Twenty-two years ago today, I gave birth to my son. I woke up early this morning thinking about that day; remembering that, after 49 hours of labour, I was finally going to sleep around 7:00 am in the morning. Exhausted from three nights without sleep and two days of excruciating pain, I just wanted to sleep.
I remember lying there in bed, raw and sore, with my son bundled up in a blanket between my husband and I. He was so aware; his eyes were open wide; beautiful almond-shaped eyes set in an oval face with dark hair. He was the most beautiful little being I had ever seen.
I remember lying there wondering who he was; marvelling at the fact that he had been growing inside me for nearly 10 months and yet, I had no idea how he would look. I remember the point in my labour where the midwives told me that I HAD to push between contractions because the baby was under stress. I remember standing on the end of my bed, supported by my husband, trying to push between contractions despite my exhaustion because the baby HAD to come out. I remember thinking, “Oh my God, after all of this and the baby could die”. I also remember thinking, “It is in the hands of the Grandmothers now. There is nothing more that I can do that I am not already doing.”
And so, I pushed; exhausted, worn out and spent. And, for the first of many times as a mother, I surrendered. In those moments, I acknowledged the terrifying truth that as much as I loved the baby I was giving birth to, there are some things in life that are beyond our control. And finally, the baby was born; a beautiful baby boy with almond-shaped eyes. A child was born; a child I would love more than life itself; a child with his own destiny and dreams; a life for which I would be responsible but over which I would never have total control. Twenty-two years ago today, my son was born, and I became a mother.