up a little bottle of lemon oil for me. Well, while I was in the tub he came in and dropped a dozen or so drops of lemon oil in the water. At first I thought this was a great idea, it smelled so wonderful, then my skin started to burn like it was on fire. It really hurt everywhere the oil touched my skin. I tried to ignore it and keep on enjoying my bath, but after a few minutes I knew I needed to stand up and try to soap off my skin. I kept telling myself, "You just needed some variety to your pain. This is a good distraction from your contractions which are getting stronger and stronger." Nonetheless, it was so very hard for me to get out of that tub. Adam felt really bad about the lemon oil problem. He dumped some on his arm to see if he would have the same reaction, but he never did. After about 20 minutes my skin stopped burning. Both the nurse and the midwife came in and said, "Didn't you enjoy your bath? Why did you get out so soon?" I resisted the urge to point at Adam and say, "I loved that bath but HE ruined it by pouring in oil that burned my skin off!" After the bath I was at an 8 and things moved pretty quickly from there. Transition from an 8 to a 10 was pretty rough, in fact I don't want to think about it (let me just say I'm so grateful for Hypnobirthing and all the mental & physical prep I put into this birth). Pushing was short but painful and I don't want to think about that either. But THEN, before I knew it I was holding my perfect little Ruby in my arms and saying "thank you thank you" over and over. Thank you to her, thank you to the nurses, thank you to my Heavenly Father that I didn't die, etc. My mom and siblings came to visit about 30 minutes after the birth. Adam left at about 7:30 and Ruby and I were on our own for our first night. It was a good one, I'd say. Ruby is a natural at nursing and you just can't ask for much more than that in a baby. Adam brought Kaia and Tristan with him to pick up Ruby and I while Sierra was in school. I'll never forget Kaia's wonderful reaction to her new sister. She just held her and sang to her and loved her right up. Tristan was more excited to see me, but also happy enough to meet Ruby (that morning Adam said to Tristan, "We are going to the hospital today to bring baby Ruby home." Tristan's reply was, "And mommy?") After 24 hours in the hospital, filled with interruptions and surveys, blood draws and room service, we were on our way home. Everyone seems to be adjusting so well. Tristan hasn't acted jealous at all. In fact, he has turned into an eager napper suddenly. Ruby's presence must make him sleepy. Sierra and Kaia are constantly at war about whose turn it is to hold Ruby and who has held her the longest. Adam's mom is here for two weeks to help. I can't say enough good things about her. She currently has the house rearranged and torn apart in an organizational effort. She and Adam had great success at a garage sale this morning (found a really nice dresser, a baby pack, a pack-n-play, clothes, etc) and now she's moving dressers all around the house. I'm delighted about it. Mostly because she tells me to go rest and she'll take care of everything. And she does. I'm on cloud 9 with nursing hormones, my beautiful baby, and my wonderful family.