We sat together and calmly figured out what we wanted to do. The fact that we had both grown up in very violent homes probably served as a kind of protection for us. I don't remember us crying at all that day. Children who suffer the kinds of trauma that we had have an uncanny way of being calm in crazy situations. We couldn't reach our families for hours and didn't know if we ever would. Eventually we decided to take our chances and walked over seven miles uptown until we could be picked up by a family member.
We've been through so much together, there was no way I was missing the birth of my "nephew."
Unfortunately, I wasn't there for the actual birth because of hospital regulations on how many people could be in the room, but I was there the whole day before and the whole day after.
I sat with her on the bed during contractions kneading her back with my fists until they passed. It was hard seeing her in pain but I knew it was much more manageable than the period pain she had back in college. These contractions were child's play compared to those! I was so proud of how she kept it together. She really only freaked out when she got an epidural and was convinced that her back was swelling up. It totally wasn't but I still checked three times just to reassure her.
EH was very wary about me participating in the whole experience; worried that I might not be able to handle it and that he would get the brunt of the fallout. I wish I could say that I kept it cool the whole time but that would be a lie. What I was able to do was excuse myself when it got to be too much for me, which was maybe once or twice. I think what got to me the most was that she didn't seem as happy as I thought she would be. Now, this was probably because she hadn't really slept in three days and was feeling pretty overwhelmed by all the people coming in and out and by the fact that she was now someone's mother, literally, overnight. This is yet another negative drawback of dealing with infertility; that sneaking suspicion that if you were given the chance you could do it better.
And, of course, I couldn't help but think of EH and I's own struggle to bring a child into the world. How much time has passed on this journey and how much time is still left to go. Despite how broken I was feeling, I knew I would regret it if I wasn't a part of this.
Happy Birthday, Baby M! Welcome to the World :-)