Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

The time had finally come. It was 4am on December 22, 2010. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Basia came back from the washroom (for the 70th time that night!) and lay down beside me asking, "could you rub my back, it's hurting?" Sure I would, but  honestly, I wasn't overly excited at 4am.

She mentioned that it was hurting because she was getting minor contractions. Braxton Hicks, I thought. No big deal. We had been through this a day or two before. I'd be back asleep in no time. But the contractions kept up. She walked around, had a bath, got me to massage her, and it wasn't letting up.

The contractions were fairly regular; only minutes apart and becoming more intense. She was walking and talking with ease at first, but before we both realized what was really happening, I was getting dressed, "just in case" and the bags we had packed weeks before were aligned next to the front door.

It was go time! I knew it was for real when she explained that these contractions were different than the ones she was having earlier in the week. These ones came on like a wave and grew slowly in intensity, finally ending in a much similar wave, but not completely fading out.

To spare you the expense of reading what you would surely find incredibly personal but not unlike the reality of labour, I'll give credit to my wife here in lieu of the details...

We made it to the hospital at about 10:30am on December 22, 2010. Basia was now going through the most difficult of times in a pregnancy, yet her strength and stamina had not even begun to let up. She was simply amazing! For those of you who know Basia, you won't be surprised when I say that she was made for this. She honestly made labouring look incredibly difficult, yet accomplishable. What I loved most about her strength was that she made it a wonderful experience for me, the dad.

Not even two hours later, the midwives, Basia's sister, Basia and I were awaiting the moment we had been looking forward to for over nine months (I say over nine months because the baby was a day late!). With one final effort our little baby girl came into this world with a quick cough and a little squeak that confirmed her femininity. She was perfect in every way and the midwives and nurses confirmed this fact with a series of little tests throughout the day.

I was crying, Basia was smiling tiredly and everyone else was giving their congratulations to Basia for her wonderful success. We were now parents. Little baby Ewa was born just in time for Christmas and I couldn't ask for anything better. This was the perfect gift; the gift that keeps on giving.

I could go on for hours about the feelings, thoughts, images, and discussions that occurred throughout this event, but really, it's something you'd rather experience on your own. Now I can say from experience, it's worth it all.

One final note: Basia my wife, Ewa's mother, is a champion among champions. She endured the pains and difficulties of labour without any medication. Not even a single dose of Advil made it through her system. I am amazed that one person can even begin to commit to such an endeavor. She is a better man than I; she is a woman and god bless the moments I've just experienced.

Merry Christmas,

~ Ken ~

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