Saturday, December 9, 2017

A New Era

Earlier this year, my sister Laurie and I were walking around St. Petersburg, Florida, telling her coworker Maggie about my wedding.

"So, I flew home and tried on my mom's wedding dress," I extolled. "And it just happened to fit perfectly. Which was awesome because I married Quincy the next day and it wasn't like I'd have time to get it altered."

Here's a random picture of me in my momma's wedding dress

I was trying to paint of picture of myself as the quintessential goofball, unable to plan appropriately and saved by the grace of my loved ones.

But with a quasi-exasperated eyeroll, Laurie turned to Maggie and explained it this way: "Because reality has a way of bending to Becky's whims."

I've thought about Laurie's words a thousand times since that moment, not only because her younger-sister annoyance makes me laugh, but because I truly feel like a inexplicably lucky person.

Which brings me to the birth of my son.

Spoiler alert: This story has a happy ending

Whenever anyone asked about my plans for the birth, I kept saying, "All options are on the table." I mean, I've never done this before and I don't know what will happen, so why stress about the perfect delivery?

But even though that informed, open-mind would be the most rational tack, I think everyone has that vision of what the best case scenario would be. For me, I had imagined laboring as a team with Quincy, dealing with the pain through those cute coping techniques Lamaze taught, and bringing Era into the world without an epidural.

Well, I'm telling you: When the contractions started kicking in, I forgot all about laboring tips and comforting techniques. Also, I forgot where my go bag was, how to time a contraction and how to walk.

I was under the misguided impression that the contractions would start slowly and at a low intensity and then build. That is not what happened. I had a monster contraction at 7 a.m. as I snoozed and by the time I started timing them at 8:15 (Oh wait! I have a app for this. Phone. Must phone. Where app? AGH.), they were three minutes apart.

It's getting real.

Quincy flew around the apartment to gather the supplies we needed and make sure the cats would survive our absence and we made the 30 minute drive to our hospital, arriving at 9:30. I was 7 centimeters dilated and clinging to the hope that an epidural would be forthcoming. Dr. Beck, the OB on call that weekend, held her face close to mine and, with her hand on my shoulder, asked me to mentally prepare for the possibility that we wouldn't have time for an epidural.

Needless to say, I was not mentally prepared for anything.

Quincy was, though. Whenever the contractions came, he used one of the Lamaze tricks and applied counter-pressure to my lower back, which helped. He was calm and focused and amazing.

And then, it was time to push. And then, Era was here. At 11:30 a.m., all nine pounds, nine ounces of our little boy entered the world. No epidural, just a ridiculously short labor and a healthy, hefty baby. It happened so quickly, I spent the next day just convincing myself that it actually happened.

Brand new babe

One of the labor nurses said I was an Amazon. I would like that as my epitaph.

My folks on the left and Quincy's on the right

Fortunately, my parents and Quincy's had time to arrive and admire their first grandchild. And when Laurie and her husband came, Laurie sat on the corner of my bed and soaked in the whole delivery story. And in a quasi-annoyed voice, she said, "Of course. Reality has a way of bending to Becky's whims."

Handsomest three-day-old ever

And I truly feel like it has. It was a unbelievable, beautiful, crazy wonderful experience. Not even my English degree and can cobble together the words to express the gift of this quick, amazing labor.

Party of three

And now I'm a mom. We're a family.

Some of us are happier about that than others

Era Eventide Robinson
Nov. 25, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.
9 pounds, 9 ounces
21.5 inches long


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