The most Brave I could muster

Hooked up with The Gypsy Mama and her Five Minute Friday Writing. Today’s topic: Brave. The concept: write for five minutes without stopping or correcting. I did okay for my first try. And yes, I know I’m late.
Okay go:
I remember that day when I had never seen his face. A rumor of a baby. Pain and tightness. Deep breathing. Phone calls from family and friends. More breathing. 
Then to the hospital. It would be soon now. But it wasn’t. Slower and slower than I thought I would go. And then all the stories I heard that were bad came true. My natural nice slow deep breathing, bathtub birth was leaving. Strapped to a hospital bed, nausea, baby’s heart rate. This isn’t normal, they were telling me. Fear came. And pain. And fear. And pain. I asked for medicine but it just made me a little sleepy. They were going to have to sedate me. Something was going to have to change.
Then something did. Heart rate up. Mom doing better too. My mother held my hand and tag-teamed with Josh. Then Rachel came. She sat by the tub I could sit in now. I groaned and she reminded me to breathe. Worship music played in the background but I don’t remember it. I remember groaning and moving in and out of this beautiful trance. Thank God for it. Thank God for Rachel and her quietness. For Josh and his steadyness. For my mother and her comfort. They were all there at just the right time. 
And then he came. After the new day, he came and I forgot it all. The pain, the tightness and cramping and agony of it all. Forgotten. It was the most courage I’d ever had but I had no way to leave the moment. We were all in. Me and Josh and this baby we’d never met. And when he came, the bravery was worth it all. 
And STOP.
A few photos of the journey:

Right before we left for the hospital, in between contractions. I thought after a day and half of labor that I was at a 4. I was at a 2.
A couple hours into hospital labor and I’d lost my composure. It was “zombie pain brain”, all literal, all the time. Cords everywhere, beeps and machines and not the frolicky, floating labor I’d dreamed up. But my faithful mother just sat there and prayed and prayed and held my hand and looked concerned because she really was. Just what I needed from her.

I didn’t know I could do it but I did it. There was no turning back even though I felt like bailing. But this was my reward. At 12:51 am on a November Monday, I got what I’d been waiting for. Worth every minute.

 And here are the all-stars:

My miraculous mother. Look at her with her minutes-old grandson, a Natural at Nonna.

My handsome, heroic husband. He endured labor too, mostly in the form of me not laughing at his jokes for about 6 hours. I’m sure that was very painful. But seriously, a stand-up guy who bring calm to every situation.

And Rachel, my heaven-sent doula. I didn’t call her until I got control of my labor back and headed to the birthing tub. I wish I had called her earlier. She was amazing! But she was right there when and where she needed to be, breathing peace into the intensity. What a blessing!
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