I don’t remember what it feels like to only think about myself. Before I had her -everything was about me- up until the moment she was born. Even the nine months leading up to her birth was all about me. My body, and my bump, and my baby, (because she wasn’t yet her own person.)
Yesterday (September 3, 2017) Claire turned 4. The week leading up to her birthday I was an emotional wreck. I cried in the car asking my husband how this is possible. It hasn’t been 4 years already, has it?
This year it was different because she knew it was her birthday. Every year until now I was waking her up explaining it was her day, not this year. First thing Sunday morning I had a 4-year-old with a big smile standing beside my bed.
To celebrate Claire’s birth I decided this post will be her birth story. I’ve had to dig out the notebook that it is written down in because to my surprise there are a few details that my memory has (probably for good reason) decided to forget.
Labor was how I knew I would and could do anything for her. You would think after spending hours and hours in immense pain you would have more concern for yourself. But the only thing I remember about her birth is her face. The moment she became a person… Claire.
Since she was my first baby I was sure I was going into labor a few time before it actually happened. But when it really happened I was ready. I was one day shy of being 40 weeks (she was born on her due date). I woke up around 6 in the morning the day before I gave birth with contractions and tons of back pain. The contractions never stopped so I decided to grab the hospital bag that had been packed for months and head to the hospital.
I went into the hospital around 5 in the evening and they admitted me letting me walk around to help get labor moving faster since at that point I was only a few cm dilated. I was sure I was ready to start pushing at any minute but our daughter had a different idea. So labor went on and on and around 3 in the morning when they came to check me again, they said I was about 7cm dilated.
Up until this point, I was clear that I did not want an epidural. Like most first time moms I had watched the business of being born and was sure any medical intervention was bad. But after so many hours of labor when I was told I was still only 7cm I ordered an epidural. It was miserable, I was having contractions every few minutes so holding still enough for them to place a needle in my spine felt impossible.
After getting the epidural it felt like time slowed down a little, I wasn’t in agonizing pain anymore but it was near impossible to sleep. I remember just laying with my eyes closed listening to the television and the heart monitor that was around my belly. I remember thinking -and telling my husband a few times- that we would get to hold her soon. But let’s be honest I had no idea what was happening. I knew I was going to have a baby but it still didn’t feel real yet. If you are a mom- a first-time mom especially- you will understand. It is impossible to know what if feels like to hold your child for the first time until you actually do it.
If you are a mom- a first-time mom especially- you will understand. It is impossible to know what if feels like to hold your child for the first time until you actually do it.
Sometime in the morning of Claire’s birth, the nurse came in telling me they were getting the doctor so I could start pushing. After a while of me pushing when the monitor and the nurses told me to push I told the anesthesiologist to turn the epidural down so that I could feel when I needed to push on my own and soon after that I gave birth to a 7lb. 15 oz. baby girl.
The doctor laid her on my chest and I fell in love. I was crying and telling her over and over I was her mom. I saw my husband in tears and could feel the doctors still taking care of me but I was only focused on her. I got to hold her for a while before they took her for all the weights and measurements and I just kept crying and smiling because she was real.
Writing this down does no justice to the emotions I felt that day. There is nothing in the world that compares to having a child. I have been so fortunate to have two healthy happy amazing children. They have taught me so much about life, patience, understanding and pure happiness.
Happy Birthday, Claire, I love you more than you will ever know! And if by chance you are reading this one day I hope you know that everything I have done and will ever do is out of pure love for you.