dearest cora ...
the coming of your birthday was slow and tedious. i remember having contractions every 15 minutes for ... about 3 weeks. constantly thinking ... today's the day ... it has to be.
but then ... nighttime would roll around and you would settle down for the night. as i tossed and turned with uncomfortableness ...
during one of those not-having-a-baby-yet-nights ... i had a dream that i was on a rooftop with my yoga instructor ... fully pregnant ... (i did mention the dream thing didn't i?) ... she told me that you would come on a thursday ... after the full moon. (and if you don't believe me ... not sure how else i can prove this ... hmmm ... check here ... although that won't lead you to the validity of my dream ... just trust me on this one.)
and you did.
wednesday morning, may 2nd, i received a phone call that daddy's sister had her baby overnight. mama was a wee bit pissy about this news. not that i wasn't excited to be an auntie again ... but i was sick of being pregnant and working ... all while having contractions every 15 minutes. t'was a bit sucky.
so i suffered through my full of contractions day ... had lunch with my mom and cried about still being pregnant. we visited auntie E and the new baby later that afternoon. cuddled him and smiled. mama was a bit snarky on her way out the door and casually mentioned ... "well, at least we'll get to sleep through the night!"
i tucked stella in bed after participating in mama clingyness to the nth degree. climbed the stairs into my side of the bed ... closed my eyes ... and ... pop pop pop ... (apparently there can be a popping sound when your water breaks? good to know.)
instant contractions. fast. furious. heart stopping. quick call to boppa to take over stella duty.
a call to kathrine the midwife. she told me to take a shower. if things eased up ... no need to rush in. called her back and couldn't talk. i couldn't get any words out without another contraction speeding through my body. that warm shower didn't last long. and we were out the door.
i waited in the lobby ... pounding my head against the wall and attempting to breathe and listening to the escaping moans from my body while daddy parked the car. the guy at the service desk brought me our name tags and passes ... marked with the childbirth floor ... without a single word being communicated. i guess he just knew.
they attempted a check in. i couldn't get on the table. contractions were spilling on top of one another. i remembered being able to breathe with stella. i remembered calm. i remembered feeling in control.
i didn't feel calm ... i didn't feel in control ... i didn't feel like i could even breathe.
kathrine saved me. she told them it was absurd to try and check someone that was this far and she ushered us to a birthing room. stopping a few times during our down-the-hall move to breathe through a contraction. which were clocking in at 30 second intervals. our doula, alena, arrived quickly thereafter.
i tried to sit or lay down or rest in the tub. nothing would help. i begged kathrine for drugs. (i had sworn i would have another drug-free birth ...) all while pounding my head against the bathroom wall. i whispered to her that i didn't think she was listening to me. after moving across the room and pounding my fists against the cabinet. i needed her to listen to me. i begged her for something.
she told me that she had to check me before she would give me anything.
i was just under a 10. damn close enough.
45 minutes after arriving at the hospital.
we pulled in a birthing chair and started pushing. several minutes later you were born. without the drugs that i had begged for. kathrine and alena knew me better than i knew myself in those moments before your birth.
you were the beautiful full cheeked baby that i had been waiting to meet. i could breathe again. my heart stopped racing and started expanding to accomodate this new love. all 8 pounds (on the dot) of you.
i immediately wanted to see stella. to introduce you to her. but i had to wait for her to wake up. so i stared at your face and nursed you and loved you ... but never went back to sleep. i waited for her.
the next morning ... bright and early ... stella woke up and walked back to my room. i wasn't there. she found boppa on the couch and realized what must have happened. boppa tossed her in some clothes. (why didn't i lay something out and teach him how to insert ponytails first?? no one ever told me to think of that when packing my hospital bag.)
daddy walked the halls the next morning and ran into a high school acquaintance. he asked which birthing room we were in. daddy told him. and he mentioned that his wife was pissed at me ... they had been in that birthing room for HOURS ... and the nurse casually mentioned that some other mom had come in and had her baby 45 minutes later.
sorry 'bout that other mama. i don't highly recommend the fast and furious birthing technique, to be perfectly honest.
but every single second. every tumbling contraction. every pound against the wall. was completely worth it to have you in my world.
happy birthday baby girl.