Last spring I spent five weeks in Manhattan with my dear friend Julia to help her prepare for little Cecilia.  It was an amazing experience that will be with me forever.
When your bedroom, living room, and kitchen are all in one room and you have a baby on the way, Ikea is essential.  I want to hate it, but it's so dang easy.  And the ice cream, come on!  You had me at soft serve.  By the way we didn't buy a single thing that was small enough to fit in that stupid banana bag, and that prison cot that Julia is resting on, I slept on that thing for FIVE weeks!  
We ended up with the cot, and lots of shelving(if you can't build out, build UP!).  Now all we had to do was get it up 5 flights of stairs.  Lucky for us, Liz was waiting for us when we got out of the taxi.  Liz has the energy of a pomeranian and she's strong.  Who needs an elevator?!
I spent the next couple of weeks hanging shelves, bagging up clothes for Goodwill, cleaning, and cooking, and combing out Pus Pus's dingle-berries, while Julia continued to work her ass off at the hospital.  We couldn't have been cuter if we were lesbians.  
This is Pus Pus
Then it happened...
I woke up in the middle of night with the simultaneous urge to pee and vomit.  The bathroom light was on, and being that my cot was wedged between the windowsill and Julia's bed I could easily see she was not there.  So I waited for a bit and tried not to puke on my cot.  All the while thinking to myself, I sure hope Julia doesn't go into labor tonight because I am going to be sick.  Then a soft and slightly anxious voice came from the bathroom, "LoLo, I think my water just broke." First thoughts, FUUUUUUCK.  So I got up and went into the bathroom.  Jules was on the toilet, and sure as shit her water was a breakin!  She took one look at me and being the amazing nurse that she is, she quickly jumped into the tub and told me to lie down.  I had lost all the color from my face and was swaying back and forth.  But I didn't know if I was going to puke or have explosive diarrhea.  So I sat on the toilet and attempted to regain my composure.  Oh to be a fly on the wall!  The funny thing is, you wouldn't need to be a fly, because Julia isn't big on curtains or privacy so the bathroom window is always totally exposed to the night construction crew working on the adjacent all boys prep school.  A sight we must have been.  Julia gigantic and pregnant in the bathtub, and me on the toilet white as a ghost.  I told Julia, I wouldn't be surprised if we came home to find the construction workers had hung curtains on their scaffolding to shield themselves from the atrocities going down in that bathroom.  Within ten minutes the nausea had passed and I was feeling pretty normal.  Back to Julia.  She called her midwife and it was decided that some more sleep was in order.  So we tried to go back to bed.  Julia had been working up to this point, so I guess she figured she had about 4 hours to get in some nesting time and she went straight for the vacuum and dishes.  Needless to say we didn't sleep much.

btw this is David, Cecilia's papa

Cut to 8 or so hours later.  Hanging around the hospital, sitting in the windowsill, lying in empty gurneys, no beds available, not sure if we are staying or going.   Julia is starting to have stronger contractions but she is still laughing and we haven't heard a single profanity... yet.  We finally met with the midwife for another check and it was determined she was almost 1 cm dilated.  Julia's response,"Shut the fuck up." So back in the taxi, across town, and downtown, many many blocks.  It took almost an hour to get home in afternoon traffic.  By this time I was wondering if this was a really bad idea as Julia was starting to get really uncomfortable.  I just wanted to get her somewhere she could settle in and get into a rhythm.  NYC taxi cab was not the place.

Back up to the sixth floor Julia got easily into her own rhythm of breathing and walking.  David went home to try and get a little more sleep and I went into the hall to call family back.  A couple of hours later Julia was ready to get back to the hospital.  This time a kind neighbor called us a car so we wouldn't have to walk to the corner and hale a cab.  I had my doubts that any cab driver would even stop for a pregnant woman doubled over, clearly having contractions.  Slowly back down the stairs and into the car.  The driver didn't look too happy when we appeared but he loaded our bags and off we went.  This was by far the worst ride of them all.  But he got us there and Julia was through the revolving doors before I had a chance to pay the guy and gather our bags.  By the time I caught up with her, she had left a trail of vomit through the lobby and was waiting at the elevators.

Finally into a private room we settled in for the night.  The rest of this story involves a lot of ups and downs, moments of incredible strength and moments of despair.  But finally, some thirty hours later, Cecilia was born, and I was in awe, of Julia.  Three cross town cab rides, a day wandering the hospital halls, up and down those five flights at least 4 times, and of course hours and hours of
intense labor.

Cecilia is pretty awesome too I think.  
This Hans, Julia's papa.