We went to bed that night with no indication whatsoever that our little boy would join us in the open world in less than 24 hours. Even when my contractions came so regularly and intensely that my doctor insisted we head to the hospital, we didn't fully believe it was all happening. And when the nurse checked me after an hour and said, "you're having a baby today," it still felt surreal.
Add another 9-ish hours of labor, including 1 1/2 hours of pushing, and he came, introducing all the realities that we anticipated during my shortened pregnancy. Our precious, tiny, cone-headed boy. We felt such instant, immense love for him, love that remains, and continues to swell.
I felt so miserable and not at all myself during my pregnancy, so I not-so-secretly thank Emory for saving me from that dreaded last month. I always knew I could handle labor and delivery, and I'm not lying when I say I felt pretty accomplished after 15-16 hours of non-medicated pain. I think the trick was to think the the birth would happen any second, and I tried my hardest to keep that attitude, even 4-ish hours into transition labor (after my doctor broke my water) and I finally got to start pushing. I realized then how empowering it is to live through pain to experience joy.
And this past year I have been blessed with more joy than I even thought possible.
This is the last pregnant belly shot we have of me, taken 8 days before Emory's birth day. The irony of it all is that the day before the little man came, I got a haircut and an eyebrow wax, and we had decided that the following day we would drive up a canyon and I would actually let Jon take some photos of my pregnant. (It seems that once upon a time, I agreed to be his model?! and he wanted to cash in at the end of my pregnancy). I guess I got out of it that time around. Thanks again, Little Man.