Eight years ago today, I had a huge belly, and was about to go into labour with my second child.
In the wee hours of the morning of July 5, I awoke to a mild contraction. Too excited to sleep, I laid in bed, thinking about all that was going to happen to me and my body in the next several hours. I had a natural birth with my first, a son. A beautiful labour and delivery, something that remains in my heart as one of the most amazing things I have ever done. I’m one of those sickos that actually enjoyed the process of giving birth. The pain was crazy and intense, yes. But also it awoke an awareness in me of my own ability and strength. I felt a unique kinship with women world wide. I had something to brag about. Look what my body can do!!!
However, with the second baby, I was more nervous. Simply because I knew how painful it was going to get. I still welcomed the experience, reveling in each contraction. Breathing into it, I seriously felt my body opening up to deliver my child. In all truth, it’s the most religious experience I have ever had, and I am not a religious person at all.
During my pregnancy, I had only dared to hope a tiny bit for a girl. I never wanted to feel negative towards another son, as we all know, you still love your baby with all your heart no matter what. But a little part of my spirit ached for a daughter.
During one of my water yoga classes for preggos, I was floating on a couple noodles in the pool. Just imagine. All of us women, bobbing around with big round bellies, it was such a sight. We all closed our eyes, and our instructor simply asked us to listen to our babies. I felt myself drifting along as if in a huge ocean, as if I were all alone. My breathing deepened, and I became aware of a presence, for lack of a better word, surrounding me. I knew it was female. And I could feel her strength. Willful, strong, unwavering. At that point, I knew I was having a girl.
When my daughter came forth from my body, I pulled her up onto me, after four hours of labour and six minutes of pushing (GO ME!!!). I was the one who had the honor of announcing to everyone in the room that she was a girl.
To steal something Katya once said, my daughter is my heart. Not to say anything against my son, because he is my soul and a wonderful human being. But oh, to have a little girl. To have the privilege of raising a strong and healthy woman. To gift womanly kindness and compassion and strength to the world through my daughter. What a mind boggling and daunting task. What a wonderful experience.
My girl is strong and willful. She has a fire to her soul that will take her far. She cares deeply about those she loves. She stands up for what she believes in. She doesn’t back down from a challenge. She nurtures tiny creatures and little babies. She’s extremely smart in school. She has the most wonderful large blue eyes. She is an extreme goofball who makes all of us laugh everyday. And I love her so very, very much.
Happy Birthday, my sweet Lily. I hope your passion and zest for life never fade.