Guest Author - Meredith Ball
"Look down. There is your son," the words floated through the air. I caught a glimpse of this wriggly little, teeny tiny being. He was loud. Very loud. And, he was here. With us, at last.
The months and hours prior to my son's arrival were filled with emotional highs and lows, physical struggles, and most of all a ton of gratitude. Moments of pure joy unlike any other I felt filled my heart daily.
My husband and I attended the Bradley class to learn about having a natural birth. We learned the emotional signposts of labor and delivery to be able to recognize when we were almost at the finish line. That class was right on. When I was whimpering to my husband, "I don't think I can do it. I can't make it," that was exactly 20 minutes before our son arrived. Right at the end of a long, hard journey is when our spirits are tested, when we see how much we really want the prize, and we face a wall. We face a wall that we must break through. The Bradley class taught us that right when I uttered those words of resignation that we were at the wall. Right then, I remembered that lesson and knew, deep down inside that I had to push through, break through that wall to get to my son. So, I did.
Somewhere inside each of us mothers and fathers we have this strength that we may never have known existed. That strength that helps us to plunge into the unknown of pregnancy, labor and delivery, and then raising a child. A strength that gets larger each and every moment we hold our child in our arms. Did you know you had this strength? Our children need this, and what I have learned is that our children are just as strong. They must be to have made this journey through labor and delivery too!
I dilated from 4 centimeters to delivering our son in one hour. I was blessed with a quick, albeit intense labor. My Bradley class teacher called me "a warrior." I could not have withstood that level of pain without the help of my husband, assisting me with all we learned in class and standing firmly by my side, holding my hand and cheering, "I am so proud of you." These moments are now the next level of a strong foundation for our marriage and our journey as parents.
We are not all able to become pregnant. This I know after a long battle with infertility. We are not all able to have a natural delivery. We are not all able to hold a healthy, and loud, baby in our arms. I consider myself beyond blessed. There are no words to explain the emotional, physical and spiritual connection I feel to our son and the energy of life as a whole.
A child is the most natural gift of all. A child is the most precious gift of all. The lessons from my mother, my friends who are mothers, and most of all from our son, contain a great wisdom which only Mother Nature holds true. I will continue to listen closely to that wisdom and be grateful for this amazing gift.