My daughter was born on a beautiful Tuesday morning, September 2, 2008, in a bright east facing 3rd floor hospital room with big windows and a lot of sunshine. Even though I was days away from my due date, I knew I would be laboring on Labor Day - yes, they call it mommy intuition. My contractions started small and far between but they got stronger and closer together through the night. I kept a small piece of paper and pen next to my bed in which I was writing down my contractions. I was waiting for them to get four minutes apart but before then as I turned in bed, I felt and heard a pop. My water had broken! It was my first time. For my other two pregnancies my water had to be broken for me. I informed my husband who immediately jumped out of bed and into the shower, called my sister who was going to stay with my kids and called my mom who was going to come with me to the hospital. My kids were a little worried as they just knew I had something broken inside and my daughter thought she was in trouble for dropping water. Yes, it was an exciting and confusing five in the morning! The moment we had all been waiting for was here!
My nurse was tough, a little too rough for my liking. But the day was beautiful! The sun was rising and our daughter's birth was near. I remember the the room was filled with a soft glowing morning light. It was the best! I don't know why I notice these things but I do. Maybe it's because I'm a photographer or maybe that's one reason why I am a photographer but anyway the light was the kind that brings hope of a new day, a new beginning, a second chance. My labor was strong, intense and fast. We got to the hospital about 7:30 a.m. and my daughter was born about 3 hours later. I guess I should say it was fast for me, my other labors lasted a lot longer. I wanted to sit up as it felt best, I wanted to actually stand up but they would not let me. Up to this point I had had two natural births including one in water, but now, because of the circumstances I was at the most high tech hospital with a team of great doctors waiting to greet my baby.
As the pushing phase neared I had mixed emotions. I couldn't wait to FINALLY meet my little baby. But I also feared for her life and her future. I knew as long as she was inside of me she would be fine. But of course that home was not meant to be forever. She had to come out. I knew though as it happened with my other pregnancies that I would miss having her so close, carrying her around everywhere I went. I would miss her kicks and her hiccups and the fullness of my belly filled with life and love. But she had spoken, she was now ready to be let out of her safe little cocoon.
As my body and mind worked to diligently bring forth life I was engulfed in intense pain, emotion, power, determination and exhilaration. But thinking of the fight my baby would soon face to save her life, gave me strength and courage to endure. Plus I had birthed my other two children without an epidural so I was determined to do the same for her. As my daughter slipped out and they brought her up I clearly saw her beautiful little chubby face. It was love at first sight! "She is beautiful!" I exclaimed. I turned to look at my husband and he was crying just like he had for the birth of our other two children. She was a big baby just like her brother, 7 lbs 15 ounces and 21 inches long. She looked perfect. It was hard to believe anything was wrong with her. I got to hold her in my arms for brief moment and kiss and talk to her, probably just a few seconds but that moment of her birth and me holding her are forever etched upon my heart. And every time I think of that moment this song comes to my mind as it reminds me of exactly how I felt on that glorious morning the first time I ever saw her face ...
The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave
To the dark and the empty skies my love
The first time ever I kissed your mouth
I felt the earth move through my hand
Like the trembling heart of a captive bird
That was there at my command my love
The first time ever I lay with you
And felt your heart so close to mine
The first time ever I saw your face