Sunday, March 21, 2010

Remembering this night, a year ago

For the last few days, my fellow moms from birth class have been posting updates on Facebook about what they were doing a year ago. "This time last year, I was howling and writhing in pain!" This time last year, I was 29 hours into labor..."

As Tim was going to sleep tonight, I asked him how he was feeling exactly a year ago. He said, "aaaaaaaaaah!" I wonder what Lucy was feeling?

And I've been thinking about it, too. How can you not? So, this time last year, labor was really tough and I was ready to make it stop. For the last hour, I had been laying in the tub by candlelight and listening to Pachelbel's Canon recorded over ocean waves. I tried to drift in and out of sleep between contractions while my amazing doula fanned my face with a lavender-scented fan. My doula, Kate, decided it was time to try something else to move labor along, so she encouraged me to get up and get dressed. I remember trying to make my wet, scraggly hair look cute (I'm so vain!) even though I could barely focus on anything except the intensity of the contractions. Kate and Tim found me some clothes and dragged me down the stairs and outside to the street.

(The only pictures we have from the hard part of labor are blurry. It's fitting, I guess, since my memory of them is so blurry and distorted. )

I walked up and down the block, pausing during contractions to lean on the fence around the hedges, rock back and forth, and moan. I tried walking with one foot on the curb and one in the street to help the baby descend. We kept walking past a man and a woman with a little dog. On our last pass by them, the woman said, "Good luck!" to me and I found it so encouraging. She had an accent, and it reminded me that THIS, labor and birthing, is something that women all over the world can understand in each other, even without words.

Now, a year later, I'm sitting on the couch in the living room. Tim and Lucy are in bed already, but I wanted to stay up and write. I just opened the window behind me, so I can feel the night air on my skin like I did a year ago, as I labored on the sidewalks of Astoria. I had no idea at the time how much harder it would get, and then, how suddenly awesome!

1 comment:

  1. Hugs and Love!

    The fact that you have any pictures at all is a little bit amusing to me.