I’ve been wanting to tell your story. You earned it before anyone else. You deserve it told, documented, and revered before it gets lost in the shuffle of this new birth and your special details are forgotten. Your story is pure, sweet, and joyful. But your story also includes my story, and there is a quick moment of sorrow in my part. I’ve avoided writing this story because I fear devaluing the amazing gift you are to me by muddying things up with my own pride. But we are not separate from each other, thus our stories cannot be. With all the love in my heart I am going to tell you honestly how you arrived and hope that you can know the joy we feel that you chose us to be your family, and forgive me my pride that I could not give you the entrance I had so hoped I could. I now understand the dance of your birth was not a solo one for me to undertake and deliver to you but a partnership where each of our steps had to set in rhythm before we were able to twirl away. In finally writting your story, two months before your second birthday, I acknowledge that you were there too, that the journey was not simply mine to give, but that you made your own way bursting through, aching to know the world and you haven’t stopped since that day.
I finally stopped working on your due date. Since you needed a few more days in the warmth of my belly, we patiently anticipated your arrival for a full 10 days after we were told you might come. On the third day past your estimated arrival I decided to have some acupuncture done just to let you know we were ready for you to come and say hello. I sat in my doctors office for an hour needles in my toes, fingers, and forehead, speaking to you, inviting you to come and meet us. I felt your little toes answer me with a flutter then quickly hide away. You heard me, but needed just a few more days. The next day, we went to the hospital for an ultrasound and some monitoring. We saw that you were doing fine happily swimming and heart beating away safe inside. Desperately wanting to avoid induction and a c-section, I opted for a second acupuncture treatment three days later. The very next day, you began your decent.
Your dad and I had a fairly routine Saturday morning. After a very light breakfast, we did some shopping in Scottsdale and met a friend for some beers at the Yardhouse. Well, the boys not me. A little short on funds, we shared a plate of garlic fries. I sampled the various beers as they came around, but couldn’t stop guzzling the iced tea I ordered. All of a sudden, I thought I peed my pants. I discretely excused myself to the bathroom and found not urine, but water. A small trickle, not a gush as I was told to anticipate. You were still cautiously, as you do now when faced with something new, making your way. I secretely told your dad we needed to go and we snuck away without our friend ever knowing a thing. We sped quickly home to examine things further and call the doctor. The cold wet evidence of your impending arrival still slowly coming forth.
We paged the doctor and what seemed like a long while later, she called back. I was sitting on the toilet afraid of getting water everywhere and your dad handed me the phone. Nervous and unsure, I told her I thought my water had broken. The call was quite broken up and I felt strange talking to her. I think she told us to go to the hospital so we got ready. This was the first thing, I wish I would have done differently. I would have liked to stay home a bit longer while you readied yourself, but once the water breaks they like you to go right in. I should have questioned them anyway. We slowly gathered our bags and headed out to the hospital.
Not having eaten anything but a half a plate of garlic french fries, your dad ran to the hosptial cafeteria and grabbed us a few things while we waited to be checked in. Since I was not yet in labor, it was an easy check in. We leisurely filled out paperwork and they eventually transferred us to a triage room. I was changed into the hospital clothing and waited in the room that simply had a curtain for a door. After some time, a nurse came in to check on us. I was dilated to 4 cm and hadn’t felt a thing. We were then moved to a labor and delivery room.
The labor room was very cozy and bright. The first nurse that attended during most of our labor was a young gal, very kind, and understanding. After all the preliminary information was passed on I was hooked up to an IV for glucose and fetal monitoring straps to check your status. I also met with the anesthesiologist to sign a waver in case I wanted an epidural. I never should have done this either. It was after this we called your grandparents and your aunt. Shortly they all arrived and excitment filled the room as well as an abundance of love in anticipation of your coming. We played some cards and continued to wait. Many hours later, there had been no change and I had only felt a few small contractions. This is where the story becomes difficult for me to tell. I wish, my dear heart that I had had the strength to honor your need to progress slowly through the chamber of life and allowed you to arrive in the cautious way you go. But on a recommendation from the doctor I was injected with pitocen a labor inducing drug. Within an hour, things dramatically changed.
Labor progressed quickly after this point. In the beginning I felt some intense contractions as my body stretched to make way for your beautiful soul. In these moments I felt so close to you and we danced and swayed as each one settled. I then had a minute or more to collect myself and gear up for another. Each person present took turns in aiding me as I embraced the pain and turned it into joy. In between these difficult steps we shared laughter and stories with everyone in the room. It was an awesome time for family. We were all there together helping you to make your decent.
It is at this point in the story my greatest disappointment is realized. I did not believe I had the strength to carry on and ask for the epidural despite all the encouragement from our lovebomb. They called the anesthesiologist and there was a short wait. The oddest thing happened at this point, the pain almost subsided. It was as if knowing it was soon to be over, I could now handle it. This memory, in hindsight is the most difficult. When he finally arrived, I remember being able to sit perfectly still as he administered the drug, a feat that only moments before seemed impossible. I mentioned that I could still feel some intense pain and without asking me first, the anesthesiologist simply upped the dosage. All at once, the pain was gone. Within 15 minutes, your dad, your grandfather, and grandmother were asleep. I was not far behind.
They immediately layed you at my breast and easily you began to eat. You were so eager for food, your top lip was folded over as you nursed, and you still bear the mark of that first moment we touched. You were then transferred to a small bed with a heating lamp and the afterbirth was delivered and I received two small stiches. Your father stayed with you the entire time. You were never away from us at any moment in your days at the hospital. You were cleaned, vaccinated, measured, and weighed screaming every step of the way until, your daddy held out his hand which you immediately wrapped your sweet fingers around and ceased crying.
My deepest love and gratitude,