Status: Thank you for everything x

Footsteps for a Bride-to-Be

#2: "Baby Phelps"

February 28th, 2011

7:30am - Our Love Nest

"We've been calling him Baby Phelps lately," Michael muttered as he lay on my lap, his head near my belly so that he could feel closer to the baby. "Even the media's started calling him that too."
"You're so persistent with the baby being a boy," I giggled as I stared down at him, my fingers trailed down around his face and tugged lightly at his growing moustache. "And when the baby is born, you better shave this off," I added.
"Why don't you like it? It fits me perfectly!" He debated.
"I'm going to cut my hair short when the baby is born," I revealed. "After going through the short-hair phase, I realized how annoying having long hair can be."
"You look beautiful either way," He complimented as he reached up and caressed my cheek, and he sat up a bit to reach for a kiss too, but he suddenly paused. The two of us did. We looked at the baby bump and shared a laugh. Baby Phelps just kicked Michael - rather hard too.
Michael laughed and leaned down to kiss the baby bump instead. "I'm sorry, kiddo," He said as he pushed himself off my lap and stood up from bed. His fingers combed through his messy brown hair while making his way to the drawer to check his phone. It was still early for him, since he usually slept in on a Monday morning ever since Bob turned it to a resting day, and we had birthing class later that afternoon, but we didn't actually plan on getting up early that morning so we had nothing to do in that big gap. I only woke up early because Baby Phelps got hungry and craved for a cookie.

I was about 36 weeks pregnant, and another four more and Baby Phelps would be born. I had a rounder belly, the kicks were stronger and the movement woke me up at night, even though our pattern was slightly in sync, the baby woke up around six in the morning, which wasn't my ideal time. Though the bad thing about the whole pregnancy was that I puked a lot, I had mood swings that drove people crazy, I had to go to the bathroom every time, and I gained around 10kgs from my original weight - which the Doctor claimed was still good since I was apparently a little underweight for someone my height.
I always asked Janet for any advice whenever I felt really conscious about the whole situation.
Do you remember Janet? She ended up married to Luke by late last year and their gorgeous baby girl, Joy, was already four months old and looked a lot more like a female version of her Father. I imagined how happy the two ended up being whenever I saw them from time to time. Luke looked happier too, and he explained that he originally wanted to wait, but he fell in love with his little girl that he couldn't help but fall for Janet along the way too. I didn't judge since their happiness gave me happiness in the process. She helped me though, since she was one of the people roughly near my age who had to go through what I did, and she would occasionally visit me with baby Joy to train me with the nappy changing and feeding, and she would keep me up to date with her life.
She also told me a story about how she decided to name her baby, and advised me on how to get through the activities I could no longer do since giving birth. It sounded stressful, but I was more and more excited to meet Baby Phelps.

"I'm just relieved that we don't have to stress over the baby's room anymore," Michael yawned as he stretched. "That took a whole day because you couldn't decide where to put what," He added.
I was fussy about the whole bedroom for the baby. It took about three days, and with the help of Derek and my Older Brother, the boys managed to move the contents of the spare bedroom to the storage room, and the things in the storage room were arranged all over the house and Michael's workout room. The nursery was built in under a day, but it took a whole day for me to decide how to lay out the things.
Thankfully, all three men were patient with me and my preciseness.
"I'm really happy that we've finished with it," I laughed and pushed myself off the bed. I rubbed my back, then belly, and then my annoying breasts. "Ah, I hate having to put up with all this weight," I complained as I then adjusted my maternity night dress and tied my hair up to a loose bun.
"It's only a few more weeks," He reminded me. He gave me a peck on the cheek along the way out of the bedroom where we were greeted by Herman. Technically, Herman was our first baby.
"Good morning Herm," I greeted as I gave him a light tap on the nose and followed Michael to the kitchen. Well, the dog and I did, since the man of the house promised to cook us breakfast that morning. I took a seat on the stool and leaned against the counter while Herman situated himself by the entry way of the kitchen and we both stared at Michael as he took out a few things from the cupboards.
"Ooh, Herm, Mr Phelps is cooking some pancakes for breakfast!" I exclaimed and clapped my hands together with excitement. The dog gave a bark in response.
"Hey, I specialize in this," Michael winked as he turned into a Chef in the kitchen.
I admit that the Olympian's improved in his cooking, since he took up the cooking duties since the beginning of the year and I got closer and closer to the due date. When he was away, Debbie would come to visit and she would bring meals with her or cook for me because she didn't want me to do any household chores for a while. Michael didn't like the idea that he took up most of the household chores under the instructions of his Mom and Sisters, but when I looked at him pleadingly and reminded him that it was for Baby Phelps, he would fall in and didn't reject the idea.
His compromises for me were sweet and adorable. It made me melt and weak on the knees.
Exactly how I felt when he was whisking the mixture with nothing but a pair of striped pyjama pants on while in the kitchen. I grinned and muttered, "Oh Mr Phelps, you know how to make a girl weak."
"I only do this for you, Future Mrs Phelps," He calmly replied. His husky morning voice was quite sexy that I slightly shivered from hearing it. Michael then tapped towards the printed ultrasound photo of our 36 week old baby. "I'm also preparing to play chef for Baby Phelps."
I smiled. I swear it was the sweetest thing I've heard him say about our baby.
Michael was going to be an amazing Father, I just knew it.

3:05pm - Lia and Derek's House

Lia surprised me with a Baby Shower, especially since I stated that I didn't want to do anything grand for the upcoming pain in the Hospital. She invited my Mom, Debbie, Hilary, Whitney, Janet and a few other mutual female friends that I was close with to her home. And it happened an hour after I finished the birthing class with Michael, and he was actually part of it too, he pretended the whole day that he didn't know anything about it and dropped me off at Lia's place without me knowing anything.
I bet it was because he just wanted to spend most of his day being lazy at home with Herman.

"Anne, what were your plans about naming your baby? Have you and Michael talked about it?" One of the mutual friends asked me while I remained seated waiting for any instructions.
"Well, I had my opinion and Michael had his, but we managed to settle with two that we both agreed on and one that we thought would be okay to name. I want a little girl since they're so adorable, and Michael wants a boy and to name him something that he wouldn't tell me," I explained while rubbing on my belly. "In the end, we decided that if it's a girl, then Madison, and if it really is a boy, then Mitchell. Since Michael's always said that he wanted the baby to have the same initials as him."
"Is Baby Phelps going to have Fred as his middle name too?" Hilary asked as she took a seat next to me and sipped on some juice. I looked at her and gave a light nod as she then asked me if I had anything for the middle name if the baby came out as a girl. I shook my head on that one.
I agreed that the first baby could have Michael's initials, M.F.P, but he always made me assume the baby was a boy that I had completely forgotten the possibility of the girl and forgot to think of her middle name. It made me feel guilty.
Though Debbie sat down opposite us with my Mom beside her, the two of them had some secret conversations between each other before my future Mother-in-Law turned towards Hilary and me, and said, "I would suggest Faith. Me and your Mom talked in the kitchen, about you and Michael, and noticed that no matter how much you two argued and broken up, you two had complete faith in each other and went back to each other. I think that'd be a good middle name if you asked me."
"That's if the baby comes out as a girl, Mom," Hilary smiled. "MP wants a boy, he'll probably get one."
"Knowing him, I figure he would," Whitney added as all the women gathered around to wait for Lia, who had disappeared somewhere to sort something out.
I sat there, amongst the women who were closest to me. They made me more excited about Baby Phelps that every night since that baby shower I would tell the baby that I couldn't wait to meet them.

We played a few games and ate a lot of food. I then received some baby things and was given advice from the women who actually had children, and it was gross because my Mom decided to describe the gruesome parts of childbirth. Debbie agreed since she's had three children too, but I never wanted to know how I came out to the world. Hilary felt the same way, although, Whitney didn't mind it as she had already experienced it - twice. I got scared midway and begged them to stop.
"All it takes is someone to hold your hand," Janet smiled, reminding me that I held her hand throughout the time she pushed baby Joy out of her. "Or an epidural, but I don't think you're the type to want the big needle up your spine. Plus it'll take a lot of process, just do it natural, it'll be over before you know it."
"Gosh, you all make it sound like a horrible experience," Lia groaned as she cringed beside me. "I want kids, but after hearing you ladies talk about it, I'm scared."
"But when you hear that first cry, then you'll know that it was the best feeling ever," Janet replied.
I touched my chest and I could feel my heart just pound up against my chest. I wasn't sure if it was heartburn or that I was suddenly afraid. "I'm scared," I thought aloud. "Ah, and I'm four weeks away!"
"And we're excited!" Debbie proudly added in. Hilary then gave me a pat on the shoulder and whispered, "Just think of it this way, once this is done, you won't experience it again, well, until you want another baby, but I wouldn't think you'd want one straight away."
"Trust me, Pumpkin, when that baby comes out, you'll be overwhelmed that you'll forget the pain," My Mom calmly stated as she placed a gift on my lap. "Now, that's my gift for you. Well, more like my Grandchild, so open it!" She instructed with an excited tone.
I held the gift in my hands and inspected around it, and when I got too curious, I ripped the wrapper off and found a folded purple blanket with my name stitched at the top left corner of it. I automatically had a switch turn on inside and I cried while I lifted the blanket from the box and showed everyone. I pressed the small material against my face and sobbed, which made everyone worry.
Why did I cry?
Well, because when I was a baby, my Grandmother - Mom's Mom - stitched the blanket for me before I was even born, and she passed away a few months later. I never knew her well, but that blanket was a significant thing for me. It was with me throughout the my childhood, until my Parents divorced, and I never saw it again once I turned 10 years old and told that I should grow up.
That was the first time I ever saw it, after 15 years.
I suppose I was being too emotional, but the feeling was like my Mom wanted me to hand down my favourite thing in the world to my own child. I grew up and she accepted that. The thought made me cry more. Ah, only a few more weeks and I'll be back to normal.

It was only a matter of time.


March 20th, 2011

2:15pm - Maryland General Hospital

I patiently waited and watched my body change for the sake of the baby, and I spent most of my days counting down in Baby Phelps's room. And one afternoon, I was home alone at the time when the baby suddenly decided that it wanted to come out. It was two days earlier than expected, and I panicked because Michael, Derek and Lia were all at training, and Janet went to an important trip to New York. I tried to cool down and tried so hard contacting people, but no one picked up. I packed my things and prepared to leave, and Herman even helped out. Fortunately, Lia had no training due to Coach Bob's wish to train with just the boys at the Aquatic Club, and she decided to visit me and had been at the front door the moment I called her. On the way to the Hospital, I tried to get a hold of Michael, but it took more than ten times before he answered. He and Derek rushed from training to the Hospital the moment I told him the news. Baby Phelps was on their little way!
I worried and quickly asked the Doctor about why the baby was two days earlier, and the Doctor said it was normal for a woman to give birth a day or two before or after the expected due date. She assured me that the baby was healthy and wanted to be out of the womb earlier. Lia and I were at the state of panic when Michael and Derek hadn't arrived yet. We were excited, yeah, but when the contractions began to travel all over me, I lost the excitement and wanted nothing more than to push the baby out of me. I got moody towards Lia and the nurses whenever they asked me if I was okay. I wasn't okay.
The main question throughout the whole time I lay in the Hospital bed was, "where is Michael?"

About two hours later, the Doctor entered and told me that it was time to push, but I didn't want to, not until Michael arrived and be there to hold on to. I started to get teary eyed when Lia and the Doctor told me that we couldn't wait any longer or else there may be some problems if I didn't.
"Okay!" I said in defeat as the pain had rushed through me like mad. I closed my eyes and tried not to get cry as I reached out for Lia to hold onto, but a bigger grasp gripped onto it and my eyes shot open and met with the warm gaze of Michael's. My lips parted and wanted to show I was relieved that he was there, but instead, being the moody pregnant woman that I was, I instantly showed a frown on my face and asked, "What took you so long?"
"Anne, I rushed as fast as I could," He explained himself. He leaned in and gave me a long kiss followed by a smile on his face. "Baby Phelps is here," He ecstatically announced. "I'm here for you, Anne."
"You better," I sniffed as I reached my other hand towards Lia and held onto both of theirs for support.
"Be ready to push when I tell you, okay, Ms Miller? And don't forget the breathing in between," The Doctor instructed as she positioned my legs apart and crouched down. It felt weird having three people stare down there, but that was the only way out. My eyes were closed, my lips pursed and teeth clenched. I wasn't pushing yet, that was the pain.
Baby Phelps was loud and clear that they were on their way out.

Another hour or two passed in the delivery room. I didn't know, all I did was push, breathe, push and breathe some more. I got frustrated near the end of it because the baby wouldn't come out, and I already felt so tired from pushing way too much. I was covered in sweat, my voice nearly faded from the screaming, my throat parched and my hands lost their strength after I squeezed the hell out of Michael and Lia's hands. I hadn't opened my eyes since I started pushing, and all I heard in that room - other than my screaming - were words of encouragement from my two supporters on both sides, and the Doctor, who instructed me on when I would push.
"The head, Ms Miller, it's nearly out," The Doctor revealed as I felt her touch about down there.
"You hear that, Anne? Baby Phelps is nearly out!" Michael cheered me on as he lifted my hand and pressed his lips against it. He felt a bit sweaty too, and once and a while, he would be the one who gripped my hand tighter whenever I tried to catch up with my breath.
"Come on, Anne!" Lia added in as she clutched her hands together with my hand in between. "I want to find out if we have a mini-Michael or a mini-Roxanne. So just push, woman, push!"
"I think it'll be one more push, Ms Miller, and your baby will be out," I could hear the Doctor say.
I inhaled as much air as I could and sat up a bit, my nose wrinkled as I did one final push. The pressure was there for a few minutes before it disappeared. I released my grip on Michael and Lia's hands and landed flat on the bed, my head tossed back as I panted. The pain disappeared and it was invaded with the feeling of relief, overjoyed and stunned as the sound of a baby crying followed not long after. With the small ounce of strength I had left, I sat up one more time and met face to face with a healthy baby. I covered my mouth and began to sob before I accepted to hold the baby for the first time. I began to cry tears of joy from the touch of the baby and the small movements made me want to be extra careful.
I looked up towards Michael, who gave me a peck on the forehead before he gazed at the baby with a proud look. He took out his phone at the back of his pocket and took a photo of the moment.
"Has your nose, Anne," He whispered afterwards as he reached down and gave the baby a tap on the nose as well as mine. "But overall, has my looks," He bragged.
I laughed weakly and gave the new life in my hands a kiss on the side of its little head. "Do you want to hold?" I asked the baby's proud Dad, who didn't hesitate to nod and reach down to lift the baby from my arms. I wiped the tears from my eyes and thanked the Doctor and Nurses as they did whatever else they had to do, and lastly, weighed and cleaned the baby up a bit.
Lia stared at the baby for a long time before she turned and instructed, "Go on, I know you've been waiting to send out the mass text to your Families."
Michael didn't wait. He grabbed his phone and began pressing on the screen with a goofy smile on his face. It was a while before he returned his attention to me and said, "Hundreds of people on Twitter and Facebook just congratulated us. Oh, and add our Family on top of that."
"I'm so exhausted," I moaned as I adjusted myself against the pillow and placed my hands on my face. I asked the two of them what time it was, and the Doctor was the one who answered, "Around six o'clock in the evening. You were in labour for a while, but shorter than the average woman."
"Is the baby healthy?" I quizzed.
"Mr Phelps, Ms Miller, you've got yourself a very healthy baby. Congratulations," She said as she placed the baby back into my arms, wrapped in the blanket I was once wrapped in when I was born. I trailed my finger around Baby Phelps's face and on the nose that looked like a mini version of mine.
"Wow, sheesh, Monkey, you have some set of lungs on you," Derek commented as he walked into the room with a bouquet of flowers, a basket of fruits and three balloons. "But damn, you're a Mom now."
I didn't have an ounce of energy to even croak out an insult. "Thank you, Gorilla." Oh, wait, I did.
"Beautiful baby, Anne and Michael, good genes always equal to gorgeous babies," My best friend stated as she peeked down at the baby. "Look at Baby Phelps, finally born now, so no more making your Mom all moody and attacking all of us now, you hear me?" She waved her finger about. "Michael's right though, Baby Phelps does have your nose."
"What's wrong with my nose? Why are you all saying it like it’s a bad thing?" I complained.
All three of them laughed and shook their heads at the same time. Derek was the one who spoke up and answered, "To be honest, a few months ago, we all told Michael that the one with the best nose out of all four of us is you, and if Baby Phelps got it, then that kiddo is one lucky Monkey."
Michael touched his nose and mumbled, "You guys make me self-conscious about mine."
"Then good thing Baby Phelps has my nose then," I teased. I was shocked when there was a grip on my finger, and I stared down to find that the few minutes old baby had held onto my finger. At first, I smiled, followed by a sniff, and eventually, began to cry. Michael had to get the baby out of my hold while I sat there and cried, which led to falling asleep.

Come on, I practically pushed for two hours, I was bound to pass out.

Michael and I welcomed a healthy 7 pounds and 4 ounces (3.3kgs) Mitchell Fred Phelps on March 20, 2011, at 5:57pm. We were officially Parents.

"Next stop, getting married," Michael said with a goofy grin on his face.
♠ ♠ ♠
Well Roxanne ain't pregnant anymore, time to get crackin' on this Wedding Planning. Ah, you don't know how much I actually have to research about all this haha!

Thanks ya'll! Haha, you guys moved over to this story so fast, you must've been anticipating it or something since I didn't write a preview for it. Thanks so much!