Love. I thought I knew what this meant, but I truly learned the meaning when I welcomed my son into the world on July 3. Suddenly, the hectic and stressful world around me ceased and all I could do was stare into those beautiful blue eyes.
We found out we were pregnant 2 months after our wedding. We were ecstatic and amazed at how the universe allowed us to become pregnant so quickly. Like any new mom-to-be, I rushed out to purchase, What to Expect When you’re Expecting and dove into a book that has so much information, so much “by-the-book” tasks and procedures. It was overwhelming. I realized I had more questions than ever on certain aspects of my life and the proper things to do when pregnant.
My sister is a mid-wife on the mainland and has been through her own pregnancy twice, creating the two most beautiful children. She sent me some great books on breastfeeding and stories of courageous women having endured hours upon hours of natural labor. It changed my perspective on becoming a mom and instead of reading text for guidance, I began to listen to my body and talk with my baby.
I created mantras for myself that I repeated every day on my walks in nature. I talked to my baby and painted the most beautiful scenario of how labor was going to be. I was excited, I was ready and I couldn’t wait to meet my son.
On July 2, I took a swim in the ocean and allowed my son to feel the water movement around me. A grandfather turtle swam right up to my belly and then continued on its path. I knew labor was not too far. The turtle had given us its blessing and my journey as becoming a mom was as present as ever.
That night my contractions began. It was exciting and thrilling to be able to feel my body go through this change. It felt incredibly tight and very painful at times. It wasn’t until 6:00am that I decided it was time to make the drive to the hospital.
The drive was miserable. It felt like decades before we arrived to the hospital from Lahaina. I started to regret not having the baby in a home birth, but not being able to have my sister present and being a first-time mom assured me that we were doing the right thing. My husband kept encouraging me to breathe through the pain and remember what my body was going through. By the time we reached Labor and Delivery, I was 7 centimeters dilated and in the worst pain of my life, so I thought. Pushing came next and that was so intense and so painful that I strongly thought I wouldn’t be able to get through it.
My husband and the nurses kept me focused and I got back on track with my mantras. It took a few contractions for me to learn the proper way to push. The pushing was about 25 minutes long which seemed like hours. I’ll never forget the motivation when the doctor said our son had a full head of hair, or the look on my husband’s face when he could see the baby. Once his head was out, his body easily followed and it was over. Actually, it was just beginning as I was going to meet my son in a matter of seconds and that was the most incredible feeling.
At 9:22am, 2 hours and 22 minutes after we arrived to the hospital, our son was welcomed into this world. He was healthy at 6 pounds and 14 ounces, measuring 19 inches in length. It was an out-of-body experience. I was now a mom and meeting my son for the first time. It was my wish to hold my son immediately after he exited the womb. As he laid on my chest, a world of emotions escaped my body and the true feeling of love had entered. We wanted to wait to meet him before deciding on a name. As we held our son with amazement and looked at his perfect tiny hands, we chose Mason Theodore Frank. It was an amazing journey and now the beginning of a wonderful adventure. This is love. This is life.
Image Credit: Carly Frank