My pregnancy with you was rough. When I reflect on how I felt, I have strong memories of nausea and heaviness, which wiped a smile clear off my face. For the most part I felt a dull form of depression, that left me worn and tired. I craved rest and solitude, away from the reasonable demands of your sister and daddy. In the brief moments when I could lay in my bed, still and at peace, I'd rub my ever-expanding belly and feel you safe in my womb. I imagined you contented and calm, well protected from the storm and turmoil I often felt. You were at the center of my inner sanctuary, my haven. This was how I came to your middle name, alone in the warmth of my bed, massaging my tummy, and cooing 'Haven' to you.
The day you were born, began with slight disappointment, as I had resigned myself to the fact that I would never experience the beginning of labor without a little kick from the outside world. You were due on February 26th, but here we were, on March 6th, and I had chosen to be induced again, as I had to do with your sister, 2 weeks past her due-date. It was 8AM, and my midwife examined me to find that I was 4 centimeters dilated and fully effaced (I'd been this close for almost 2 weeks, with only an occasional contraction). My waters were broken, in the hope that labor would begin without the necessity of drugs. By 12 noon, I had been experiencing erratic contractions, but nothing steady enough to truly get things rolling. Pitocin was begun, and in no time, the up and down of fast and furious contractions racked my body. Emotionally and physically, I was ill-prepared to cope with the pain. Weak and wimpy from the start, I was pleading with a higher spirit to time warp me to a different zone. Within 3 hours I'd reached the zenith of my tolerance and made the call for the anesthesiologist. "Epidural, take me away!"
As the numbness spread down my spine and legs, stripping away ALL traces of pain, the dark clouds lifted from my consciousness. My pessimism and depression did a 180 degree flip, and I felt genuine happiness and anticipation for your imminent arrival. The midwife checked my progress, and I was already at 8 centimeters. She figured that we would be meeting you within hours. I was now able to drift in and out of sleep, and although I could feel no pain, I did feel you gradually travel lower through my uterus, and slowly edge your way into the birth canal. By the next time my midwife checked me, she could see your head, and it was time to push. For a half hour I worked to deliver you into this world in relative quiet, calmly surrounded by your encouraging father, the nurse Cheri, and the midwife, Robi Quackenbush. Your father told jokes, and I was actually able to laugh between concentrated pushes. At 6:05 PM, you were born complete, and nestled atop my bosom. I felt instant and deep love for you, my precious. As John Lennon's 'Beautiful Boy' played in the background, your father and I wept tears of joy. I will never forget the pure bliss brought by your presence, your first gift to me.