7 months ago when David and I walked into the hospital to induce labor, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what life would be like when we walked back out of that hospital. I had EVERYTHING prepared – the nursery was perfect, the carseat was safely installed by experts, all of her clothes were laid out, our family was queued up…even Jasper was prepped with a towel washed in Dreft. I’m telling you, I was READY!
I checked in to the hospital with the biggest smile on my face, was escorted to our delivery room and I vividly remember the nurse saying with a little giggle “I’ve never seen a mom-to-be come in with such a big beaming smile and bounce in her step!” All I could think about was how excited I was to meet our Josephine and I truly think that positive attitude is what got me through the delivery.
The Pitocin was soon administered, I was surrounded by family (including my best friend, Nisha, and we waited for labor to begin. Even as we waited and contractions began, all I could think about was how excited I was to meet Joie and I kept telling myself I would be strong and fight for a safe and healthy delivery.
The next phase of this story is long and gets a little sticky but to sum it up, I did take the epidural – 2 in fact. And the anesthesiologist swore that I must be immune to their effect. I’m pretty certain they wore off within 45 minutes. My body suffered through the pain and pressure, I ran a fever, Joie’s heart rate spiked and we were threatened with the possibility of a c-section. David was so worried but I remained calm and felt an unearthly peace in my heart. We were in the hands of God at that point and all I could do was pray. I prayed for calm, because I knew that would help my fever and Joie’s heart rate. I prayed for the doctor and nurse to be patient as my body prepared for a natural delivery. And I prayed that I could continue to be strong.
Soon enough I was ready to push and the most magical moment yet was David seeing Joie’s head for the first time while she was making her way into the birth canal. I think that’s the moment that it became “real” for David – the moment he first saw his daughter. Joie was born, face up, 18 hours from the beginning of labor. She was and is beautiful and perfect in every single way.
When we finally made it to the recovery room, David helped me to the restroom so that I could clean myself up a bit. Looking back, I realize how crazy that was but there was so much adrenaline rushing through my body and sleep was the last thing on my mind. I was trying to feel “normal” in the most abnormal hours of my life so far! David went to sleep and I nursed Joie and spent most of my time just watching her and holding her every chance I got. Looking back, I wish I had taken more opportunity to rest and let myself heal. But, as David said while we were reminiscing last night, “…you’re just not that kind of woman, my love.” And that is where this post really takes flight.
As Moms, we do what it takes. We put ourselves last. We have a plan for raising a healthy baby and we make it happen. We are warriors. Rest and self care come last. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying self-care isn’t important or shouldn’t be a priority. I’m merely saying that motherhood always takes priority – whether that’s right or not.
In that hospital, I delivered another life that will always take priority over my own. I sacrificed my tight skin, gained a lot of stretch marks that I may never get rid of, gained weight that I WILL get rid of, lost temporary control of my bladder, learned to wear a diaper and for weeks, dealt with the pain that my body endured as I started to heal. I’m telling you, all of you Moms out there, you…we…are WARRIORS!
I walked into that hospital a young lady with no idea what sacrifice of this kind really meant. David and I walked out with the most joyful miracle we could ever imagine. And as the more seasoned Mommas know, those couple of days are only the beginning of sacrifice as we enter into motherhood.
So on this Mother’s Day, cheers to you Momma: with your leaking breasts, dirty hair, messy house and maybe you’re still wearing your diaper and ice pack panties. You’re all WARRIORS in my eyes! xoxo