This morning I woke dreaming of a letter I was writing to Maggie, My oldest daughter, telling her about the day she was born.
I am sure you do not remember the day you were born, except perhaps in a deep spiritual way. But now, after you yourself have had two children, you do know the feelings that surround a new mother. Glory, happiness, fear, relief, exhaustion.
I had all of those with you and with Sarah.
With you, I decided to have a natural birth, at home, with a physicians assistant in attendance. I woke the first morning with cramps, not sure if I was indeed in labor. The cramps increased, and we called our PA to come.
I was a queen with attendees for a while, your aunt Laura, came, her husband Mike came, My friend Bev Gardner came. Everyone was there for the party, Sitting around my bed, talking with me, holding my hand and helping me breathe during the contractions. It was a time! And the time drug out, and drug out. In retrospect, I should have been up walking around, not laying on bed, although the night before I did scrub all the floors of our apartment on my hands and knees, cleaned the counters, washed the stove, refrigerator, did laundry, put fresh sheets on my bed, dusted. I nested. So that day, I had little to do other than lay in my bed and hold court. Which became a little boring. For everyone. But the contractions continued. It became late. people went home, the PA napped in the spare room. Your father, Jef, was down in the living room with a few of his cronies, having a party. I was getting a bit cranky, I had images of my nice clean home being partied animaled, and was not well pleased. I rested through the night, quiet, with my contractions, and communing with you. Waiting for you.
The next day, the contractions continued but did not increase. The PA went home, said to call him. Then something happened. HOO BOY! The contractions continued big! The PA was nowhere to be found, so we decided to drive to the hospital for your birth. Over railroads tracks, bumpy roads, snow falling, I did not know I had such a large capacity for enduring pain!!!
I smile when I write this, because it is true that the pain memory goes away, and a mother is left with the glorious glow of warmth and love of having a small child in her arms.
So, you were born in a hospital after all, and very quickly after I arrived. Your were beautiful, perfect, lovely. I loved you so.
We were in the hospital for two days, a very crowded ward, with women having babies, and in beds in the hall. Everyone had a baby that week. Friends came to visit, I cuddled you, loved you.
The day we went home was glorious, your bed was a small basket in our room. I slept near you, with you, and when I was not in the room I tiptoed upstairs on a regular schedule to check you, listen to your soft breaths, feel the rise and fall of your chest, and nuzzle your downy head. I was in love.