Five years ago, I woke up and knew my life would be changing in the greatest way. I was nervous and cried as I made my morning trip to the bathroom. I looked in the mirror at the pregnant Megan, and said goodbye, as the next time I looked into this mirror, I'd be a mother. Caitlin's mother... And so it began, my labor of love.
It was a Tuesday, just like today, and I was on my way to lie to the labor and delivery triage nurse that my water had broke. It was a master plan hatched by my exhausted OBGYN, who had tried to solidify not one, but three due dates. Caitlin surpassed them all. Like everything that has happend with her since that Tuesday, she does what she wants when she is ready. Why would her birth be any different? So the plan was, another trip to the hospital, a little white lie, and the promise that when he arrived, he would break my water and they would have to admit me at his orders. Still I was nervous. My induction had been cancelled the Friday before, and I was heartbroken and disapointed. I was still nervous that today wouldn't be the day.
I remember I had this little cramp, real low in my abdomen. Like a period cramp, not at all painful, just annoying. I had been reassured that this was not a contraction, just some stretching. My entire pregnancy I was convinced that I was going to be that lady who has her kid on the bathroom floor or in the toilet, because I wouldn't know labor when I was upon it. So here I was, at 6:30 in the morning, waddling my way to the car, husband wheeling the bag, me gripping the boppy, excited and hopeful of the day to come. I remember looking at him and saying "This is it" and he said "It's too late to turn back right?". And we laughed.
Into the ER we went, lying through our teeth, and getting a free pass to triage. I told the triage nurse that I wasn't sure if my water had broken, but since I was well past my last June 19th due date I wanted to be sure. She was very reassuring, saying that first time deliveries were always a mystery while hooking me up to monitors. Let's see what's happening here, she said. Well, the joke was on me and my naieve interpretation of contractions. The little annoying cramps were indeed contractions, and were now 8 minutes apart. The nurse even laughed when she said, well your water isn't broken but you're in labor dear. Gown on, insert IV, wheeled to a birthing room. Into my labor of love.
This was it. I was in a birthing room. Surrounded by monitors, and beeps and whooshing sounds. I was in a bed, I was in labor, I was going to finally meet my daughter. I felt great, until my Doc came and broke my water. As a side note, I had been telling John that the "pressure" was killing me and that I just knew if my water broke I would feel amazing. Well for a split second I did feel amazing, and then I felt like my body was ripping in two.
I was so scared, and started telling John I wanted to go home. Please take me home, I don't want to do this, I can't do this. He said I could and I would, because Caitlin was finally coming and I didn't want to have her in the toilet, right? So I told my nurse my pain threshold was at a 100,000 on a scale of 1 to 10, and to please give me the good drugs now, because I couldn't do this and wouldn't do this with out the drugs!!
So I got the drugs. And they were good. Then time sped up. Water broken at 1:15pm, epidural at 2:15pm, fully dialated at 3:15pm. Not what you'd expect with a first baby. Not at all, but here I was, resting, if not shaking and itching from an epidural, and ready for the next big thing. Which was pushing.
I pushed. For a time I will not mention as you just might stop reading. I will say that the crowning portion was the worst and that when I was told to stop pushing my body took over and out she came. Not a typical first birth, but nothing about me, motherhood and Caitlin has been typical.
At 4:17pm I went from Megan to Mom. She was here. A tiny 6lb, 7oz, being that I grew. How did we go from being in my belly to in my arms? Surreal is not even a good description. I didn't cry, I didn't laugh, I don't think I felt anything at all. It was like watching someone else's baby get cleaned up. How on earth is this MY baby? What do you mean I'm a mother? I can barely take care of myself. Doesn't the universe realize how completely self centered I am?
Then she was on my chest. So tiny and warm, eyes adjusting to the light, and then her cry. Her high pitched, mouth wide cry. And my heart was no longer mine. It was hers. Suddenly my life's mission was to make it all better. No matter what "it all" was. My labor of love took on a new life at a new speed.
I wish I could say that the last 5 years have been as easy as my labor and delivery. I wish I could tell you that I was blissful and magically happy. I wish I could tell you that I handled every struggle with grace, and every milestone with tears of joy. But I can't. I can't tell you any of those things.
I can tell you that no matter how I felt about myself, I loved Caitlin so fiercely that it hurt my core. That I'd lay awake at night and watch her sleep, afraid that some greater source would realize I sucked at motherhood and take her away. I will tell you that I convinced myself that if I could just make it to (enter milestone here) that it would be ok, it would be enough.
I can honestly say that even though it was hard, and heartbreaking, I'd do it all again today. Just like I did five years ago. And I'd change nothing about our journey from birth to five years.
Today Cailtin turns 5. She is every bit of 5 as one can imagine. Sassy and spirited. She has her momma's looks and her Daddy's personality. She is stubborn about most everything, and loves unicorns and glitter. She has also been a teacher. She has taught me everything I needed to know about myself, about motherhood, and just how far I can skirt on the edge and still make it through.
And so it continues, my labor of love...
This post was inspired by Bloom, by Kelle Hampton
Today's post was sponsored by Stephany of Ol' Mother Hyder
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