it’s a must.
and as i’m yet deciding the further direction of this blog, i figure this is a safe place to start. because, well, i have to tell this story.
i was ready for cadence to come as soon as i hit the 37 weeks – full term. there was not an ounce of human in me that enjoyed being pregnant. not even a little bit. and i was ready for it to be over. now.
she came due and the due date passed. and i started doing squat jumps.
(my midwife then informed me i absolutely had to STOP doing squat jumps.)
i started drinking raspberry leaf tea, and rubbing my feet, and trying all sorts of natural labor inducers.
i even spent close to 8 hours and around $50 making a gigantic, authentically italian eggplant parmesan that was “guaranteed” to induce labor.
it did not. but it tasted awesome.
people become idiots when you’re pregnant and close to or past your due date. they ask ridiculous things like “oh wow! you’re still pregnant?!”
“yeah, you know, i thought i’d like to continue harboring another human being inside my body a bit longer. i really enjoy the back pain, insomnia and perpetual discomfort. ”
finally, my midwife told me that i was stressing myself out so much about the baby being late (who me?) that i was probably delaying labor with my stress and that i should relax and find something to laugh at. and she was being serious. so i drew a hot bath and cranked up some chris rock in my ipod.
i was six days late and headed into my back up doctor for an appointment.
everything looked good and she saw no reason to induce me, which i was grateful for. despite my frustration, i did still desire a natural childbirth.
when BOOM! right there in the doctors office, my water broke!
the doctor congratulated us on the now impending birth of our daughter and sent us home.
i worked through the first few hours of labor around the house, making sure everything was in order and cleaned (i’m not kidding). and around 3pm i decided i was getting uncomfortable enough to head to the birth center…but i wanted bagels first.
it’s weird getting into a car knowing that though you leave as two people you will return as three. so surreal to me. even now.
so ben and i headed off to the birth center by way of panera.
i gripped the counter tightly as another contraction coursed its way through my body while the zit faced teenager took my order. wouldn’t that have made his day to know some crazy lady in labor was ordering bagels from his counter.
i amso thankful i chose to give birth at the birth center! ben and i arrived, settled in, and just…well…hung out. it was like being at home, but with a few more supplies around. and a birthing pool.
around 7pm my dear friends chelsea, tina, rachel and doreen showed up. i ask a lot of my friends, obviously.
these ladies were lifesavers. it felt like a big sleepover for awhile. we all sat around talking and laughing, and i would occasionally get up and walk around the room, rocking my hips through another contraction.
finally, around 11pm i could no longer handle the pain each contraction brought with it and i got into the pool.
ho.ly. goodness. best idea ever!
we dimmed the lights, softly turned my ipod onto the “for the event of a lifetime (aka the labor playlist)” playlist; i closed my eyes and went deep inside myself, finding solace in the warm water and the solitude of my own soul.
“fill me up God
fill me up God
fill me up God
fill me up”
crooned the prayerful melody, and i prayed along with it.
this is Your child Abba, You must bring her forth, You have to give me the strength, fill me up, fill me up…
hours passed, and i stayed in this most intimate position before the Creator. just me, and my Lord, and a friend wiping down my brow with cold water.
the pains grew stronger, requiring me to reach deeper into myself than i knew existed.
i threw up.
i asked for it to stop. i told everyone i couldn’t do it.
and then, i did.
during a version of the U2 song “pride” sang by the soweto gospel choir from kenya, out came this little girl in the name of love.
it was instant. the exhaustion. the pain. the essence of being utterly spent was replaced with the deepest, purest most inexpressible joy i’ve ever experienced as these two little clear, blue eyes gazed up into mine.
we just sat there in the birthing pool, time was nothing to us.
finally, about a half hour later they moved us out of the pool.
cadence tipped the scales at 9 pounds even.
ironically, i had told God i could not deliver a baby over 9 pounds. clearly, i should have set my standards a little lighter.
cadence was beautiful and perfect and so very well. i, on the other hand, had not weathered labor so well and was prepared for transport to the hospital.
twenty minutes later i was admitted. repaired and then sent home with my newborn not even 8 hours after giving birth. looking back, i think i was slightly insane.
when we got home, cadence and i both fell fast asleep while ben sat up and watched us drift through slumber – just in case something went wrong. his mom arrived, fresh off the plane from boston a few hours later, making it safe for ben to get some much needed rest as well.
and now, we are three.