(This is not part of When I See You Smile. That's still coming.)

11 years ago, I was awakened from sleep by a weird pain in my back.

Then it went away and I went back to sleep.

Then I was awakened again when it started to hurt again.

I looked at the clock. It was 6:30 in the morning. My back stopped hurting

Then it started again.

I couldn't figure out what was wrong. Why my back kept having these odd pains that kept coming and going.

I am occasionally an airhead.

Perhaps if I tell you that I was exactly 40 weeks pregnant on that day. . .does that give you a clue?

It took me probably an hour or so to figure out that I was having contractions—about the time the pain started traveling from back to front.

I had a Dr.'s appointment at 10 that my best friend was taking me to, as Faramir had a final from 9 to 11. (I had finished my last final the day before.) The weather was beautiful. There was snow everywhere, many inches of snow. It was a clear, blue, crisp winter day.

I had contractions off and on the whole morning and right before Faramir left for his final, I told him that I thought I was having contractions. He immediately told me he wasn't going to his final. I told him he had to. (He pretty much flunked out that semester in general and that class in particular, but that's mostly another story.)

My friend came to pick me up and took me to the Dr. (I laugh now. It must have been my first child—when I was still following the rules like, “Don't drive after 36 weeks”. ~snort~ Only if you don't have kids.) I, of course, didn't have a contraction the whole time I was in his office. However, my blood pressure was rising. When we got back out to the car, I told my friend I was having contractions. She wanted me to go back in, but I told her to take me home instead.

Faramir came home from his final and we started measuring contractions. We called the hospital and they told us to come in when they were two minutes apart. So we did, at about 1:00 in the afternoon. They checked me and I was at a four. They checked me later and I was still at a four. They were going to send me home, except my Dr. was concerned about my rising blood pressure and wanted me to go on pitocin. I was going to do this natural, until the pitocin kicked in. Then I wanted the drugs.

Faramir made a mistake at this point. He watched them put that huge needle in my back and he turned green. The nurse made him go sit down until he was not green any more.

The epidural kicked in and I promptly went to sleep. And slept. And watched a movie. And listened to music, and my body sat at a four. At some point, they remember to put a catheter in me, but not until after the Dr. came in to check and couldn't figure anything out because my very full bladder was in the way. And I relaxed. . .And stayed at a four. In the meantime, my Dr. went snowshoeing in the hills around the hospital. I had a very casual, easy time of it.

Until about 9:30. Finally my body started cooperating and I started to make some serious progress. I was supposed to be at a concert that night, along with Faramir. My best friend and her husband came by afterwards and got to see the big event. At about 10:00 p.m. I was ready to push.

And push.

And push.

And push.

For an hour and a half, until Kendra decided to join us. I remember asking what gender she was. We knew she was a girl, but I didn't trust ultrasounds that much. I remember the relief of the baby being out. That pressure release that I didn't realize was there until it was gone. I remember Faramir getting to cut the umbilical cord. I remember being disappointed that I had to have an episiotomy and stitches. And she was here. My first child. My one and only girl (although I wasn't to know that at the time).

She already eclipses me. She practices harder than I ever did on the violin. She loves to create. She makes things with legos that I never even think about. She loves origami and writing and books. She might love books more than I do. She hasn't yet been introduced to how much books can tear a person apart. She's so beautiful. She's growing faster than I can keep up with. I've taken to telling her to stop gorwing. Then I laugh and she laughs, but she doesn't know that deep inside my heart I really mean it. I want to protect her from life, but know that that's not possible. She helps. I can count on her getting her chores done and she's already started babysitting for me. I love and hate that we are to this point in our lives. She beautiful and she's 11 today.

Happy Birthday Kendra.
7 Responses
  1. Abra Says:


  2. EEEEMommy Says:

    I love reading birth stories, and I your last paragraph was exceptional! She sounds exceptional! Happy Birthday to your sweet girl! :)

  3. Ah! How sweet! I love the violin--I started taking lessons when expecting my last one and had to stop because it was just too hard--then I took it up again and had to stop because of my muscle pain problem. I have always wanted to play so I'm sad I can't but glad that I played for a little while. I love that line about books tearing you apart. sigh. 'Tis true.

  4. Catherine Says:

    What a wonderful thing to read, today of all days! Happy Birthday Kendra!

  5. charrette Says:

    Ah, lovely story. I think every mother should have at least one girl. I'm so crazy about mine. And she sounds like she's so much like you!

  6. Linda Says:

    I can't believe that Cindy Lou Who is turning 11. She can't be this old. Time can't have flown this much. I wish I were there to give her a BIG Auntie hug! Lots of love to you and her on this special day! xoxoxoxo

  7. I love birth stories. Every one is so different, just as every child is one single miracle like no other. Thank you for sharing this.

    P.S. Pitocin totally stinks.