on a rainy night in october, with less than 20 minutes left in the day, you came. you were pink and slimy and quiet as you drew your first breath, and i was so happy to be done. we leaned over you, your daddy and i both with our hands under your body, taking in our first looks of your nose, your mouth, your fingers and your toes. you were beautiful.
i was certain that you would come late, as your brother was late, and your nana said i was late, and so was your uncle — it was the way of birth in our family, and you were no exception. twice, i thought you were coming. twice, i woke up in the middle of the night, experiencing the sensations and pains of your arrival. once, i called our friend to come be with your big brother at 3am. once, your father and i walked to pick up gum at the 24-hour convenience store at 4am. twice, i fell back asleep after contractions stopped and my tears were dried, convinced that you were not coming like i thought you were.
five days after your due date, i woke early in the morning at 5:30a, once again feeling those pains. they were slightly different, so this time, i was sure. we made the calls. we packed the bags. i took my time getting ready, not knowing how long it would be. i did laundry and washed dishes. i straightened my hair and put in my contacts. i brushed my teeth and ate tiny snacks. at 9am, your dad and brother and i went to a park to play. i was having contractions 10 to 15 minutes apart, and they were getting stronger. yes, i thought, this is it. today, we would meet you — ezra dean.
around 11am, after about five hours of here and there contractions that weren’t too bothersome, we went to get checked at the midwife’s. i was 4cm dilated. and the contractions had stopped. so we went for a walk.
your papa and i drove to kendai university and spent a few hours walking its hills, taking in the fall scenery, talking and musing and dreaming. i even cried a little, which is normal for me these days. it was a lovely time, but things had completely subsided. it was 3pm. perhaps you would not come.
we went home and i talked with a friend on the phone. i ate a snack and fell asleep, sadness and frustration seeping over my heart. am i doing something wrong? why will he not come? at 5pm, i woke up and cried and prayed with your papa. you would come when the time was right and determined, i wanted to believe it. i would wait for that time. God knew when it was, and things were safe in His hands. i breathed a sigh of relief, knowing it wasn’t my will that made things happen. our spirits lightened, we set out to fully enjoy the evening. and we did.
at 6:30p, as we were on our way to eat, i started getting contractions again, only every half-hour. the midwife wanted us to come after dinner so she could see how things were progressing. by 7:30, they were every 15 minutes, and more intense, and i was beginning to feel very ‘serious,’ as they say. no more small talk. no more laughter. no more playing around.
at 8p, we arrived at the midwife’s, and she checked me — dilated to 6/7cm, and she told me you may come fast, so it would be better to come and stay at her house now. we dropped off your big brother and our friend at home and returned to the midwife’s, excitement in your papa’s eyes and seriousness in mine, so very ready to meet you.
we listened to music. we read. i stopped everything to breathe and survive the contractions. by 10pm, they were coming every 5 minutes and i could have no noise or distraction in the midst of them. your papa gently stroked my back and did what he could to encourage me. you were coming. you were finally coming.
at 10:45, the contractions were one on top of the other, and i started to make a lot of noise. the midwife rushed upstairs to help, and at 11:15, with a squeal of pain, my water broke. i was ready. i was so ready.
i had been laboring on my hands and knees and was too tired to move, so i started pushing from there and making more noises that sounded strange to my own ears. i wanted this over. i wanted to be done. i wanted you here. the midwife let your head crown just a little, and would gently push you back inside to help me stretch. it was painful, and i kept asking your papa, “is he out yet? is his head out?” finally, she let you make your way, and it was nothing but bliss to finally leave my hands and knees and sit with you in front of me on that october night.
you slid out into your father’s hands, and as i said, we both hovered over you, taking you in. you were so distinctly you to my eyes. not like your brother. you had your own eyes, your own nose, your own hair. just you. your papa cut the cord and i took it all in. i could hardly believe the blonde haired, blue eyed babe in my hands was you, and you were mine.
and i was so glad the wait was over. and you had finally made your way.
welcome, ezra dean, to this life of ours.