I have been meaning to write these words for a long while. But every time I get a minute and begin the process, the words just don’t come. I feel they are words that deserve more than a quick write up. They deserve the most eloquent language… but it feels difficult to express the deep emotions I felt that night on to the blank screen. Nothing I say will pour over enough light on what I felt that night. But I will try!
We had long awaited your arrival. Years, actually. I knew I wanted you badly.. so did your dad. I thought about you often, what you would be like, what you would look like, what you would bring to our family. But nothing I ever imagined compared to what you are and what you have given all of us. You are perfect.
The morning of your arrival day felt very different. From the get-go I was very emotional. I cried unexplainable tears, feelings of some anxiety… an overwhelming sense of love, some anticipation… after all, it was 5 days after your “due date” and we knew the time was nigh that you’d be making your grand entrance. That morning, I knew it. I felt it in my bones.
We dropped your brother off at school and I had a feeling this would be the last time I kissed him goodbye as my only child… you’d be here soon and he would be sharing it all with you. Even us, your parents. This thought brought me so much excitement, but if I am going to lay all my emotions here for you to read, I will say, there was a little tinge of guilt there. Your brother, I thought, may not be so excited to “share” his mama with you. But I was wrong.
I went to my last appointment with our midwife that afternoon. I cried through our entire appointment… still not knowing why. She told me it was because labor was near, my hormones were all out of whack, and we would be seeing you soon. I knew she was right. She asked me if I wanted her to “sweep my membranes” to help get things going. I said yes and within a couple of hours things really started moving!
Your Dad and I went to lunch and I had contractions the entire time. I was timing each one. I remember for a slight moment, your dad went to get a drink refill. He was gone for maybe a minute or two, not even leaving my sight. But while he was gone, I had a contraction and felt so vulnerable sitting there in the restaurant surrounded by strangers, just knowing my life was about to be dramatically changed. I craved familiarity, comfort + home.
I had a little overnight bag packed for Ezra, he would be staying at Uncle Nate and Auntie Tay’s house if you decided to come at night… so we dropped off his things at their house and headed home.It wasn’t until about 9:00 that night that my contractions began getting stronger and closer together. You were well on your way. I felt like it was time to call the midwife and when we did, we received what we thought was the worst news we could imagine. She wasn’t able to come. Being that we were planning on having you at home, and that we hadn’t met or spoken with any other midwives or attendants, I really felt like my world was caving in. It was on speaker phone as she explained to Clay that from the time we saw her that afternoon until then, she had come down with a serious illness and wasn’t able to make it to our birth. I was mid contraction while hearing the news, fell to the floor and I could not stop the tears. I felt like my birth plans were flying out the window and that they were not longer possible, that we would then be rushing to the hospital and into the unknown. But that wasn’t the case.
Michelle, our midwife sent a backup, and although I was very reluctant to accept in that moment that things were going to be ok, they were. They were more than ok… they were wonderful.
From the moment Paula walked in our front door I felt at peace. Just her demeanor, her voice, her presence calmed me. Her and her attendant moved around with such ease and confidence, made themselves acquainted with our home and our supplies. She told me that it was a beautiful night to bring a new baby into the world. She told me to walk outside and ground myself. She told me the sky was beautiful, more than usual. Before that, I had not paid attention to anything except each contraction and the increasing amount of pressure and discomfort. But the moment I walked outside, looked up at the stars, I felt different. I felt connected with you. I felt in control, but most importantly, I felt humbled to be your mother. This was an important night for me and for you. I felt a love for you so strong already and all my fear was gone. She asked permission to hear your heart beat, I agreed and we could hear it steady and strong… so real and so close.
We moved through dilation pretty quickly. I felt my body knew what to do after going through this process with your brother. I had prepared with a little bit of hypnotic techniques, set the mood in our home, lit candles and played music that relaxed me (and you)… but mostly, my body had done this before and was not afraid.We swayed back and forth, we laid on the bed together, he rubbed my shoulders and my back. Your dad was the perfect partner and the best support. He was there, every waking second. He held my hand, stroked my hair, never leaving my side.
We said the words “open, open, open” to allow my body to resist tension and relax through each contraction. I wanted to make your entrance as easy as possible for you, and I felt that letting my body run its course without resisting was the best thing I could do. Now, I will not go on and say that everything was perfect. There was a small moment where I had a glimmer of worry. I had anticipated giving birth in the water in the birthing tub like we did with Ezra. This was my plan and I was not going to veer from it. But when I got in the water, it was not agreeing with me… or you! My temperature spiked and your heart rate started increasing so rapidly. I became dizzy and I remember hearing your pounding heart on the doppler and knowing it did not sound right. In that moment I was nervous and light headed, but Paula was not. She knew what needed to happen. She laid me on the bed and with the next contraction, broke my water to get things moving more quickly. She then helped me to the shower where I knelt on the ground and felt the cold water pounding on my back while having some of my worst contractions. But my temperature and your heart beat quickly returned to normal, so we tried the tub again.
It wasn’t long until I began feeling dizzy again, sitting there in the tub. A wave of panic came over me when I knew it wasn’t going to happen in the water. See, some say that during an unmedicated birth, the water acts as a sort of “natural anesthetic”. I believed that, had Ezra in the water, and I wasn’t prepared mentally to give birth without it. But it was happening, you were coming, the water wasn’t going to work for us, and that was that.
I crawled up on our bed and we didn’t have to wait too much longer. Your dad knelt by my side, held my hand and I breathed through what were the worst pains I will probably experience in my lifetime.
It’s funny, in those moments, even when you know what is happening, you forget what you are working for. You lose focus because the pain takes over your brain and you begin to think “why are we doing this?!” But my midwife, knowing what I must be feeling and where my mind was at, kept saying, “You will be meeting your little boy soon. He is coming. You are almost there, he is almost here.” These words meant everything in that moment.
I can remember every detail of the next few minutes that happened and although it seemed like I pushed for a lifetime, it was only a mere seven minutes. A few hard pushes and you were here, just like that, like you had always been here, always been in our lives. The attendant lifted you up and handed you to me, so new, so perfect, eyes wide open. I felt like I KNEW you. And you me. I laid you on my chest, felt your dad hugging us both and I began to cry those gloriously exhausted tears of relief and joy. It is those moments I want to remember, both of you and your brother. Those first few minutes of life will always be my most precious memories. 3:41 am on September 27th… moments we will never forget. I put you next to my breast and you began nursing immediately. I couldn’t believe it, just like that, you knew what to do. We sat there for the longest time… your dad, you, me… just living it and soaking it in, memorizing every detail. You were here, you were ours, and we loved you more than I felt it were possible. You are three months old now and have really put your mark on our family. You have changed everything. Ezra loves you so much, and after the first time he met you, I knew we would not have any problems with “sharing mama and dad”. He loved you from the get-go. He is always anxious to show anyone that comes over his “cute baby brother” and at least once a day he will say, “I am so happy our new baby is here!” But I do think he is growing a little impatient… he really can’t wait until you can really PLAY together! 🙂 I know you two are going to be so close and that makes me the absolute happiest.
You have so many people in your life that love you, Curren. So many people that are so happy you are here, that will lead and guide you. that will be there for you in all stages of your life, especially us, your mom and dad. You bring us the most joy, you and your brother are our greatest treasures. I hope you always know that!
*Thank you so my sister in law @taylergolden for capturing such beautiful photos for us!