the day you were born.

i had spent the majority of the day with your uncle sean in the recording studio tracking vocals for his pending debut record. the studio we were recording in was actually a house that was turned into a studio. and the actual singing took place in the living room behind a big wall of fabric. the fabric helps control the sounds and makes the recording as pure as possible. 

what WASN'T as pure as possible was my voice. as a mommy becomes 9 months pregnant, the baby in her tummy takes up a LOT of real estate. precious space where my lungs used to be able to fill up with oxygen became incredibly cramped and singing was NOT as easy as it once was when breathing became difficult. sitting down made the inadequate space worse, but standing up for longer than 5 minutes was completely out of the question. 

i had one foot that was remarkably swollen-er than the other. mind you...they were both HUGE. but...ask me for pictures i will show you. my left foot was about one glass of water from blowing up. the doctor instructed me to keep my feet elevated to help with the swelling. 

so. here i am. too heavy to stand. to fat to sit. and trying to sing clearly and perfectly for the record. i had to spread my feet about 4 feet apart, so that even though i was "sitting" on a stool, i was still "standing" and my lungs could stretch out enough for me to be able to hold notes. 

and. even though i thought it all sounded good enough....
your uncle is a perfectionist. 

so i had to sing various lines, over. and over. and over. and over again until it was perfect. 


and. you were either just so sick of my singing that you wanted to run away...or you wanted to help sing...but...the contractions started in the studio. 

i didn't say much about the contractions, though, because i had been having them for almost a week and the doctor said you weren't ready yet. 

so after a grueling day in the studio, i went home and climbed into bed. as i lay in bed, i got a funny feeling that i was not going to be able to make it to work the next day and the first day of the month is my BIGGEST day. it's the day that everyone gets paid! so...i got up...came to the study and worked on payroll so that it would be done in the morning and no one would have to panic about being paid. 

i was up until 2am. minor contractions the whole time. 

the little contractions feel almost like ladies days cramps. you will learn this feeling by the time you are a teenager. and by the time you read this, you will have a very keen understanding about this feeling. 
it's uncomfortable, but it isn't unmanageable. and you just...deal with it. 

but. at 4am when i woke up and you were ready to evacuate....
heaven bless my heart...that is the most...i don't even know how to describe it. 
painful? sure. scary? yes. awkward? absolutely. "oh dear heaven i'm about to be a parent for reals"? yes. very very yes. 

i woke your daddy up and we put on sneakers as fast as we could and drove to the hospital. 
we had been at the hospital at 4am on monday night (two days before) with a false alarm. i was having similar pains but not nearly as intense. after being admitted, they decided i just had a bladder infection which caused false labor and that i was fine and needed to go home. this time, however...i couldn't even see straight. and i knew that if THIS was false labor...i had already decided just to keep you in my stomach forever. 

as we finally got to the delivery room, i got remarkably sicker. i spent most of the time for the next hour or so in the bathroom throwing up and being sick. until finally there was nothing left inside my body but you and bones. 

over the course of the next 4 hours i was hooked to machines and monitors to tell me how hard the contractions were, how far apart they were, what your heart beat was, what mine was, there was even a monitor that the nurse somehow was able to attach to your head while you were still in my tummy to register your stress levels. boy was THAT a weird feeling when you would wiggle around and make that wire move....

as i was being prepped for iv fluids and prepared for the epidural, no less than 10 people came into the room asking various questions about my medical history, insurance information, billing information, and i don't even know what else. 

it's hard to be able to carry 4 different conversations at a time while you are seeing stars and trying not to puke on yourself. as you now know...i can't handle over stimulation very well. 
your dad was VERY aware of this, and was probably scared out of his mind so he helped me diffuse some of the questions and i made everyone stop talking and would only allow people to ask one question at a time. 

finally...all the excitement died down. and the epidural came and i was finally warm and comfy and just sat there on the bed from about 9am until noon. 

at noon, the nurse had me do a "practice push" to make certain i knew how to breath and push correctly, etc. in the middle of my practice push, her eyes got huge and she said "STOP STOPS TOP!!!!!" and ran out of the room to get our doctor. 

10 minutes later, dr walsh was in the room and we were ready to push for reals. before i even finished the first push, you were in my arms. 

just like that. 

you were NOTHING like what i expected. i expected a bald baby. with very pale skin. 
you had a full head of the most beautiful black hair. 

i remember screaming "MY BABY!!!!!" and then i started crying and shaking violently and couldn't stop shaking. i was so very happy. so so very happy. i've never felt that kind of joy before in my life. and i just.could.not.stop.shaking. 

i was covered in blankets, you were taken away from me so that your dad could cut your umbilical cord, the nurses could clean you off and wrap you up in a diaper and a swaddle and while that was happening, dr walsh was helping me deliver the placenta (which is super gross and i will spare you the details about how it looked like a jiggly purple brain....) and then finally. FINALLY. you were handed to me again. 

you immediately started nursing and i finally stopped convulsing. 

your little nails were blood red. and so papery thin. they grew so long that they were attached over the tips of your fingers. i wanted to clip them right then and there, but i was too scared. so i just looked at you. you weren't very good at focusing. your eyes sort of rolled around a lot, but you kept trying and kept trying to see lights and colors. 

i know you were trying to process the sounds and smells and sights. what were you thinking? were you scared? were you confused? were you excited?  i know i was scared. confused. excited. 

and so much joy. 
so much absolute. pure. endless. and terrifying joy. 

....the day that you were born was exactly 2 weeks before the day that you were supposed to be born. which concerns me. i am late to EVERYTHING. your daddy is too. so if you are as early as 2 weeks, i was alarmed that you may not even BE my child...but don't worry. you are absolutely my little girl. 

i have tons and tons of love for you to prove it. 

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