I'm a Dad!!! It's a Girl!!
3AM…on 10/10/13 (or 10/10/13 for all of my European friends) my wife woke me up and told me that she's in labor! *My eyes opened wide*….Ok game on!
After laboring at home restfully for five hours, it was time to go. The car was packed, doula was on her way and as we left the house, I took note upon leaving the front door, that the next time we come home, I'll be a Dad.
We got to our birthing room. It was a big room overlooking the horizon which allowed slivers of ocean to peak through the coastal homes below. The skies were overcast as though the clouds were embracing the terrain and diffusing the light for a peaceful transition.
There were two things in particular during the labor phase that I took note of:
The first thing was just how extraordinarily well Chelsea was doing up until 8 cm dilation. She was meditating and focused inward, totally in her zone. At times with headphones on or relaxing in the tub, listening to music and hypnobirthing suggestions. There were times that it looked like she could have fallen asleep. Nurses and doulas were in amazement of the self-control that Chelsea had developed.
The second thing I took note of was just how brutally painful and exhausting the rest of labor was up until the birth. I was by her side at every moment helping to coach her, apply accupressure and keep her focused, but I truly wish I could have done more. After this many millions of years of evolution, you'd think that the human body would have developed an easier way to birth. Seeing my wife in such pain made each reassurance I offered her seem harder for her to believe.
It's absolutely mind-blowing what the female body is capable of and designed for. Every hormonal urge and all the bullshit of dating throughout our adult lives is biologically driving us to procreate yet it's the one thing that most of the time we avoid at all costs. This….this moment that I was a part of, this is what it was all about.
With each push and bodily surge, we got closer to meeting our baby. At 6:35PM, on October 10, 2013, with a Norah Jones song playing, our little baby emerged from the womb and was brought above the water in the tub and placed on Mommy's chest. It was the most profound, surreal and beautiful experience of my life thus far. Instantly Chelsea's pain subsided. Our baby's eyes locked with mine, it was love at first sight. The emotions I felt were indescribable, but they amounted to the love and awe of every sunset I've ever witnessed in my life multiplied exponentially.
Perhaps some ten seconds or so passed before we even thought to see if it was a boy or girl. I glanced down at our baby's perfect form and said “It's a girl!”. We had a daughter!! She was 7 pounds 10 ounces, 20 inches long with blonde hair and bluish-grey eyes. Summer Emerson Alders joined us and our family tree grew a very perfect and cuddly new branch.
Shortly after our daughter's birth, I sat on a chair and held Summer on my bare chest. I just stared at her and I wept. I wept uncontrollably with tears of joy & gratitude that never before in my lifetime had I encountered.
My wife gave birth completely unmedicated in the tub without pain killers & completely natural. It wasn't easy labor, not by any means. It lasted about 15 hours and 5 of those hours were hard labor. She is my hero for what she endured in order to give our little girl the best birth possible. Summer's entrance into the world was as welcoming as the love that radiates in our hearts for her.