…Once we settled in, I moved around the room, trying to find the best way to work through each surge as they came. Your daddy and Karlye and I, along with our nurses, functioned very much like a team. Dad and Karlye were almost always at my sides, helping to support me as I moved. I labored with you standing up, squatting, on all fours–any way that felt like it would be best as you moved closer to being born.
Without any medication, I felt every surge like a powerful wave–I could often tell what you needed, and our bodies (yours and mine) worked together through the night to help you into the world. The whole time, I used deep breathing and relaxation techniques that we’d learned in our natural childbirth classes, and Karlye and dad often reminded me to let all of the tension out of my body, which helped me to focus more on you. I even insisted that we play my favorite relaxation CD over and over–it kept me calm in a lot of moments, but I think everyone else was relieved when you were born and we could finally take it off repeat
I remember so much of that night in crystal clear detail. As the hours went by, I continued to find renewed strength every time I thought about seeing your precious face. Twice in labor, I had a hard time believing that I could give birth to you without any pain relief, but those moments were fleeting. With so much support around me, we made it past that doubt and kept working together until you came. At one point, your heart rate would drop with each surge. Everyone got a little nervous for a few minutes, but I began laboring on my left side and you recovered quickly, and well. We were able to keep going the way we had been, one surge at a time, one deep breath at a time.
Each time that the nurses wanted to check my progress, I decided not to find out how things were moving along. This helped me to stay focused, and to eliminate any discouragement I might have otherwise felt. As it turns out, you were doing beautifully in your own timing. Late into the night, when I asked Karlye how things were coming along, you were right there, ready; we were about to meet you for the first time.
Our doctor that night was one of the doctors from the practice, and she turned out the be the perfect person to help usher you into the world. As the moment got close, she and the nurses began moving around quickly, prepping everything for your arrival. They brought in a mirror, so I could watch as you were born–with every surge you were more present and I was more motivated. Again, we worked together through every push. Our doctor was encouraging in every way, and so were Karlye and your dad. I felt so supported, and I was so excited; even though the pain was intense, it was lessened by the way I felt about having you in my arms. We were almost there!
The minute you were born, our doctor and the nurses had to work a little extra to make sure your shoulders didn’t get hurt on the way. At exactly 3:00am, you made your birthday official, and they lifted you up and onto my chest, rubbing you with towels to warm you up and get you crying. Even in your new, wrinkled, funny-colored state, you were the most perfect thing I’d ever seen. Dad announced, “It’s a boy!” and Karlye took pictures. I counted your fingers and toes. We couldn’t take our eyes off of you.
After a few minutes, dad cut your umbilical cord and you cozied up on top of me. The feeling of your skin on my skin and your hand wrapped around my finger was the greatest thing I’d ever experienced to date. You were finally here! The doctor and nurses wanted to know if you had a name right away, and without hesitation, you were officially Henry David. To look at you was to know that it was the perfect name. You had been Henry all along.
When the nurse weighed and measured you, we were surprised to find out that you were nine pounds! Your official stats were 9lbs. 0 oz., and 20.5 inches long. I memorized the numbers that I’d soon be sharing in phone call after phone call as we let friends and family know you had arrived. Things in the room quickly quieted down. Karlye made her way home, everything was cleaned up and after a while, we were left to have time as a family, just us. Life as we knew it would never, ever be the same, and we were thrilled about it!
On the day you were born, you were celebrated in grand fashion as we shared the news with everyone we love. Your grandmas and grandpas came all the way from Chicago to meet you before you were even 24 hours old. You made April 25th a red letter day for each one of us–the first day of your life will always be marked as one of the most perfect days in mine.
Henry David, you are the most wonderful, miraculous, heaven-sent little boy, and the best gift that God could have ever given us as a family. We are different for having you and knowing you, and our lives will be forever enhanced by yours. As your mommy, I could not have asked for anything more wonderful than the task of learning you and loving you, each and every day.
Today you’re a month old and I can hardly believe it! We’ve been through a lot together already, and there is so much more to come. The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace. Num. 6.24-26
love you forever, like you for always, as long as i’m living…
your mommy (mm)