Taylor rubbed the small of her back with her knuckles. The pain had been escalating all day and she could barely sit still. Waddling from one side of the room to the other seemed to be the only way to alleviate the pain, that and eating the chocolates Cari had dropped off that morning.
Thinking of the chocolates made Taylor turn and go back for one. She took a deep breath as she reached the front table in the living room area they used as a waiting room. The crystal bowl glinted in the light as Taylor dug through the various Lindt Lindor truffles. The dark chocolate ones were her favorites. Maybe she’d already worked her way through the shiny dark wrappers. She couldn’t find any.
Taylor groaned, digging her knuckles harder into the small of her back. She stood, settling on a chocolate wrapped in red which might be milk chocolate but she didn’t really care at that point. She just wanted something to distract her. She took another deep breath, her stomach contracting as she stood. “Oh, wow.” She was okay. Everything was fine. Taylor shook her head, grinning at her own inner monologue. “Yeah, keep telling yourself that.”
Then she laughed as she paced back to the office door she claimed as hers and then turned. She threw a hand in the air, shaking her head as she continued talking to herself. “What do you think? That you sound smart having a one-on-one conversation with yourself? Be grateful you’re all by yourself.” Taylor stopped by the door and slapped her hand on the wall beside her. “Stop talking to yourself, you’re not crazy.”
Checking the clock on her phone, Taylor wrinkled her nose. She raised her gaze to peek out the window and distractedly opened the shiny wrapper, popping the chocolate sphere into her mouth as she searched for Lily out the front window.
Another pain squeezed across her middle and she inhaled deeply through her nose. The consistent pain was enough to convince her she was in labor, but no. She’d been told by so many people that a new mother didn’t know and she’d be going in for fake labor more than real labor. Taylor didn’t want to be that mom. She refused to go in for something that wasn’t real. A niggling in the back of her mind reminded her she didn’t know and it was okay not to know. She needed to be sure and there was no shame in that.
A sudden wet sensation in her pants as if she emptied her bladder in her underwear surprised her. She blinked, reaching down to touch the knee of her jeans. The material was soaked.
Widening her eyes, Taylor inhaled sharply and then started to pant. Nerves hit her like a bucking bronco. Okay, there was nothing fake about this.
Her hands shook as she reached for her phone. Lily wasn’t there. She speed-dialed her sister and waited for an answer, but it went directly to voicemail.
Taylor’s teeth started to chatter as another wave of pain shimmied across her stomach, sides, and back. She squeezed her eyes shut, her fingers wrapping around the cell as she held on through the contraction.
“Taylor? Taylor, are you there?” Her father’s voice called to her.
Taylor blinked, slowly pulling out of the pain of the latest contraction. She pulled the phone up and pressed it to her ear. “Dad? Did you just call me?”
“No. You just dialed me. Is everything okay?” His worried tone soothed some of Taylor’s panic.
She shook her head, even though he couldn’t see and she sighed. “I must have accidentally called you when I was squeezing my phone.” She cleared her throat as she walked back to the bathroom and grabbed some towels to put under her rear-end. “My water just broke. Can you call Roman? I need to get to the hospital, but I don’t think I can drive.” Not with the increasing pain of the contractions.
“Your water broke? Um, like you’re having your baby?” Dad spluttered on the other end of the phone, the rustling loud in the background as wind blew across the mouthpiece.
“Yeah, I’m going to call Roman, but if he can’t get here, can you?” Taylor walked stiffly across the waiting area, uncomfortable in the wet pants.
“I’m about thirty minutes out. I have the girls with me. Lily is the only one in town. I’ll try Roman. Don’t worry, Tay, I’ll get you someone.” He hung up before Taylor could say anything else.
He was out with the girls by thirty minutes? Where would he go out of town that much with her sisters and not invite Taylor and late afternoon? Insecurity rippled through her and she tried not to take it personally. She was trying really hard not to take anything personally. It was hard when she thought of herself as a huge whale that wanted to eat everything in sight and why would anyone want to be around that?
She swallowed, closing her eyes as another contraction took hold.
For her first time as a mom, she was scared to do anything wrong. As it was, she might not make it to the hospital.
Could she give birth by herself in the waiting area of the Dean Matchmaking Company offices? Hopefully, she didn’t have to find out.
She tried calling Lily again. No answer. What was her sister doing?