Welcome to the world my sweet boy!
Dear Little Luke,
You were born on Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 at 7:49 in the morning. You arrived on your own time without any inductions or prodding. You were five days overdue but I had faith you would come when ready. The only thing I did to encourage you was walk. The last few days of my pregnancy I took several walks around the lake by our house in the early morning and evening hours. I could see all the new family of ducks with their tiny ducklings and smiled as I thought of waiting for a duckling of my own. They were quiet and peaceful walks as I contemplated our new life with you.
I went to one last OB visit on Tuesday afternoon and pretty much after leaving the office I began having regular contractions. I stopped by at the grocery store to pick up something for dinner. I was anxious and excited, wondering if these contractions would turn into true labor or just some more false alarms. Your Nana and Tata were home with your brother and sisters. Your daddy had to work late this night, something he almost never has to do and I was actually pretty worried he would be too tired to help me through labor if it turned out to be so. He got home about 9 p.m. and I asked him to download a phone app I had heard about that would allow me to keep track of the contractions.
Before heading for bed, your brother and sister were so excited at the prospect of possibly meeting you soon. Actually, the whole family was ardently anticipating your arrival. I tried to rest but could not. After several hours it was obvious this was it. I was in true labor. By about 3 a.m. Wednesday, I told daddy it was time to head to the hospital. Contractions were now less than three minutes apart and lasting over a minute each time.
When we arrived to the the hospital I was already 5 cm dialated. I was happy to be half way there. I was calm throughout most of my labor. With every contraction or pressure wave that came over my body I would try to relax and let my body flow into each wave, imagining that I was floating in a section of calm, warm and safe ocean water near sunset time. Your daddy prepared some relaxing music for me to listen to. He held my hand, massaged my back and as I felt my body want to tense he would remind me to think of the word 'peace' and let go of the pain. As the tension increased I would remind myself that every contraction led me closer to you, this gave me the strength to keep going. I imagined my uterus, the home that had kept you safe for nine months, like a flower petal opening up my cervix and gently but firmly pushing and guiding you out to life.
I felt a bit of nostalgia knowing this would be last time to ever experience the beauty and miracle of child birth. So I was determined to be present in the moment, in tune to my body and all my senses. Child birth is very very very hard work, like climbing a mountain or running a marathon but the reward is so worth it. The emotional high, the journey and each child birth experience is one of the most exquisite, transcendental and beautiful moments in my life. It is hard to explain, if you have not experienced it before. Like trying to explain colors and shapes and/or natural elements to someone that has been blind from birth. So my son, just know that this is the place in my heart I was coming from as I birthed you. A place of peace and acceptance, a place of love, admiration and respect for the creator of life and majesty of birth. I was ready and eager to forever engrain into my heart and mind our story, this labor of love for you.
By the time I hit transition 8-9 centimeters, things got really hard. I felt like a hit a breaking point. But I knew this was the hardest part. The relaxing thoughts seemed to no longer help me but I knew the finish line was close and it was soon time to push you out. I have to say, you were by far the hardest of all my babies to push out. I became tired and fatigued but knew you needed my help. I knew you were doing your best and also laboring from the inside out. It seems your shoulder had become stuck on the way down and that is why it was taking longer for you to be born.
The doctor encouraged me to push and not give up. I could sense some urgency in her voice. I wanted your journey to be over, I wanted you in my arms, so from the the very depths of my soul, I gathered incredible raw power that finally brought you forth into this world. I felt your slippery, warm and wet little body emerge. I saw your beautiful little face. Your chubby cheeks. And your soulful eyes. I was so happy, ecstatic, content ... satisfied. Tears of joy followed. I got to hold you and hug you and love you. And I promise to never stop.
Thanks to your Auntie's Eden and Isabel for being there and recording your birth journey.