July 6, 2011.
2:18 in the morning, you are dreaming of eating waffles with your mother, you pop out of bed because you think you may have had an 'accident'. You run to the bathroom as a wetness runs down your legs- leaving spots and streaks on the carpet.
"I think my water just broke," you say at your husband. you laugh, he laughs, but both of you are nervous/excited. you laugh together and ask, "what should we do?"Real contractions start a few minutes later, and when they are real contractions, you know (just like every other mother has said, "when you go into labor, you'll know.") your contractions aren't strong or long, but they are different. you tell your husband to sleep. you try to sleep, but can't because you keep thinking about how this is it, this is life beginning.
you are scared shitless.
your husband calls your mother and she's calmer than you expected. he calls his parents and they jump in the car and prepare to make the 3 hour drive. your husband starts sending out mass text messages (because he's excited/nervous, and he doesn't know what else to do).
you've lost track of actual time. to you, time is based off contraction lengths and frequency. they are overwhelming. they take your breath away. your husband remembers to massage your back most of the time. and when he remembers it helps. A LOT. and when he forgets, it hurts. A LOT.
when your mother arrives, she is calm, you are calm, your husband is pretending to be calm. you get in the bath. the water helps, but the contractions keep taking your breath away. your mother straightens her hair because she is excited/nervous and doesn't know what else to do. you want to straighten your hair because it will be a distraction. you don't get around to it.
your sister is in summer school. it is her last day and she has a final. your husband goes to get lunch from Lee's sandwiches and picks your sister up on the way. she is quiet when she arrives at your house. your husband will teach her how to press on your back when another contraction comes. she doesn't want to hurt you, but you want her to press harder. much harder.
it is around 1:30 PM. your mother and husband agree that it is time to go. you keep saying, "no, it's not time. contractions are only 4 minutes apart. they need to be 3 minutes apart." they make you get in the car. you sit in the back- holding onto the baby's car seat with you left hand and the door handle with your right. you breathe. you try to relax your belly. you moan/scream.
your husband plays your wedding soundtrack. and you think, what a wonderful life (okay, you don't think it, you hear it through your car speakers, but you agree).
you arrive at the hospital and are 7 centimeters dilated. they take you to labor room 10. you have decided to do this all natural. no medications. no IV. you are confident/nervous.
you get a nurse that your mother/husband don't like. you do not notice the nurses 'attitude'. your second nurse, Apple, is wonderful. she guides you. she allows you to move freely. she gives you ideas. she brings juice. she is gentle and knowledgable.
it is time to push, but the midwife must break your water. your husband does not like this moment. you remember the relief after the gush. the tears in your husband's eyes as he says, "i do not like when you are in pain." the midwife needs to change her clothes.
your body tells you when to push. Apple guides your pushing. your body makes you push. your husband's voice is calm, "you are doing great, sweetheart." your husband's voice is next to you, but you cannot see him, in this moment, you do not realize you hear him.
the people in the room- your mother, the nurse, your husband, his mother- are present, but not really. time is moving, but not really. you and your body move and work together. your body tells you to push. you hear voices saying, "sweetheart, you need to rest" and "Macrae, it has been almost two hours, you need to rest-push a little, but rest or you are going to wear yourself out."
your body tells you to push. you try not to. there is a wave that rolls through your body. you try not to push. your body jumps out of itself. you feel like you are screaming. you will say to your husband, "I can't do this anymore. i can't. i can't." your husband will have worried eyes, but his voice is calm. his voice is confident.
you are not sure when the midwife enters the room. you hear her say, "Macrae, feel your baby's head." you do not want to. but you do. your body tells you to push. the midwife tells you to push hard. to keep at it. there is a pain. the midwife says, "tight shoulders," and strangers grab your legs. you feel like you are screaming. you push.
relief. your son is resting on your chest. you notice his gorgeous lips. he whimpers, not really a cry. you think this is the most beautiful sound in the world. he pees on you.
you feel pain/love/relief/wetness/exhaustion/warmth/energy.
you feel love.
from this day forward,
p.s. this is a super rough copy (i wrote it without editing it. i will edit it one day)