“I need her to come out in the worst way,” Christen whined as she approached the bed, her pelvis and back aching from the pressure the baby was putting on her. “Obviously, eating spicy foods isn’t doing the trick.”
Tobin looked sympathetically at her wife. Her beautiful wife who was now in her 40th week of pregnancy and struggling to move or do much of anything without being in considerable pain. She was still wearing her UNC shirt, which Tobin herself hadn’t worn in years since Christen had all but claimed it, except now her belly was protruding from the bottom and the shirt was riding further up said belly as the days go on.
Christen officially began her leave from the team two weeks ago. She had still been watching every training session even though she was no longer physically participating and had been attending all team meetings and games. But now that the birth of their daughter was imminent, they were both home, with Tobin not accompanying the team to Orlando for their match against the Pride.
“I’m sorry, baby. She’ll be here soon. You’ve given her such a nice home, she’s perfectly content to stay in there a little bit longer,” Tobin said to try to make Christen feel better as she lifted the blanket for Christen to climb under.
Christen settled in and sighed in relief at being off her feet. She laid sideways while Tobin wrapped an arm securely around her belly and gently rubbed it as she did every single night.
“You know, I can keep trying to help you along, too,” Tobin said as she softly kissed Christen’s neck. “Can I help you and try to make you feel good, hmm? I can also give you a foot massage after,” she whispered as her hand traveled lower, stopping just above Christen’s underwear, waiting for permission.
If it was possible, Tobin found Christen even sexier with each passing day, week, month, and year she spent with her. And the ‘glow’ that people talked about pregnant women having? Christen had it in spades. She was absolutely radiant in Tobin’s eyes.
“Oh baby, now you’re talking. Yes, you can,” Christen said giggling as she leaned back against Tobin. “But I’m pretty sure sex doesn’t speed this whole process up. I think someone just made that up to get last-ditch sex before the baby comes and takes up all their time,” she said, though she was more than happy to let Tobin keep trying.
Tobin laughed heartily. God she loved her wife.
“I’m perfectly happy to keep trying to prove the theory right,” Tobin husked as she let her fingers slip inside the waistband of Christen’s underwear and nibbled on her earlobe.
“Your sacrifice throughout this pregnancy hasn’t gone unnoticed,” Christen joked, quickly losing her ability to think of anything other than Tobin’s hand working against her.
“I’m here to serve,” Tobin said as she reached lower and felt how ready Christen was for her.
Tobin was more than happy to sacrifice…to help urge the baby out, of course, and for no other reason. Well, maybe for another reason.
Tobin opened her eyes as her body shook.
“Mm,” Tobin moaned sleepily.
“Tobs. Tobs. Baby, wake up,” Christen said, shaking her wife a little more forcefully to get her out of her slumber.
“Mm,” Tobin moaned again. “Baby, what is it?” she managed to ask before dozing off again.
“My water just broke,” Christen finally said.
Tobin’s eyes shot open and her body shot up from the bed, startling Christen who was standing next to her.
“What??” Tobin asked, knowing she heard Christen perfectly well, but couldn’t quite believe it. “What time is it?”
“It’s 4am and my water broke when I went to go use the bathroom,” Christen said again, very much amused at Tobin’s reaction.
Tobin rapidly blinked her eyes, rubbing them and willing them to become more alert so she could quickly get Christen to the hospital. Her mind went over the checklist she’d had on her brain for the past month.
“The bag,” Tobin said. “I’m gonna grab the bag.”
“It’s already by the door, remember?” Christen reminded her since they had put it there two weeks ago in case the baby decided to come out a little earlier.
“Okay, um, what else?” Tobin asked in a panic, frustrated that her brain wasn’t fully functioning.
“Babe, we’re ready to go, just wash your face and put some clothes on,” Christen said chuckling as she looked at Tobin who only had boxer briefs on. “You probably should have slept fully clothed in case this happened in the middle of the night,” she teased.
Tobin jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom to wake herself up with some water on her face. She then ran to the closet and grabbed a shirt and shorts to put on.
“I’ve got your phone,” Christen said while Tobin got dressed. “Just grab the keys and the bag and we can go.”
“Okay, thanks baby, I’m sorry I’m going so slow,” Tobin apologized, feeling like she was failing Christen and the baby.
Christen looked at her panicked wife and walked over to her. She stood in front of Tobin and took her face into her hands and stopped her from putting her shorts on.
“You’re doing just fine, Tobs. It’ll be fine. All I need is for you to drive us safely to the hospital, okay? You’re doing great,” Christen said, assuring Tobin and calming her down.
“How are you so calm about this?” Tobin asked.
“I’m nervous, but I know we’re as prepared as can be. Okay?” Christen said as she gave Tobin a light kiss on the lips.
Tobin closed her eyes and let Christen and her lips calm her. When she opened them again, Christen was looking back at her lovingly and it suddenly made everything come into focus.
“Okay, let’s go,” Tobin said as she took Christen’s hand and led them to the front door.
Tobin grabbed the keys and the bag and got them on their way to the hospital.
“Thank you, Mrs. Heath-Press, we should have a room ready for your wife in just a few minutes,” the woman at the check-in desk informed Tobin as she handed over the forms she’d just filled out.
“Okay, thanks so much,” Tobin said, finally feeling like she could take a breath after checking them in and calling Christen’s doctor on the way to the hospital.
“Not a problem. We’ll be calling you back shortly,” the woman said.
“Thanks,” Tobin said as she walked back over to where Christen was sitting.
Tobin sat down next to Christen and took her hand in hers and gave it a soft kiss.
“You okay? Any more contractions?” Tobin asked.
Christen shook her head, noting that it had been seven minutes since her last contraction. “No, not yet.”
Tobin wrapped a protective arm around Christen with her left and continued holding Christen’s hand with her right.
“I love you,” Tobin said quietly.
Christen looked at Tobin and leaned over to kiss her. “I love you, too.”
“We’re gonna get to meet our baby soon,” Tobin said with her megawatt smile.
Christen swooned at Tobin’s excitement. “I can’t wait.”
Just then, Christen felt another sharp pain as the contraction hit her and she looked at Tobin for guidance on breathing through it while squeezing the life out of Tobin’s hand. Tobin helped set the pace for her and Christen focused on her wife to get through this round. When the pain subsided, Christen loosened her death grip on Tobin’s hand.
“It’s a good thing we play with our feet and not our hands,” Tobin joked.
Tobin gasped and cried at the first sight of their daughter.
“Congratulations! What a beautiful baby girl!” Dr. Williams said excitedly as she held the baby up for Tobin and Christen to see.
“Oh my god, Chris,” Tobin said as she looked back and forth in awe between the baby and Christen. “She’s here.”
Christen let out an exhausted laugh as she caught sight of their daughter for the first time. Her heart was beating out of its chest from what her body had just been through and she watched as the nurses performed the first Apgar test on the baby and did a cursory wipe down of her body.
The baby was then placed directly on Christen’s chest for skin on skin contact, with her full head of curly hair and boisterous cries filling the room.
“Oh my god,” Christen said as she held the baby close and kissed her forehead, her emotions spilling out as she cried looking at their daughter. “Welcome to this great big crazy world, baby girl.”
“She’s the most beautiful little thing I’ve ever seen. She’s perfect. You’re perfect. I love you so much, baby,” Tobin said as she cried along with Christen. “I’m so proud of you.”
Tobin leaned over and kissed Christen on her sweaty forehead and kissed the baby’s nose. She took the baby’s hand and let her finger be wrapped up in her strong little grip.
“I love you,” Christen replied as the baby calmed down in Christen’s arms. “She’s amazing, Tobs.”
“She really is,” Tobin said in awe.
Tobin looked at her wife and child with complete adoration as she fished her phone out of her pocket and turned on the camera, remembering to commemorate the moment.
“First family picture,” Tobin said as she held the phone out to take a selfie.
Tobin’s smile was the biggest that Christen had ever seen it and she couldn’t help but match it even in her exhausted and borderline delirious state. Tobin snapped a few pictures and then turned the camera on just Christen and the baby and snapped several more of the loves of her life. She then grabbed her Nikon camera to get more professional-looking shots for the baby album she planned to put together.
After the second Apgar test, the nurse handed Tobin a pair of scissors to cut the umbilical cord. Tobin looked back at Christen to make sure she was looking and Christen nodded for her to go ahead and cut. Tobin cut the cord and cried some more, overwhelmed by the moment and honor of getting to cut the baby’s cord.
“I love you both so much, Chris,” Tobin said through her tears. “You don’t even know.”
Christen smiled and caressed Tobin’s cheek with one hand while keeping the other securely wrapped around the baby. “I love you both more than you’ll ever know,” she said.
Tobin leaned in and placed a gentle kiss on Christen’s lips, thinking this is what heaven must be like.
“Moms, we’re just going to give the baby her first bath and take some measurements. Tobin, if you want to watch and take pictures and video, you can follow me,” the nurse said.
“Yes, definitely,” Tobin said excitedly as the nurse picked the baby up and brought her over to the other side of the room where they had everything set up. “I’ll be right back,” she said to Christen.
Once the baby was cleaned up and swaddled, Tobin walked her over and placed her back on Christen’s chest for more snuggles.
“She smells so good, babe. Smell her,” Tobin cooed, urging Christen to get a whiff.
Christen chuckled and rested her nose on the baby’s head and breathed in. “Mmmm, baby smell,” she said dreamily.
“I think I could sit here and smell her all day,” Tobin said.
Christen laughed and turned to Tobin. “You’re cute.”
“I’m definitely not cute. You’re cute and she’s the cutest,” Tobin said matter-of-factly as she gave the baby another kiss which caused their little one to open her eyes.
In all the excitement of the birth and with the baby crying, Tobin hadn’t taken notice of her eyes. Tobin had spent years looking into and falling in love with Christen’s rare green eyes over and over again. She had looked it up. Only two percent of the population had green eyes, so it was no wonder Tobin had spent so much time staring into and getting lost in them. When they wondered aloud what color the baby’s eyes might be, Cody had told them that Christen’s were grey-blue when she was first born, then eventually became the green that they are today. And seeing those same grey-blue eyes staring back at her now in the form of a mini Christen, it was enough to undo her. Tobin leaned over to kiss Christen softly, smiling into her lips.
“She has your eyes,” Tobin said. “Which means we’re in trouble.”
After FaceTiming with family and close friends, Christen breastfed the baby, which Tobin could only describe as the most beautiful thing she’s ever seen. Tobin could see how exhausted Christen was, so she encouraged her to take a nap and she would take care of the baby.
As she sat in the rocking chair next to Christen’s bed while holding their newborn daughter, she looked at the sleeping bundle and kissed her yet again. She simply couldn’t help herself. This little baby already had her wrapped around her little fingers. She knew life would never be the same and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She and Christen had dreamt of this, had talked about this day as their ‘someday.’ And now it was here. It had snuck up on them, but they were more ready than they’d ever been.
As she watched the baby sleep, she grabbed her phone from the nightstand and opened up Instagram. She chose one of the family selfies they took after the baby was bathed and started typing. The last time she posted about Christen on social media on Valentine’s Day to announce that they were expecting, their teammates had teased her mercilessly that she broke Instagram. She smirked as she finished her caption for the photo.
Welcome to the world, Skylar Stacy Heath-Press. Born on 7/7/21. 7 lbs, 7oz. 20 in. long. Mom and baby are resting and doing great. @christenpress, you amaze me everyday. I love you so much.