Five-year anniversary

Five years ago today I was on my second day of contractions, wondering at what point I would have my first baby. I had read all the books and taken all the classes, but somehow my baby wasn’t listening to any of the rules. After you have your first baby, you realize there are no rules and that babies run the show.

Her first love, Daddy.

Her first love, Daddy.

My baby, my first baby, is turning five on Wednesday. Five. A whole hand of fingers, a whole half a decade, a whole bunch of moments and memories and tears and nonsense and happiness and terror and pain and love and light. A whole lot of growing. Five.

It marks my five-year anniversary of being a mother.

She, my Sophie, made me a mother.

Her first bath. She hated water.

Her first at-home bath. She hated water.

It was a rough start. There were days (Literally. Four. Not a whole hand, but FOUR days.) of contractions. There were multiple midwife visits, including one where my midwife at the time slept on my couch overnight. She was impressed that there were freshly-baked cookies in the house. I was wondering when the hell my baby would show up.

Not her first (or last) conversation.

Not her first (or last) conversation.

Then there was the drive to the hospital at four in the morning on the day she would be born, the 30th of April. Ben drove through red lights and I was barely aware of where we were. My mom was in the car too. It was her idea to go to the hospital – she didn’t want me screaming and sleeping in the tub anymore (go figure).

Her first (and still) best friend, Elora.

With her first (and still) best friend, Elora.

There was the couple outside the hospital that congratulated us (it was pretty obvious why we were there) as we went in through the ER door. I wanted to punch them. At that point, I didn’t know what they were congratulating us for – so far this motherhood thing sucked.

Too cute. Always.

Too cute. Always.

When we got upstairs to the obstetrics floor, the nurse asked my mom if I wanted an epidural. My mom said, “Ask her.” Love was in short supply between them. The. Whole. Time.

Her first big-sister gig.

Her first big-sister gig.

When I finally got my epidural, and my break from the days-long contractions, I napped. That nap lives forever in my mind as the most blissful because I was by far the most exhausted when I got relief from the pain and was left alone in a quiet room for what seemed like hours.

Her first hair cut.

Her first hair cut.

At 5:00 p.m. my mother-in-law got to leave work ‘early’ on tax deadline day – the first and only one since she became an accountant. She took over for my mom in the delivery room because my mom wanted to kill the nurses (difference of opinion would have been an improvement on the situation). Thus began the insane intimacy I have with my mother-in-law.

Her first of many crowns.

Her first of many crowns.

At 6:00 p.m. I was finally fully dilated with my rule-breaking baby. And I was ‘allowed’ to push. Woohoo. My mother-in-law held one of my legs in the air while I did so. Yes I pooped. Yes I pushed. Yes she was there the whole time. Yup.

Still her first love.

Still her first love.

At 8:00 p.m. I was told that Sophie’s heart rate was dropping during contractions and that I had a fever. That if those things weren’t true, they’d ‘let’ me push for another hour. How nice. The obstetrician strongly suggested a C-section. All I heard was, You get more drugs! I said yes.

Do you want to build a snowman?

Do you want to build a snowman?

We were then told that some poor man fell from scaffolding twenty-feet high and that the anesthesiologist was busy in an operation with him. I was told we were waiting and that I wasn’t allowed to push anymore through my contractions. *sob*

She's only a little crazy.

She’s only a little crazy.

Finally, blissfully, I got to the operating room, I got my more drugs, and my baby was born at 8:50 p.m. They said what it was, but I couldn’t hear them. I asked my anesthesiologist (the one I took away from dinner, I was told) what it was and he said, What do you think? I think people in the hospital were begging for punches that night. He told me a girl after I refused to answer him.

Her first wheels.

Her first wheels.

A girl.

My girl.

Her first day of school.

Her first day of school.

Ben got to go with her to get cleaned up, go with her to meet the family and tell them we had a Sophie, go be her person first while I was getting sewn up. It’s a privilege I never got with my babies. I was never the first to hold them, or carry them, but that’s okay. I was the first to feel them, the first one to hang out with them, and the first one they heard. I was that first.

Feeding her baby.

Feeding her baby.

And she was mine.

Second-gig as big sister.

Second-gig as big sister.

Happy, happy, happy fifth, my beautiful first. Happy, happy fifth to us.

All grown up.

All grown up.

Love, Mama

~ Julia

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6 thoughts on “Five-year anniversary

  1. I remember like it was yesterday.

    How dare they tell you that if you did not push harder you would be pushing for another two hour… TWO hours… hell she was in labour for four days, could they not read the chart.!

    Earlier at Julia and Ben’s I watch in horror as my first baby was in so much pain and so tired, contractions going from 6 minutes apart to one and then back to 6, this was not right. I am no expert although I had four, I could not watch and listen to this any longer… enough is enough off to the hospital… this is not right.

    At the hospital I guess they figured I was a an over protective moma bear and so my words were not taken seriously, who was I with no nursing degree…. When finally a new nurse had just settling in to started her shift, actually listened to me when I said they should read the midwife notes., She did and low and behold there was the obstetrician to talk C Section in a matter of moments. After Sophie was born I went back to the nurses, thanked that one nurse specifically for hearing me, apologized if I offended anyone and she quickly assured me had they read the notes, they would have realized sooner what was up.

    Congrats to my first for the amazing life you are blazing with your dear loving husband. The future is bright, full of joy and moments that take you breathe away as you watch you babies grow to be amazing people with their own perspective, personality and path before them.

    Sophie beats to her own drummer. She had the whole family waiting to meet her, even her Auntie Dreah left school, and together with Avo drove in from London, all of us pacing and waiting….not one was sibling or parent was missing… Sophie made her entrance to this world loved even before we knew her. She is the first for so many things… first to go off to school, first to get her ears pierced… She is a trail blazer as is her mother. 5 year already… so grown up for someone so tiny but mighty!

    Wonder which University she will want to go to… I bet it is already in her mind to go to Mommy’s 🙂

    Happy 5th birthday Little one… Lots of Love Grammie.

  2. My favourite part about that day was meeting Ben at the locked doors and I asked him if it was a boy or girl. He proudly replied “It’s a Sophie.” How quickly time has flown by, I love you Soph and hope you had an amazing birthday today!

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