It was 3:30am and I woke up to my toes curling. The pain in my abdomen was real. I breathed through, these false promises of delivery had come before. 4am and Thing One enters our room with requests for TV. I comply-I’m up anyway. 4:30am and Thing Two starts to bang on his door with demands for MAMA!! I slowly lumber my nearly 42 week pregnant body up the stairs and gingerly lift him to carry him down the stairs. In true morning fashion, both Thing One and Two clamber all over my body to find a soft spot to enjoy watching their cartoons. My toes continue to curl up and breathing through becomes more sharp.
Is this what going into labour feels like?
At 5am I decide that maybe we should wake up daddy. Getting up the stairs and to our room I can feel tears choking in my chest. ‘Babe, wake up’ The boys excitedly climb aboard our bed and tickle daddy to wake him. ‘So are we going to the hospital then?’ he asks, clearly not yet awake. I say no. Maybe this is all in my head. Maybe I need a shower.
Warm water pouring over my head, I am confused which is from the faucet and which is from my eyes. Tears stream down my face. I am sore and I am scared. I have never gone into labour before. Not without the assistance of IV’s and nurses. My husband suggests I call the midwife. I protest, I don’t want to bother her. He reminds me that we live a distance from the hospital and it isn’t a bother.
Tears erupt from my chest at the sound of her voice. I don’t know if I am in so much pain as I am laced with fear. We wake a tired Aunt sleeping down stairs on standby for just such an occasion as this and I sneak out with a blown kiss before Thing One and Two see my tear stained cheeks and fear filled eyes.
Contractions on the 30 minute trip from point A to B shrink from 5min to less than 1min.
Waiting in front of Emergency was the longest 2 minutes of my life.
Placed in a wheelchair, whisked to maternity, kind nurses smiling with no words just simple gestures of direction to follow led us to our room. Husband looks at me and says, ‘We’re too late for you to have any pain medication’ my eyes become large and I feel a fear unlike anything I have ever experienced before.
But I did. In under two hours from arriving at the hospital our Lil’ Miss was placed in my arms. A contented little peach with a matte of auburn hair atop her 9lb 8oz body. She had at last arrived. Rounding out our family to a complete circle of five.
My birthing experience here with her was the start of something I am just catching up to. Delivering her without the aid of pain release is an accomplishment I truly did not believe was something I was capable of.
This frame, with aches from too many bounces on one hip and tight shoulders from carrying both toddler and tricycle while carrying baby and pushing stroller. This frame, now wider and stretched with scars is my blessing. This is the catching up that I need to do. I have been resenting this frame instead of celebrating it. This frame grew three healthy children. This frame birthed three healthy children. This frame, though wider and softer is the home for three resting bums, six adorable feet and hands to clamber and giggle on.
Right now, as I look at the clock and realize that it is almost exactly a year to the minute since I first met my daughter, I am reminded of my many blessings. Today I acknowledge that this frame; my body, though wider and softer being one of them.