The Day You Were Born
i sit here eating ice cream and pie, thinking about you. when you are older i will crawl in your bed and tell you the story of your birth day, counting the years since then. but right now you are still little and mommy wouldn’t dare interrupt your sleep because you don’t do it too often. so tonight the thought of you will keep me company. and i will write out the story to tell you in the years that come.
it was a sunny day outside and i had it all to myself. Atticus was at nana’s house so that I could get the house ready for you. Daddy was at work. It was a Friday. I woke up at 7:30 am and didn’t sit down until 11 that night. When I did, it was with Daddy, admiring the new play room I had worked on all day. We sat in the soft glow of the paper lanterns I had hung and talked about how our life was changing in a few short weeks. In that moment, I felt myself turn towards welcoming you to the world, every detail preparing for you. I would wash your clothes, pile the burp cloths and make changing stations for you throughout the house. Little did I know that we were on the doorstep of your arrival and the next detail was YOU!
Daddy and I settled into bed around midnight that night and I looked and looked for a comfortable spot. My whole body ached from the day and my throat was achey too. Daddy was kind and made me some tea and toast and then fell asleep on the couch. At 1 am He woke up to my poking. I was having contractions.
We lay in bed timing them, daddy a bit angry that I pushed myself too hard and me worried I had done something that day to hurt myself or you. You were three weeks away, we thought, so we couldn’t imagine you were on your way!
We lay still, awake, daddy’s back to my side, whispering into the night. I would tell him when each contraction would start while he pushed the button on his iphone timer and google “false labor or real labor”. the feeling of each contraction pointed to real while the progress pointed to false. we kept this debate going back and forth till, oh, about ten minutes before you arrived.
Your brother was home now and woke up at 7:30 am. Daddy and he went about their day while I soaked in the bath. The smell of bacon and the sound of the vacuum told me that today was just another day. Convinced of this, I decided to turn my bath into a shower and get ready for work. That’s when the pain came strong, doubled me over. I crawled to the bed, wet and shaking, willing myself to keep going. This ended in me shouting for Daddy. He sat in the chair while I ate bacon and eggs on my side and groaned about breaking my bottom in yesterday’s hustle.
Back to the bath, where my body was weightless and focused.
The mind is a powerful thing, my sweet boy. I STILL didn’t think that you were knocking on the door, about to come through. I do remember one thought that if this was true labor, I was doing it alone. Daddy was with Atticus, unaware of the miracle happening inside me. I felt sad to not have him with me but then realized that I was not alone because I had you. You were right there, working as hard as me, aware of the importance of your new life. You were my birth partner and that was enough.
And with that, I was at peace if you were coming today. All I needed to be ready for you I already had. My chest to hold you, my arms to protect you, my lips to kiss and cry and laugh, and my heart to fall in love all over again.
Sensing this was the time, I called daddy to come. It was 9:45 am and we sat there in the morning sun, somehow still waiting to see how this would enfold. Daddy sat on the toilet and called the doctor, who also thought we should wait. About two minutes after her call the next contraction was undeniably different. It was a push.
Blurry action. Shoes on, Calls made, Clothes found, and Out the Door. I simply had to make it to the car after the next contraction. Or not so simply.
I had one foot on the stair and the other outside when I knew you were coming right then. I heard a pop as loud as a firework which was silent to Daddy inches away, water everywhere, and then YOU.
You were small, bluish, and curled like a shrimp. You felt the cool April morning and seemed rather shocked to exist. I just stood there, equally perplexed. But, as you will learn over and over again, Daddy is great in the clutch.
He caught you, held you, told me to sit down inside, and wrapped you in a blanket. I thought he was so clever to guess you were cold.
We spent the ambulance ride holding onto each other like two children hiding in war. It wasn’t until we were settled in the hospital that we turned to each other. You nursed and I became a mother again.
The rest of the story is your childhood, my love. It is one that we are writing together, every day.
I want you to know, dear Solomon, that you were loved from the beginning, that you were welcomed into the world in a unique and remarkable way, and that April 6th is marked by you. April 6th is special because it gave us you and you? You are incredibly special.
With tears in my eyes,