Life kept moving along. Mitchell and I were stressed, but we pushed forward. I struggled with physical intimacy because I believed my mom was watching over me. That thought didn’t set well with me. I was five months pregnant, and we still don’t know our baby’s gender. Mitchell told me if the baby was a girl there was no way it was his because he only had boys. Our baby still didn’t have the name. I told Mitchell he could choose the boy’s name. I liked Hope Alyssa for a girl. Mitchell liked Brilee, a name he had seen in the newspaper. I thought if we had a girl, she could have two middle names like me. The boy’s name was Dalton Thomas. Thomas was after Mitchell and his father. I preferred the spelling Daltyn. Our baby had a name . We settled on Daltyn Thomas Smith or Hope Alyssa Bryley (Mitchell chose the spelling) Smith.
I returned to work a couple days after the funeral. My coworkers were incredibly supportive. I cried as I looked at the phone, missing her phone calls sometimes. Mitchell spent a lot of time at his sister’s while worked. He didn’t want to be alone. My officers brought in mountain dew as often as I wanted it. Mitchell and I argued a lot, we didn’t communicate. We never talked about how we felt about the things we went through. He tried to drink the pain away. I was keeping my pain suppressed, by burying my face in a computer screen.
August 16 – our gender ultrasound. Mitchell and I were the only two in the room with the ultrasound tech. The tech looked for the baby’s gender first. She turned the screen and said “That’s a Girl!” I looked over at Mitchell and said “I thought you didn’t make girls? Asshole!” He said “I guess, I do.” The tech showed us Hope’s face; I could tell she had my mom’s nose. I specifically wanted her to have Mitchell’s blonde hair and dimples in his smile. We saw her hands on the ultrasound, she was perfect. We couldn’t wait to me her! Mitchell and I split up for a week in September. We discussed the possibility of moving to Colorado after Hope was born. A fresh start was appealing for both of us. The next 10 weeks were spent working and preparing for Hope. I went to Wal-Mart almost every night after work. I bought bottles and pacifiers. Family members gave us two baby showers. Hope had a rectangle laundry basket of clothes. I washed and refolded the same clothes every day. Mitchell put together her crib in our bedroom. We were ready.
On October 2 at my doctor’s appointment, I was told I was dilated to a three. The doctor said she didn’t believe that I would make it through the weekend. I called my Aunt Deedee and told her what the doctor said. I asked her months earlier to be in the room when I had my baby. Deedee left Grand Junction the next day and drove 13 hours straight to be with me. Deedee and I spent the whole weekend walking. We walked everywhere. I was so over walking.
At the next weekly doctor’s appointment the doctor said again that I would not make it through the weekend. Sunday, October 8, I was at work. I began having regular, and somewhat painful contractions. I was certain I was in labor, finally. I called Mitchell and told him I needed to go to the hospital after I got off work. The contractions weren’t unbearable. I wanted to finish my shift. I didn’t want to inconvenience any coworkers by calling them in. I made it to the end of my shift. We headed to the hospital in Ardmore. We arrived at the hospital. The staff moved quickly when I told them I believed that was in labor. The nurse checked to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid, I was not. She checked my cervix. I was still dilated to three. She hooked me up to the monitors. I had two elastic bands around my stomach. She brought me a large plastic cup of water and told me to drink it all of it. I was dehydrated. We sat there for a couple hours. We could hear Hope’s heartbeat loud and clear. We could hear her moving. My contractions completely stopped. I was told that I needed to continue drinking a lot of water in the coming weeks. I was released.
At my doctor’s appointment the next afternoon, the doctor told me that I wouldn’t make it through the weekend. Deedee got tired of watching the same basket of clothes over and over. She said we needed go buy more clothes for Hope. Deedee and I went to malls and stores. We walked. We walked outside, around the block and to restaurants. We walked everywhere. I tried all the ways that were suggested to me to naturally induce labor. Nothing worked.
The officers at my job were becoming antsy as my due date neared. As a joke, they covered my office chair with a trash bag. I told them if my water broke on the chair, I would replace it. I ripped the trash bag off of the chair. Hope kicked and punched the counter while I worked. I became really close to one of the officers. She would come into the dispatch room often. She wanted to feel Hope move so badly. She would put her hand on my stomach. Hope would quit moving almost immediately. We joked that Hope was her baby and that she would need to pay child support after she arrived. One night I was craving ranch dressing, JUST ranch dressing. I asked my officer friend to go buy me a bottle of ranch dressing. She refused. She told me I was pregnant and had to eat more than just ranch dressing. She brought me a salad and many packets of ranch dressing. I waited until she went out to patrol. I emptied every packet of ranch dressing into a bowl and ate it with a spoon. During my shift one evening I went to the restroom. I guess I didn’t answer the radio fast enough. I walked out of the bathroom to find a male officer standing in the dispatch room. He was freaking out. He said “Oh my god! Are you OK? Are you in labor? Do you need EMS?” I said “Dude, I’m fine.” They were amazing; they cared about me so much. During my entire pregnancy I also connected with women from all over the world in a yahoo chat room.
My uncle, Deedee’s husband was growing impatient. He missed his wife, and their boys needed their mom. She had been away from home for two weeks.
That week at the doctor’s appointment, I was dilated to a four. The doctor made the same statement she made at the previous two appointments. I would not make it through the weekend. I was a frustrated. I began my maternity leave from work that week. Deedee and I walked even more than we had the weeks before. Deedee would gently pat my stomach where Hope had her bottom sticking out. She’d say “Habi, you’re becoming a bad habit. You need to come out!”
The next week at my appointment my doctor started to say I wouldn’t make it through the weekend again. I was pissed. I said “No! I do not want to hear that again! It’s time to get this baby out!”. She scheduled me for induction two days later, October 25th. She assured me that would be my baby’s birthday. The next day Mitchell, Deedee and I went to Ardmore. I had to preregister at the hospital. The nurse asked numerous medical history questions and took blood. We had our bags packed in Deedee’s suburban. We rented a room in town because I had to arrive at 6:00 AM to be induced.