Ten years ago.
I remember when I first found out I was pregnant-- only two months after making the decision to try. I was home alone when I saw that second line, and just like that, I wasn't alone.
Less than four months later, I remember lying in a tent, listening to the rain fall heavy and hard on canvas. I felt the fluttering, then. For the first time, I felt my child move.
I remember sitting up, straining through tears to see an ultrasound image -- no longer a gender-less fetus, but now-- my son.
I remember leaving my doctor's office on Lakeshore Drive-- on a sunny, unseasonably warm October day. Walking west, and then south. Standing in a crowd of people on Michigan Avenue. Waiting, ready to cross over the Chicago River. And wanting to shout "I'm 3 centimeters dilated and 75% effaced!"
I remember, 30 hours later, lying on my side in a hospital bed. Breathing slow and deep. Four hours at nine centimeters. The only thing keeping me whole was Ryan's face -- so close -- and his hand, locked in mine, willing me to hold on, to stay with him, to stay with the baby.
I remember my doctor's voice, "Push! Push! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10! Look, Sandra, he's coming!" Only to see a dime-sized swatch of dark hair. I closed my eyes again, angry. For an hour, I continued to push, to the counts of ten, sometimes twelve. But then, during one of those counts, I heard Ryan's voice crack. I knew that now there was something to see. My son's head. One more big push, and the rest of him just slid out.
And then he was on my belly. Slippery wet, head misshapen from the long labor, eyes so dark.
The most beautiful thing I'd ever seen.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Ten years ago.