Last night, as I was climbing into bed, I looked at the clock: 9:15 (yeah, I know...it was a long weekend).
"Hey, do you realize it was one year ago RIGHT NOW that we checked into the hospital to have Walker??" I commented to Travis.
One year ago right now I was sitting in a hospital room, having just had my water broken, and was getting an epidural. It had been a long night of trying to rest while the contractions began to increase in intensity. We had been watching movies all morning, visiting with friends and family, and generally just sitting around waiting.
It would be another fifteen and a half hours before we welcomed our little boy into the world. One failed attempt at pushing left me convinced that I would have a c-section, something I've come to realize now I thought I'd have all along. While "giving my uterus time to work the baby down" before resuming pushing, I tried to rest, but mostly thought "I can't do this! It's too hard."
Round two started. My mom, mother in law, sister and Travis were all rooting me on. I never thought I'd want anyone in the room but Travis, but after 31 hours of labor, the janitor could have been in the room mopping and I wouldn't have cared. There were a few tears of frustration, many four letter words, and even one "Tell me how far up he still is! I mean, give it to me in INCHES!!" And then for one horrifying moment I thought "what if he's funny looking? What if he's really cone-headed and gray and squishy faced? I don't think I can love him, because right now? Not his biggest fan."
And then he came out. I sobbed in relief. I admit it. I was SO glad to have it over with. And then I heard his sweet little cry. And I bawled even harder. The doctor wiped him up and put him on my tummy. We looked at each other and all of a sudden, trite though it may sound, we were the only two people in the room. Everyone else seemed to fall away as my son (MY SON!) and I got to know one another.
I don't know what I expected him to look like, but he was more amazing than anything I could have imagined. His tiny little hands, his perfect little face, they all took my breath away. He wasn't even a little bit funny looking. He was pink and disgruntled looking and perfect in every way. I snuggled him in and realized that I've never loved anyone more ever in my life. And then Travis was next to me. "Would you like to hold your son?" The look on his face was pure shock and amazement. It was the single most beautiful experience of my life.
Now, when I was in your shoes and I heard people say that, it was all I could do not to roll my eyes. But there's no other way to describe it. It was amazing and weird and miraculous and surreal and astounding and messy and...beautiful. And suddenly, I wouldn't have traded one day of the previous nine months, not one second of the last 31 hours, if it meant giving up that moment.
The next few hours, if not days, were a blur. But that moment, that experience, will never fade from my memory. Looking at Walker, seeing him for the first time, hearing his faint little cry, my entire life changed forever. And I wouldn't go back for anything.