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Monday, July 11, 2011

the story of little man

My body was contracting for a week before you came. I spent hours pacing the floors of the house, literally wringing my hands, and crying.

Was this supposed to happen?

We went to the hospital late one night. I was 1cm dialated. The nurses laughed and sent me home. I was so mad no one was taking me seriously. THIS IS REAL! I wanted to yell at them.

The next day I decided to smile through the pain, not let it get to me. We went to the park, next to the rose garden by the lake. Your dada laid out a blanket. Sitting under the crab apple trees, shaded from the summer heat, I finally felt at peace with you coming, the not knowing of it all.

My giant belly, with you squirming inside, was so uncomfortable in the heat but, I was at peace. We ate grapes and salads from the deli and talked and laughed. I laid with my head in your dada’s lap, squinting up at the blue sky, sunlight dancing through the leaves.

At 2am that night my water broke.

I was ready.

We went to the hospital. The same nurses let us in this time. I refused drugs for hours. I wanted you born under the best possible circumstances. Finally I relented, just to take the edge off they told me. I rolled on a ball, listening to music through my ipod, the same ipod that saw me through flight after flight into Baghdad, runs in the dusty heat. This time I, as a warrior, focused in on the music, each wave of pain rolling through me, requiring concentration I didn’t know I had.

But you wouldn't come.

They told me you were stuck, your little head tilted to the side, and your heart rate was dipping. I didn’t know then but that was pretty normal at 7cm and in transition. I learned later that if I had gotten up, walked around, moved a little you would’ve likely un-stuck yourself.

But, I didn’t know. I was scared and tired. I took the epidural. They gave me 30 minutes of lying on my side to "see if that helps."

When they came back they told me you would have to be cut out of my belly. I was devastated. I sobbed and sobbed. Please, isn’t there any other way? I wanted this to be perfect, your entrance into the world. I should've fought back but I didnt know.

Resigned to what they told us, they wheeled me into the sterile room. I was exhausted from 16 hours of struggle, plus the days before of pre-labor. The doctors worked for an hour to un-wedge you out of my pelvis. I choked on my vomit, neon green stomach bile, and lurched to the side. They yelled at me to be still. I focused my breathing, again, for you, taking tiny gasps of air so they could get you out.

Finally they pulled you from me, and cut the cord that attached us together for so long. I felt suddenly empty, like part of me had been removed. But then they held your wriggling red and bruised body over the curtain so I could see you.

My boy. My son. My Jack.

They took you to the table to check you out. I wanted desperately to hold you, touch you, but I was too tired to insist. Your squall sounded so scared, almost frantic. I could see you on the little table right by my head. Dada crying tears of joys over you.

I called out in a croaking voice, "It's okay, little man. Mama is here. I am here!"

You immediately stopped crying and turned your head toward me.

And in that instant I fell in love. We were no longer one, but you were mine.


  1. Beautiful. It's so very, very scary and huge, this having children. Not to be greedy, but can we hear the story of Little Miss?

    Hugs to you, and hang in there with the heat!

  2. Oh, you are really tugging at the heartstrings! Ben had a similar birth story--prodromal labor for 48 hours and asynclitic (turned) head. But the nurse at our natural-child birth friendly hospital kept having me turn from one side to the other. It was annoying but effective! When he got in the right position, my body took over and pushed out a 10 lb baby in 30 minutes. I will say that is the only labor where I really wanted drugs--I am glad I didn't have them because I have always thought that could have led to a C section.


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