Aiden’s Arrival

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they say that becoming a parent means watching your heart walk around outside of your body…

this week i gave birth to my heart.

in that moment… that searing second where his head appeared and my lungs collapsed… it was as though i finally understood:

love with skin on.

i am a broken woman. i humbly… with utmost adoration… crawl up to the cradle of my son and peer over, seeing only this holiness of heaven… and wondering how i, a mere mortal, might bear the wisdom necessary to raise this fragile flesh.

i cry when he hiccouphs. i fear for his life while pushing his stroller down the sidewalk. i lie awake at night listening to his breathing, worrying he has a cold. and i smell his skin and weep for the baby-powder scent.

it’s been three days.

the next 18 years are going to be long… each day, i will be forced to give up my heart, trusting God to watch over the boy he’s entrusted to us.

the delivery process… one of delirium and pain, blood and tears…

it began on monday, nov. 9. i had asked God to prepare me for the day when i would give birth. every morning trent and i read one chapter of the bible together. that particular morning, John 16: “A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.” (verse 21)

later that day, when i visited the doctor, she asked me if i’d like to be induced… previously breech, aiden had decided to turn, head-down. the doctor thought we should seize the moment. i wondered about tuesday?

the following day i was given cervidil, twice. softening of cervix… then, returning home, to sleep.

wednesday morning, early… dawn streaked pink across sky as we drove back to stratford general hospital. “this time you won’t be leaving without a baby,” they told me.

the doctor broke my water…

i was put on IV: synthetic oxytocin, dripping into veins… forcing harsh contractions…

i bore it, gritting teeth, through the Comedy Network and board games with hubby and nurses, until 8:30 at night when i was too tired to stand and rock, too tired to breathe out the pain, and so–the epidural.

with that, chills… but peace. deep, crazed sleep.

10:30 pm… i’d been contracting since 8 a.m. and had only dilated 2 cm, putting me at 3 cm total. i needed to be at 10 to birth my baby. the doctor stood tall above me; kindly face, suggesting a c-section. “sounds good,” i said groggily. trent said, “how about waiting a couple more hours?”

and so we did. i lay there, vomited four times. more chills. then, the nurse’s face over mine telling me the vomiting had forced aiden’s head to shift and press against cervix… i’d dilated 3 more centimeters in 40 minutes. another 20 minutes, and i was at 9.5. then, they told me to push…

and so i did. red-faced hard. sweating force. 24 minutes of thinking every breath would be my last… of feeling like dying, of knowing something huge rested on me doing this but wondering, did i really care anymore?

then: his head. his beautiful head of black hair. slimy body on mine, curling up in frigid fetal position, and the first frozen cry which shattered my soul and reassured me: i did care. there was nothing i cared about more.

i gave birth to love. and now i get to watch it grow. every day… for the rest of my life.

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7 Comments

  1. Justina said,

    November 16, 2009 at 1:15 am

    I am crying. You are amazing.

  2. Teneale said,

    November 16, 2009 at 2:14 am

    Beautifully written Em. And I can connect with all of it on a personal level. Except that after 3 hours of pushing (I’m so glad yours was much shorter) I did end up in the c-section. I’m so happy for you that you ended up having a natural birth (a little envious as well) and that you and Aiden are so healthy. Wish I could be there! Love you.

  3. Linda said,

    November 16, 2009 at 2:20 am

    Oh Dear Heart, the next 18 years will fly by in a blur of every kind of emotion you can imagine. Grab the moments and cherish the days.
    I pray the Father’s richest blessing on your little family. He has already written the story of this precious baby’s life, and it is a good one.

  4. meghan said,

    November 16, 2009 at 4:15 am

    Like Justina, I am weeping. Isn’t it funny that we wish so hard for them to sleep, but when they wake up, you hug them so hard and realize you missed them for those few precious hours? Being a mother is the most amazing feeling in the world. I know you will appreciate every moment. And we are that much closer to understanding how God feels as He watches us “grow up.”

  5. November 16, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    oh sweet mercy. God is good. rejoicing with you and oh so moved by (and envious of) this gift of life.

  6. Colleen said,

    November 18, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    Gorgeous, Em. Even the pain is gorgeous.

  7. melanie said,

    November 18, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    oh, Beautiful Em. Yes, we do give birth to our heart don’t we…so beautifully put! Enjoy him every day!


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