...I awoke at 2AM to what I would quickly realize was a contraction. My first child had been due 3 days before, on January 12. I remember January 12 had been a Sunday that year (1997). Dave and I, after realizing that we weren't likely to have a baby that day, had gone garage sailing to pass the time. At one sale, the woman had glanced at my ginormous belly and asked when I was due. She recoiled from me slightly when I exclaimed eagerly, "Today!" I was 20 (soon to be 21, but who's counting?) and Dave was 27 (and a half - as long as we're counting). We lived in a sunny little house full of windows on a darling little hill covered in oak trees in Prunedale, California (yes, they used to grow prunes there - I mean plums). Our street was called Via del Sol (By Way of the Sun) - I loved that address.
It must have been about 2:30AM or so when we called the midwife (AKA "Mom" and soon-to-be-known-as "Gramma" and eventually-known-as "Mimi"). Yes, my mom was our midwife when Cole was born. And, yes, it was kinda weird - sorry, Mom. Anyway, Cole's Birth Day went something like this (I have the exact details written down in a journal and locked away in a fire-proof safe among my other most valuable posessions ie; love letters - I mean letter - from my husband, baby books, and a stack of 8 mm video tapes - remember those? - from before we went digital. No I don't have any heirloom jewelry in there. I keep those in plain sight on my dresser, of course.) But, back to the story for today...Cole's Birth Day:
*2AM - awoke with contractions
*2:30 - called Mom
*3AM - got in the tub
*3:30 - started singing that creepy caterpillar song from Alice in Wonderland (p.s. I just watched that movie with my girls, and I'm pretty sure that caterpillar is stoned. Pretty sure.)
*4AM - barfed in the trash can in the bathroom. Dave got in on video. That video tape is in the fire proof safe, of course.
*5AM - laid back down. Dozed for a while. Cuddled with Dave. Listened to the rain on the roof.
*6AM - mom arrived with Aletha (the other midwife)
*7AM - barfed again. Dilated a centimeter - 6 centimeters now.
*8AM - got back in the tub. Sang some more.
*9AM - imagined floating down a river during contractions - I remember the very vague sensation that I was headed toward a waterfall. Interesting.
*10AM - paced in the living room with Dave
*11AM - barfed again. Dilated to 8 cm.
*12PM - did some squats in the living room. I remember hearing my mom laugh on the phone and I thought to myself, "What the &*%$ is so funny!?" Nearing transition no doubt.
*1PM - felt a switch flip and had the sudden and overwhelming urge to push.
*2:10PM - baby's heart rate slows. Mom says, "Time to push him out." Felt the collective power of all women who had given birth before me and felt my unmistakable connection to them. Felt the "bigness" of what was happening. My connection to the "whole" - way beyond physical.
*2:20PM - Our baby boy is born - a little purple. Tactile stim. A good strong cry.
*2:25 PM - We think about nursing, but my little guy has other plans. He stretches his little turtle neck up, tilts his head back and, with big blue eyes, looks up at me - directly into my eyes. Into my soul. Dave got a picture.
*2:30 PM - You're kidding. I have to push again? Felt a little sorry for myself but pushed anyway. Back into my physical person. The placenta was born.
*2:45 - Dave holds his son. I take a shower. Someone makes lunch.
*4PM - Aletha heads home. We let Morgen in to meet the baby. She'd been wining outside during the birth, worried about me. We have it on video.
*5PM - Mom and the gang head home. (My siblings and my dad were at Cole's birth, too.)
*6PM - Dave makes dinner. Cole and I rock by the fire and nurse. My nipples are on fire, too.
*7PM - Dave tucks us in and then does the dishes. Mom calls.
*8PM - We all fall asleep. Nursing. A new family of three.
Happy Birthday, my darling 13 year old boy. Still a baby. Always my baby.