I met Nikki in an international baby wearing group at least three years ago. Realizing we lived in the same city, we connected and remained online friends, until early this year, when my daughters started school with her oldest son, Ben. When we finally met in person, our real life friendship was completely effortless. She was halfway through the pregnancy with her third child, and had hired my favorite midwife, GB Khalsa, to look after her prenatally and to help her welcome her third child at home. This would be my first time to work with GB since she cared for me throughout Nova's pregnancy, and I was downright giddy with anticipation!
In the last couple weeks of her pregnancy, I connected Nikki to my friend Jess, an amazing local doula, so that she could have some help with her kids during labor if she needed it. Nikki built the most perfect team of women to support her, and I couldn't wait to be a part of that. Her first two babies arrived on their due dates after spontaneous labors, and her second labor was very fast. She told me this baby would arrive on his due date too, and I was inclined to believe her—the mind is a very powerful thing, after all!
On Saturday, February 18, two days before she was due, I settled in for Torchy's and a movie in bed with my partner, Will. I thought of Nikki, and sent her a text message at 6:39 pm:
"Hey mama, how are you feeling?"
"Funny you should ask," she said, "consider yourself on red alert!" She told me that her water had broken 5 minutes before, but that she hadn't had any contractions yet. I was worried that once contractions started I may not have a lot of time, so I shoveled in the rest of my dinner and hopped in the shower at 7:10 pm, just to be safe.
By 7:25 pm, I got the message: "You should head this way." Accompanying the text was a screenshot of her contraction timer—2 minutes apart! I was out the door by 7:45 pm and arrived to her house a little after 8.
Inside, I was greeted by excited little faces, anxious to meet their new baby brother. A few minutes later, GB arrived, and we all chatted and laughed while waiting for the birth pool to fill. Jess wasn’t far behind us, and she helped keep the kids occupied as Nikki labored gracefully, though she’d step in at every opportunity to offer a perfectly timed drink of water to Nikki. Ulrike, the assisting midwife, arrived and by then it was clear that Nikki was in active labor… so things got a little quieter and we waited, though not for long. At 11:21 pm, a tiny new life joined us in the human world.