5 years ago today my first baby boy was born. This first birth did not go the way I had wanted it to go. Learning to release control and go with the flow before my son entered the world has turned out to be the greatest gift of all, well, the second greatest.
My sweet baby boy – Happy 5th Birthday to you. Thank you for teaching me to love in ways I never thought possible. Your adventurous spirit keeps me on my toes. Your love of life brings joy to everyone you meet. Your strong will? Well, it will serve you well. In the future. You are the sweetest boy I know. The greatest big brother. Your daddy and I are so blessed you came into our lives. We cannot imagine our lives without you. Here is the story of your birth in a letter I wrote to our amazing doula and friend, Leah Miller, soon after you were born. I love you Booker. Love, Mommy.
It’s Saturday night May 23rd at 10:58pm. I’m sitting on my back porch with a baby monitor hoping my sweet boy sleeps for another hour (and secretly wishing he’d wake so I can hold him in my arms and kiss his little head). As I look out over Griffith Park I realize that it was just 15 weeks ago today that we shared a three-day adventure in the Cedar Sinai Labor and Delivery wing.
What an awesome and challenging three days. When I tell people I had 56 hours of labor they are shocked and horrified. But when I think back on it I remember not the hours but my hero of a husband, my Mom pacing the hallways, my girlfriends bringing flowers, doing yoga poses with you in the hallways, rhythmically breathing out vowel sounds, sneaking bites of avocado and almond butter, singing and dancing to Ben Harper, and laughing through the sleepiness. It is true what they say; “you forget the pain of labor.” Perhaps this is nature’s way to ensure that we keep procreating but I also attribute this to your patience with me as I cried and began to regret “coming into the hospital too early.”
I so wanted a birth without interventions. I read every book out there. I practiced yoga and ate a healthy diet, I hired a hypnobirth specialist, and I visualized my perfect birth at least three times a day. After accepting that a home birth was out of our financial means John and I equipped ourselves with every tool possible to have a natural birth in the hospital. Thank goodness we had prepared and thank goodness you were there to help us.
If there is one thing that a new mom discovers quickly it is that her idea of the way things should go and the way they actually end up are not necessarily the same. You cannot time a poopy diaper, a runny nose or a sudden meltdown. There is a tiny new soul that has a say in things and thank God for that. What you can do is learn how to change a diaper, suck snot and soothe a fussy baby. What an amazing lesson I was taught cramped up in the LDR with that dreaded heart rate monitor attached to my huge belly.
We all did such an amazing job in that hospital. Refusing interventions, accepting others, demanding that we be listened too. Most of all dealing with the circumstances as they arose. We had fun enduring the long days and nights together; John and I able to love on each other while you took care of us both. The moment that little 6lb 10oz bundle of goodness, Booker Martin Webb, slid out of me was truly orgasmic. It is a feeling like no other. Looking into his Father’s eyes as our son entered the world. The disappointments I had endured because my “plan” was interrupted flew out the birthing room window into the city lights of Hollywood. The Cytotec, the Pitocin, the epidural, and all those things I cursed from the beginning, no longer mattered. In the end those 56 hours were the most amazing hours of my life and I want to thank you for being there through every single minute. John and I are so grateful for you. Sometimes things don’t end up how you’d hoped they would, they turn out even better.