“Dammit!” Michael yelled as he came up from basement, his shirt soaked through.
“What happened?” Allison asked as she came in from the living room.
“The fucking pipes are leaking,” Michael swore. Allison smacked him with the dish towel that was in her hand.
“Watch your mouth!” Allison warned as Bert came running into the room. She motioned to the young boy with her eyes. Michael flushed a little and wiped his hands on his shorts.
“The pipes are leaking. I need to go give the plumber a call,” Michael replied, mussing with Bert’s hair as he passed his son.
Allison sighed as she rubbed her swollen pregnant belly. She was due the following week and she wanted more of a relaxing day than she was getting.
Bert had come down with an ear infection earlier in the week while Michael was out of town. Mama Phelps had come out to help her bring him to the doctors. As if to bring more trouble, storms were racing through Maryland at alarm speeds. Thunder and lightening had been a common sound throughout the state. Bert didn’t like the sound of the thunder anymore than he liked the burning in his ears.
“Momma,” He whined now. “My ears!” Allison sighed as she tried her best to bend over to pick up Bert. But it was a losing battle.
“Mama can’t,” She heaved as the baby rolled inside her. Allison jumped at the movement.
“Can you come later on today?” Michael asked as he held the phone. Bert started whining and jumping on his toes. Allison tried her best to get down. “No, Allison,” Michael whispered, moving the phone away from his mouth. He bent down to pick Bert up. He balanced his son on his side, cradling the phone in his shoulder so that he could stroke the boy’s hair soothingly. “No, tomorrow? Well what should I do with my pipes?”
Allison sighed as she traveled back to the kitchen. Her back was bothering her and she knew that she should be off her feet so close to her due date. There was so much to do and Allison knew that Michael was going to be heading out to prepare to comment on the annual world swimming championships. She needed to make sure that all was in order for Bert to be heading off to school the following spring. Debbie wanted them to move closer to her so that her grandson could be in the school system that she was a principle in but Allison couldn’t with a newborn on the way.
“Yes,” Michael said as he traveled into the room. “I’ll give you a call if things get worse.”
“What’s going on?” Allison asked as she placed a hand on her belly.
“You should be sitting down,” He said as he cuddled his son against him. “You’re going to hurt yourself being on your feet all day.” He moved to the fridge and reached inside the freezer to extract an ice pop. He ripped it open with his teeth and handed the pop to Bert who took it eagerly. “The plumber said he can’t come until tomorrow so just keep an eye on the pipes.”
Allison nodded her head and winced as her back spasmed. “Mmm,” She moaned as she placed a hand on her lower back, bending over slightly.
“Schmitty, are you okay?” Michael asked as he shifted Bert to his side.
“I’m fine,” She looked him in the eyes with a forced smile. “You’re right, I need to go sit down more.”
“Go lay down, I’ll go and play some games with Tadpole.” He assured her. Allison nodded and made her way toward the stairs. As she did, she passed the basement. A loud bang came from below and Allison detoured to check on what was happening.
As she made her way down the stairs she saw that a large part of one of the pipes had busted open and water was filling the basement.
“Shit!” Allison cried as she raced to save the electronics that were set up in their entertainment room.
“Al?” She heard Michael’s voice.
“Call the plumber,” Allison commanded as she began to wade through the ankle deep water. She was moving quickly to rescue Michael’s video games and their dvd player.
“Allison, get upstairs.” Michael said as he placed Bert lowest step. “Go and pack Bert and your things, we’ll have to go to Mom’s.” He sighed and pulled out his cellphone to call the plumbers back. Allison waded back through the water to where Bert stood.
“Go on upstairs, honey, we’re gonna go see Gramma,” She encouraged Bert to climb to the first floor. “We gotta go and put together your backpack first.”
Bert let out a cry and thundered up the stairs. “I’ll pack you some clothes too, babe.” Allison said.
She had to pause before climbing to the second floor as a back spasm hit her again. She was going to need to hang out at Mama Phelps’. With a grunt she heaved herself up to the second floor. The baby was kicking furiously and she placed a soothing hand on her belly to assure that things were going to be okay.
“Hold on, baby, we’re going to your Gramma’s.” She moaned as she sent a quick text to her mother in law.
Quickly she packed overnight clothes for Michael, herself, and Bert. She placed Bert’s stuffed dog and medication in his little bag to carry. He proudly put it upon his shoulders and the mother and son made it down the stairs.
“I saved what I could, Allie, but we’re going to have to replace some of that stuff.” Michael replied as he met her at the top of the stairs. “Seems like our pipes were rusty and of all days to burst…” He took her hand and placed a kiss on her cheek. “Are you sure you’re feeling okay?”
“Yes!” Allison said with a laugh. “I am alright!”
The family piled into the car and began their ride over to Mama Phelps’ house.
Debbie was at the doorway and quickly ushered her son, daughter in law, and grandson in. “Tadpole, how are you doing buddy?” She asked.
“My ears still hurt!” He replied in his little kid voice. Debbie bent over and stroked his cheek. “Well, Gramma heard you were coming and she baked you some cookies.” She took her grandson’s hand and led him into the house.
“My child has had his week’s worth of sugar in two hours.” Allison moaned and Michael laughed, squeezing her shoulder. The two looked up at the ominous sky with a frown. Lightening was already crossing the dark clouds.
Debbie already had dinner prepared for that evening and she ushered Allison to her bed to relax. Allison lay down and tried her best to close her eyes. But she couldn’t settle. Her back was nothing but a bother and she was starting to feel cramps in general. Her body was in rebellion and she was regretting not listening to her doctor.
Dinner time dawned soon enough and she staggered down the stairs to join her husband, son, and mother in law. The three were already in the kitchen waiting. Michael was laughing with their son as he tickled him in the stomach, but the grin faded as he looked over at Allison.
“Schmitty, are you okay?” He asked. Allison nodded and sat down. A crack of thunder shook the house and Bert let out a scream. Michael wrapped his arm around him. “It’s just thunder, tadpole.” He replied.
Allison smiled over at Debbie. “Thank you so much for having us.”
“Sweetheart, I understand what it’s like to be in your position,” She said with a smile and winked at her. Allison winced as another cramp echoed her body. “But are you doing alright?”
“Just a bit cramped, that’s all.” She said and placed a hand on her bulge. “It’s probably from me wandering all over the earth.”
Debbie frowned at her. “Are you sure…”
Another loud crack of thunder interrupted the older woman and the lights went out. Bert gave another scream.
“Damn!” Debbie shouted. Allison looked up in horror. The thunder had startled her and caused her to jump, the movement sending a wet feeling between her legs. She recognized the symptom.
“My water just broke,” She said and she could see the faint outline of Michael and Debbie looking at her. She staggered up to her feet and moan as a cramp hit her. “Yup,”
Michael jumped to his feet. “I’ll drive you to the hospital,” He said and took Bert in his arms.
“No, let him stay here.” Debbie said with a smile. “Can you come help Gramma find the flashlights?” She asked as she took Bert from his father.
Michael grabbed hold of Allison’s arm and helped her to the car. She tensely slid into the front seat. Michael hurried to the driver’s side and jumped in.
“How are you feeling?” He asked and Allison smiled at the fact that he was much calmer this time around.
“Good,” Allison nodded her head as she rode a contraction. “A lot better than the first time around.” Michael smiled at her and held out his hand palm up. She slapped hers into it and he squeezed her hand.
“That’s my girl.” He encouraged her before starting the car.
The hospital was twenty minutes from Debbie’s house but Allison knew it would feel like an eternity. She was riding quick moving contractions and the pain was becoming more intense. She began her breathing and was doing her best to concentrate. Michael would glance over with a worried look upon his face.
“You’re doing great,” He said and reached over to place a hand on her thigh.
Both were thankful that the roads were clear, despite the downpour that was occurring outside. Michael helped Allison stumble out of the car and into the emergency room.
“We need to call Doctor Clark,” She said with wide eyes. They weren’t at the same hospital being at Debbie’s today and not their own home. Michael laughed.
“Let’s focus on getting you into a bed first.” He replied and helped her into the lobby. Nurses were waiting around under dim lights as the couple burst in. One looked up at him and as soon as eye contact as made he shouted. “Her water broke about twenty five minutes ago.”
The nurses moved quickly to check her in, wowed at the idea of having Michael Phelps and Allison Schmitt in their hospital. The head nurse was able to keep the younger ones from being struck by star fever as she helped the couple into a room.
“We’ll try to call your primary, but with the storm going on outside I am not guaranteed he’ll make it if you’ve moved along. Do you mind using another doctor for the time being?” She asked as she pulled up Allison’s chart.
“No, no, it’s fine,” Allison said as she winced at another contraction. They were strong and she already felt the need to push. She held tightly to Michael’s hand as they sat her in a wheelchair and wheeled her down the hall.
“You doing alright, Allie?” He asked and brushed the loose curls from her forehead. She breathed in sharply through her nose and nodded.
“Doing fine,” She winced and moaned.
They helped her into a bed and Michael sat on the edge to rub her belly with his one hand. He held onto her hand with the other.
“Ohhh, Mike,” She moaned shakily. “It’s really starting to hurt.” She said and arched her neck.
“You can do this. Second baby, you already know how this goes.” He coached her.
“Yeah, they give me the damn meds,” She groaned. “Where are the damn meds?”
Michael tried to suppress a laugh as he rubbed her hand between his thumb and fingers.
A nurse came in and asked Allison a couple questions on how she was feeling and took her pulse, temperature, and blood pressure. “You’re doing really good, Mama,” She said and looked at Michael. “We’re gonna do a check to see how long we’re gonna wait for your baby.” She smiled. “Hopefully he’ll wait long enough so that the power can come back on and we won’t be on a generator.”
Allison groaned and clung to Michael’s hand as she checked how far along the mother was. “You’re almost fully dilated,” She snapped her gloves off. “Another inch and you’ll be ready to push. How long was your last labour?”
“About eight hours,” Michael looked down at Allison and stroked her forehead.
“Well, this baby is ready.” The nurse laughed. Allison looked at her with wide eyes.
“Does this mean no meds?” She asked in desperation. The nurse laughed.
“If the baby is moving this quickly, you’ll be okay without them.” She smiled.
Allison moaned and lay back. She winced with a contraction, her body stiffening. She let out a groan and a gasp as it let her body go. “Why did I agree to have another kid?”
“Because you love me,” Michael replied and bent down to kiss her forehead. “How are you feeling?”
“Like hell,” She moaned. “You’d better call Mama Phelps and tell her what’s going on.” She said. Michael looked at her with a concerned look.
“Are you going to be okay?”
“You’ll know when I’m having this baby.” She looked at him. Michael nodded, doing his best not to laugh at her, and then stepped out of the room.
Fifteen more minutes passed and Allison knew it was time. The urge that had overcome her with Bert was pressing on her again. Michael had returned and was worriedly pacing the floor as she didn’t want him near her for this part of the labor.
“I need the nurse,” She said and moaned, sitting upwards. “I need her,” Michael looked over at Allison with a panic and then bolted out of the room. She was trying her best to hold on as the doctor rushed in. The lights flickered above them as Michael resumed his place next to her. She took his arm in her hands and held on. He braced himself.
“I wish they would fix the power,” The doctor groaned. “My name is Doctor Richard Evans,” He said and looked over at Allison. “So you’re ready to have your baby on this dark and stormy night?”
“I don’t think she’s giving me much of a choice,” Allison groaned and grunted. The doctor laughed.
“You’re probably right.” He replied.
The doctor, mother, and father began on the last leg of the newest Phelps’ birth. As Allison pushed, Debbie arrived at the hospital with Bert in tow. He was sleepy from his ear medication and lulled in his grandmother’s arms. She was ushered to the recovery room that Allison would be brought to as the mother brought her baby into the world.
“Good Allison!” The doctor praised. “One more.”
Allison pushed with everything she had and the pressure she felt, the pain she was experiencing dissipated. A squawk followed and she looked over through her tear and sweat filled eyes to see that Michael’s face was wide with amazement.
“You have a little girl, Mrs. Phelps,” The doctor announced. Allison let out a cry and turned to hug Michael close to her.
“We have a girl,” She said as Michael embraced her. Michael himself began to cry as he held his wife close, her face wet with tears and perspiration. The nurses took the baby away and began to clean the small girl.
“What is her name?” Doctor Evans asked as he looked up to Allison.
“Carolyn,” She said with a smile. “Carolyn Deborah.” Michael took her hand.
“Our little Lyn,” He laughed.
Once Allison and Carolyn were cleaned up, they were brought into the recovery room to meet Carolyn’s grandmother and brother. As Debbie held her new granddaughter, Michael leaned over to kiss his wife on the forehead.
“I want to take a picture with her!” Allison laughed as she motioned to her pants pocket for her iPhone. Debbie laughed and yielded the girl to her mother. The baby was crying a little but soothed once in Allison’s arms. The mother held her baby close. Allison beckoned for Bert to join her and Debbie took the phone from Michael.
“Go on!” She said with a smile. Michael laughed and joined his wife. Debbie took the picture of the family that huddled around Allison Schmitt.
Michael later texted the picture to his twitter account with the caption “U’ll always make me proud, @arschmitty.”