As I sat there in bed, gasping in pain, Sam jolted awake and, in his panicked half-asleep state, thought I was going into pre-term labor. Our friend had just gone into early labor, and I think it was on his mind. "Brooke! Brooke!" he said. "Is this it??!?!"
He jumped out of bed and haphazardly started throwing things into a backpack that we might need. A phone charger. His wallet. Keys. An empty folder. (How useful an empty folder would have been during pre-term labor remains to be seen.)
At that moment, the cramp abruptly stopped.
"Sam, stop," I said. He had one leg through some shorts he was hopping into. "It's fine. Just a leg cramp."
"You're not in labor?!" he demanded.
"Nope. Just a leg cramp."
We looked at each other in the darkness. Me and my gigantic belly and my hair all over my face, him with half a pair of shorts on. It was silent for a second, and then we started laughing.
We laughed as I stretched out my leg. He dropped the backpack on the floor (alas, it wasn't the empty folder's day to shine after all) and crawled back into bed. We spent the next hour or so whispering about "wow" and "what if" and "aren't you glad it wasn't" and "I can't wait to meet her, but not like this" and "don't you ever scare me like that again." I eventually fell back asleep, but Sam was awake most of the rest of the night, just thinking about the realities of becoming a dad, and our future.
And that right there? To me, that's love. Panic attacks at 2am, and bleary eyes at work the next day, and the dreaming and the whispers together and the half-packed backpack on the floor. That's love. And I'm so glad I get to share it with Sam.