This time last year, my water broke. 3:30 am. Your father had just climbed into bed after spending a long evening playing awesomely nerdy games with friends downstairs in our townhome in Virginia. He stayed up until 3 am because you were already three days late and we were convinced you weren't coming until the doctors forced you to. We were wrong. So, even though he only had half an hour's sleep, we woke Daddy up and I told him it was time to go.
I was pretty nervous. Everyone says that childbirth is painful and that you don't get to sleep much afterward for the rest of your life. I hate pain and I love sleep, so I wasn't terribly thrilled to get the day started, no offense. I did take comfort in the facts that I would most likely live and that the pain part would most likely be over in 10 - 30 hours. I was a little annoyed that Daddy hadn't slept because I knew he'd need rest to be able to help me make it through everything. I was also annoyed that I was leaking weird fluids.
We checked into the hospital, and I started feeling contractions about ten minutes after they hooked me up to monitors. We went into a nice large labor room, which was great because then Fee Faw and Grandpa and Auntie Jenna could visit. I was in labor for about eight or nine hours before the pain became unbearable and I asked for an epidural.
Eiley, some mommas power through labor with no medication. That's just not how I roll. I wasn't trying to be a hero.
The drug dealer arrived and told me that I'd feel a pinch of a needle and then I wouldn't feel anything. That guy was a liar. I felt the pinch then relaxed and focused on sitting the way he had requested. And then I felt the most horrible, searing pain of my life. I'd say it felt like someone stabbing me in the back, but if you think about it, he was actually stabbing me in the back. Daddy had to leave the room and cry a little bit afterwards because it hurt him to see me hurting. He's nice like that.
I was comfortable for eight whole hours. I napped, listened to music, hung out with my family, drank juice, breathedbreathedbreathed. Then you decided you wanted to join the party, so I had to push.
Daddy and I had gone to a childbirth class about a month before you were born. We learned techniques about how to breathe, how to focus, how to make everything easier. I threw all that out the window. My eyes were shut for the nearly two hours that I was pushing. (In fact, I learned afterward that there was a nurse who arrived right as I began pushing who I didn't see until about 20 minutes after you were born.) I'm embarrassed to tell you that I screamed for my last few pushes. The nice doctor gave me a little talking to, gently reminding me that I could use all that screaming energy to push you out of there. I listened to him, and he was right - I focused and you plopped right on out. (I later apologized to the staff for the cliche childbirth scene. No one wants to go to work and listen to a fat lady scream at them.)
You were the most disgusting, perfect, beautiful, slimy, giant little thing I'd ever seen. I stared into your eyes for a good five minutes, shocked by you, you living miracle. It was so nice to meet you, and I love getting to know you more and more each day. Daddy and I adore you. Happy birthday!