There’s a moment in all of our lives when we realize we need to get back to what we love after taking a much needed break. For me, my love of writing had to be put on hold while I balanced the other life accounts that were just more important. It’s been 8 months since I wrote my last blog post. Today is the day I jump back in. I’ve missed you all and am glad to be back. I hope you all have been well and would love to hear from each of you on how you have been and what has been new in your life since January.
So, what kept me so busy? Well, here’s my story.
It was a hot summer in St. Louis this year. my first baby was due in 16 days. At my weekly doctor’s appointment everything looked pretty good for this 45 year old, first time mom to be. Of course, I still needed to get blood work, because I was so old of course, but I have had a perfectly healthy pregnancy up to this point so I wasn’t worries. After the blood draw my husband and I set out for a nice quiet summer weekend. That was at 10 am on June 10th.
Then came the phone call at 9:00 pm. I didn’t answer it because it said NO CALLER ID. I figured it was a telemarketer and hit ignore. Just a moment later my voice mail indicator dinged and I hit listen. It was my doctor. Seems this old lady’s kidneys and liver were starting to protest this baby inside of me and I was developing pre-eclampsia. I was told to head to the hospital because it was time to have a baby. Needless to say my husband and I were shocked, but also very excited.
For those of you that know me, I was already packed of course (for me and baby) so I started making calls to the family while Dan finished packing his bag. We arrived at the hospital at 11pm with a smile on our face and a plan. I still chuckle when I think about that plan. We had spent hours upon hours making decisions about how we wanted labor to go, what we would do with Olivia once she was born, how we couldn’t wait to leave the hospital quickly so we could bring her home. Etc. Etc. Then real life kicked in and we just held on for our dear lives.
It started off pretty easy. Since I went in only 1 centimeter dilated they had to induce me. When my contractions started the nurse came to check on me and I laughed to myself about how women complain about them. What were they talking about – this was nothing. And my mantra “I can breathe through any pain” was still holding out to be true, because all it took was a few deep breaths and the contractions were over. SWEET. Now all I needed to do was to get to 10 centimeters and bring this little angel into the world.
I am literally laughing as I write this. Laughing. And I am on a plane and people are starting to think I may be crazy or that I am a morning drinker. I am neither.
So, back to the contractions. They started getting more intense and happening more frequently. They got so painful that I was no longer convinced that “breathing through it” was a smart philosophy . In fact, I was pretty sure I had stopped breathing altogether and I was about to pass out. I was starting to wonder that maybe I didn’t think this “having a baby thing” through all the way.
To say Olivia didn’t want to come out on June 10th is an understatement. I never made it past 1 centimeter on 6/10. To say she didn’t want to come out on June 11th would be just downright entertaining, except it wasn’t. After 15 hours of being induced, trying every trick the doctor and nurses had up their sleeve and being naked in front of so many strangers that it started to not bother me anymore I finally caved in and said the magic word – REDRUM – to my husband. That was our code word for get me the epidural. NOW. Part 1 of the plan – have natural childbirth – down the drain. Just for the record, the other 20 parts of the plan went down the drain also, mostly because the other plans we made seemed so realistic when writing them and completely bonkers once she actually came into the world (Part 2 of the plan – don’t let the baby sleep in the nursery). I think you get the drift.
To say Olivia didn’t want to come out on June 12th would also be correct, but this is where mommy’s stubbornness would prove to be a worthy opponent to my sweet child. 14 short hours after the epidural was administered, and just 3 short hours after I started pushing Olivia and I met (I actually got to pull her out of me and hold her in her first moments of life which was the BEST moment of my life so far and will go down as the BEST moment of my life forever). It was in “that moment” where everything that mattered before didn’t matter at all. And everything that I thought would matter again, wouldn’t matter either. You just look at life differently after giving birth. But it isn’t just giving birth that brings about “that moment”. It is battling an illness until you have beat it. It is running a marathon after losing your legs. It is forgiving an enemy that doesn’t deserve to be forgiven. Life is full of “that moment” where we get to become better people then we were before. Where are lives will forever be changed for the better.
It has taken me 3 months to write about my “that moment”. I can’t believe how fast time flies and it is easy to get caught up in that, but for now, I am embracing being a new mom and love seeing how my other three kids are bonding with their little sister. The unexpected gift in all of this, however, was how much closer my husband and I have gotten since Olivia came into this world. You know, you think you love someone with all of your heart, but then you make a little human together and the game just gets taken up a notch. And for that I am eternally grateful to God.
Life will give each of us “that moment”. Maybe several of them. Are you open to it? Have you already had it?