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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Birthdays have a Whole New Meaning

It was a year ago this evening...

I was huge, hot, and tired of being pregnant.  Around this exact time I had just ended a horribly crazy day at work full of ambulances, incompetent coworkers, and braxton-hicks contractions.  

Or so I thought they were Braxton-Hicks....

Turns out that I didn't want to admit it to myself, but deep down I knew that I was in labor.  

This is one of the last photos of me pregnant, a couple of weeks before Emily arrive.  I look like I was smuggling a basketball!

Its funny how significant that moment of labor and birth becomes in a woman's life.  One thing I've learned in the last year is that every woman, and I mean every woman who has experienced labor and delivery has a story and they remember every single detail.  Even extremely elderly and demented ladies I have talked to can't remember their husband died a decade ago, but can recall exactly what it was like to be in labor and deliver a baby in her farm house seventy years ago.  Its a bond that many women share, that connects generations, and is universal to all those who have experienced it.  Not only is the actual act of giving birth profoundly powerful, but the memory is, too

Now as I sit here, relaxing on this cool and rainy evening, I glance at the clock and recall what I was doing this moment and that a year ago.  Shortly from now I would have been heading to the hospital for the first time only to return and have my water break moments later.  I'd be in for the first of many long, sleepless nights.  Also, I would be experiencing the most physically painful hours I have ever had in my entire life.  Bless Shawn's heart for tolerating all the yelling and bizarre demands.  

Looking back on the past year has probably been one of the most drastic and amazing years of my entire life.  From the trials and struggles of the sleepless nights, breast feeding, and GERD, to all the wonderful firsts this year has brought.

While part of me can't believe that my little tiny newborn baby graced this world at 2:15am on September 5th of last year and I can't believe that I have a bouncing, energetic, almost-toddler.  

And still, after this whole year, when I brought a new life into this world is the moment that is so profoundly replaying in my mind over everything else. A birthday means so much more after you've given birth. 

5 comments: said...

What a sweet picture of your little Emily! Your observation about women who have given birth remembering the details is so true. I recall my grandmother telling me about giving birth to my father on the kitchen table of her farmhouse in 1917, with details. She told me this when I was expecting my first child. Oh, and I am a young 71 yrs. and that 1st child is 43 now. Nancy

Smile Steady said...

I was just thinking about you yesterday ("Labor" day). I'm sorry I haven't been in touch lately, but I'm so glad to see you're doing well. And little Miss Emily is gorgeous, as always!

Little Wife said...

I love looking back at pictures of my nieces and nephews from when they were just born... I always have trouble believing they were ever that small!

Congratulations on one whole year! She's so beautiful!

Rachel said...

Happy Birthday Emily!

Kristin said...

Our little ones are so close together. Hank turned 1 at the end of August, and I just couldn't believe how time had flown! Emily looks stinkin' adorable. Happy Birthday!

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