I'm allowed to ride in the ambulance with Liv on the way to the hospital. I hold her hand while she writhes in pain. "Can't you give her something?", I snap, at the attendant.
"Not until we get her to the hospital...", he answers. They have her hooked up to two monitors, one that tracks her heartbeat and the other, that tracks the baby's heart beat. Liv's as white as a sheet and her heart is beating crazy fast. Zayn is going to call Mia and sends Simon's heli to pick her up, it will take about an hour for her to get here. The lads are following closely behind the ambulance. The drive to the hospital seems to take forever. My heart pounds in my chest. They bring Liv into a small room where they hook her up to some machine that fastens around her tummy.
"Liv, we're just checking on the baby love. You need to try to be still...", one of the nurses says. There are 3 nurses with us, all doing different things. One is hooking Liv up to an IV and the other 2 are removing her clothing and putting her in a hospital gown. It isn't until they pull Liv's yoga pants down and off, that they notice they're wet.
"Her water broke. Call OB and let's get her upstairs...", one of the nurses said.
I just hold Liv's hand and whisper in her ear, "Everything's fine Love. I'm right here". I'm not so sure everything is going to be fine, but I can't really tell her that.
"I-I'm s-scared, it's t-too e-early...", she whispers and I press my lips gently to hers.
"I know. I'm scared too...", I whisper back. Not very comforting I know, but it's all I can muster. Soon, we're whisked away to a different floor and put in a 'birthing room'. She's still hooked up to monitors. Nurses come in and out injecting things into her IV, and one gives her an injection in the hip. "What's that for?", I ask.
"It's a steroid to help the baby's lungs when she delivers...", she answers. "The OBGYN on call this evening is Dr. Lewis. He'll be right in...", she says, before leaving.
The lads stick their head in the door then, "Can we come in?", Lou asks. Liv is on her side clutching the bed railing still groaning in pain, as I try to rub her sore back. She's having trouble remembering her breathing.
Harry walks over and takes her hand, "In through your nose, out through your mouth. Slow and Steady. Like this...", he says, sitting next her. She tries to copy him, but then, another wave of pain hits her and she forgets.
"Liv, Mia's on her way...", Zayn says, running his hand along her shoulder.
"Aaaghh!", she screams again and Louis, Liam and Zayn head for the door. Zayn glances back.
"It's okay, go...", I say and they do...very quickly I might add. "Harry, you can go too, mate..."
"I think you should help her with the breathing part and I'll rub her back. She listens to you better when it comes to the coaching...", he answers, ignoring me.
So, we switch.
The doctor comes in about 5 minutes later. "Liv, I'm Dr. Lewis. I'm going to check you now, okay?", he says snapping on a glove.
"I'm going to step outside...", Harry says quickly, before running out the door. He pulls her blankets back and opens her legs.
"Liv, just relax your legs for me, ok?", he says, and I see him insert a finger inside of her.
"AAAGGGHHH!", she screams again crying, clutching my hand.
"Ok, Liv. You're about 8 centimeters dilated and 95 percent eface...", he says.
"What exactly does that mean and can you give her anything for the pain?", I ask, hopefully.
"Unfortunately, we only have a certain 'window of opportunity' to administer an epidural, and she's long past that now...", Dr. Lewis explains.
I look at Liv and can see the terror in her eyes as she shakes her head no. "B-Break the fucking w-window!", she shouts at him, and he chuckles.
"Liv, I'd say you're going to be pushing within the next 15 minutes, love. I'm just going to go get suited up and I'll be right back...", he says, walking out the door.
"Niall, I can't do this. This was a mistake. Please make it stop...", Liv cries.
"Liv, I know you can do this. It's only for a little while longer...", I say. She shakes her head no again as another contraction hits her hard. "Liv, stop trying to fight it, and breath...", I say, a little more sternly this time.
"Where's Amelia?", she sobs.
"She's on her way and will be here soon..."
Dr. Lewis returns with 2 nurses and starts to get his equipment ready. Then, he comes over and peels the blankets off of her. "Liv, I want you to slide your bottom down to the end of the bed and put your feet in the stirrups...", he says. I help her re-adjust and then sit behind her on the bed so that her back is leaning up against my chest. I hold her hands tightly. "It's time for the practice push. On my count, I want you to take a deep breath in and hold it until I tell you to let it go. Ready? Push...", he says, and Liv takes a breath and holds it. "Okay Liv. Breath. Everything looks good...", he says. She's panting, as I hold her in my arms. "Okay, Liv. Push. Hold it...hold it...hold it. Okay, breath...", he says. She sobs and my heart breaks for her. "Okay, Liv. Ready?", he asks.
"I-I'm tired...", Liv sobs.
"C'mon Liv, you're almost there. I can see your baby's hair already. Feel...", he says, grabbing one of her hands and putting it between her legs. She cries out again but this time it's out of joy rather than excruciating pain.
"Just a couple more pushes Liv and we'll be able to meet our daughter...", I whisper, as I kiss the top of her head.
"Ok Liv. You have to push for me again. Good girl. Hold it...hold it...hold it. Breath...", he says again.
It takes about 8 more pushes until her little head and shoulders are finally out. "Liv, give me your hands love. You're going to deliver her yourself on the next push...", Dr. Lewis says. The nurse draps a blanket over Liv's tummy, as Liv reaches down with her hands. One last push and at 10:27 pm, our daughter is born. Liv pulls her gently up and lays her across her tummy.
All I can do, is cry.
I kiss Liv on the top of her head.
She's so tiny and perfect and beautiful and I love her more than anything in the world.
She cries after a couple of seconds and we get to hold her for a minute, before they whisk her away to the NICU. "What's her name?", the nurse asks before leaving.
"Aili Maura Claire Horan... Aili in Irish means 'light', and she's ours...", I explain. (proper prenounciation 'eye-lee')
I let Dr. Lewis finish up with Liv as I go outside to grab the boys and take them up to NICU. We look at her through the window. Although she's only 34 weeks and 1 day, she looks great. She weighs 4 pounds, 13 ounces and is 17 1/2 inches long. She has dark brown curls on her tiny little head, just like Liv's and striking blue eyes, just like mine.
The tears flow again as I stare at her.
"There she is lads, my little princess", I whisper.
I feel utterly debilitated, drained, wasted and exhausted as I lay in my hospital bed. My mind is still racing over everything that's happened this evening. Alot of it, is blurry to me. The only thing that really sticks out in my head is the pain. I know that Kristin was in the Green Room with me at some point, although I don't now how or when she got there. I know that Harry was there at some point. I know there was some shouting but the details of what was said are shrouded in my mind.
My eyelids get increasingly heavy as I think about Aili and just how beautiful she is.
Vivid memories flood my dreams as I sleep. I hear voices, Harry's voice then Kristin's:
What are you doing here, Kristin?"
"She did this to us..."
"No Kristin. Liv is like a sister to me, remember I told you that..."
Liar! No brother ever looks at his sister the way you look at her! You love her!"
"What do you want from me Kristin? For me to tell you you're right. Fine, you're right I do love her and not like a sister, but like you, I will never be able to have what I want because she doesn't love me back!"
I wake the next morning around 9 am. Niall is asleep on the bed next to me with his arms wrapped around me. Lou, Liam and Harry are all sleeping on the small sofa that's in the room. Mia is fast asleep on Zayn's lap, in a reclining chair.
I stare at Harry as he sleeps, did I hear what I think I did?
No, no way.
My thoughts are interrupted when Dr. Lewis comes in.
"How are you feeling this morning Liv?", Dr. Lewis asks. I try to sit up a bit and groan.
"I'm sore...", I whisper, laying back down.
"Well, that's to be expected. You just pushed something, the size of a small watermelon, out of an opening the size of a small plum. You do the math...", he responds.
"Nice comparison Doc...", I mumble, a little disturbed by the visual. "How's Aili?"
"I was just in to see her, she's doing well. So well in fact, they'll be bringing her down here to stay with you permanently around noon today. Until then though, I would like you to rest...", he says, smiling.
"When can I go home?", I ask.
"Probably tomorrow, as long as there are no complications...", he says, as he leaves the room.
"Liv...", Mia whispers, jumping off of Zayn's lap. She wraps her arms around me and holds me tight. "I saw her, she's the most beautiful baby I've ever seen...", she whispers, through her tears.
"I wish you would have been here...", I say.
"Me too...", she answers, not letting me go.
She lays down on the bed next to me, I feel a little squished between her and Niall but I secretly like it.
We drift off back to sleep together.