Six Years Ago: August 10th, 2004

Continued from the last two day’s posts…

It’s the time of year where my mind and emotional body travel back to thoughts, feelings, and memories about what was happening six years ago. It is as if I’m literally transported to the scenes of that time, so real are the sense memories as they float from the unconscious layer, where they normally reside, to consciousness as the anniversary date approaches.

My body remembers…

It’s 6 pm. I’ve been in hard labor since midnight, when we called our doula and she arrived at 1 am. The night was indescribable. I felt like I was in the underworld. By morning, I had used every last resource in my body and psyche, but still no baby. Midwife arrived in the morning to check me: 3 cm. How could I do this? I can’t do it. I can’t do it. I called my best friend, who had delivered her first baby at home five weeks earlier, and sobbed into the phone, I can’t do it. You can, she said. I promise, you can do this. Your body is meant to do this. Your baby is close. I’m here. You can do this. I felt broken, but somehow I went on.

I just got out of the birthing tub because I’m not opening enough. The warm water is slowing me down. My midwife suggests three different options for accelerating labor in order of increasing amounts of pain:  the first is to connect me with an IV since my dehydration could be slowing down labor. The second is to walk. The third is to connect me to the breast pump. We try to first. Nothing. I walk on Daev’s arms, barely able to move, so painful is the back labor. Nothing. Finally, they connect me to the breast pump. The contractions, which were already intolerable, increased tenfold. I screamed and opened. Opened and screamed. I was at 10 cm. I’m ready to push.

I move to the bedroom and lie down on the bed. Hour one. Hour two. I beg to go to the hospital. Leslie (midwife)  reminds me of the commitment I made to this baby. I go on. Hour three. I pushed for three hours. I walk back into the baby’s room where the birthing tub is set up and get back into the water. His head emerges (we don’t know yet that he’s a he). Then Leslie calls out with urgency, “Get her out of the tub!” Daev and Leslie lift me onto the floor. I’m in another world and barely register what’s happening. Leslie commands me to push like I’ve never pushed before. I push like I’m pushing out my soul, my blood, my body, my reason for living. I push out my baby. At last, at 10:08 pm, Everest is born.

After forty-two hours of labor, Everest emerged into the world into his daddy’s loving hands.

And I was born as a mother; my husband was born as a father; we were born as a family.

Happy birthday, my sweet son. Or, in your language, congratulations on having traveled six times around the son. May you travel a hundred more on a healthy and peaceful planet.