I lay on the couch because it was strangely more comfortable than my bed. I was exhausted but I couldn’t sleep. I was excited, anxious, eager and scared. So many emotions were running through my head.
I’m not a very religious person, but I’ve always had a strong faith in God and that a higher being exists. So, I started to have a little chat with God, and asked him to take care of me and my girl.
“God, I have to ask for a favor. In a few hours I might be in labour. My daughter is so very loved by me and by so many other people. Please please please let her come out healthy. Just give me a healthy baby God, and I will be the best mother ever to that child. I know that I’ve made some mistakes in my past and I know I am not perfect, but I am going to be perfect for that little girl. She needs me and I need her. Please let her be healthy and please let me be strong enough to get through the delivery.”
I wasn’t asking for just physical strength. I was asking for emotional strength, too.
Her father was not going to be present in the delivery room. It was his choice and one that I have still not made peace with, but I needed to be strong for me and my baby girl. I needed to be on my ‘A’ game in every aspect.
Time continued to creep on by. At 6:15AM I felt a spasm in my back. It caused me to sit up straight. Could I possibly be in labour on my due date? The little spasm happened again about 15 minutes later. It didn’t last long and it didn’t hurt, but it was definitely noticeable. I got up to get a glass of water and I noticed my stomach felt odd too. This continued for an hour and by that time my mom woke up. We headed to my doctor’s office where she confirmed that I was indeed in labour and from there she sent me to the hospital.
At the hospital they induced me to keep things moving. I had high blood pressure in the last trimester of my pregnancy and they didn’t want my labour dragged out over days. My mom stayed by my side as the contractions came on at a quicker pace. They were tough, but still manageable at this point.
By mid-afternoon I was about 4cm dilated. My mom had to leave to pick up some toiletries and that’s when I had another chat with God.
“God, when it comes to motherhood, I’m a bit scared. I don’t know if I’ll know how to do everything. I hope that I don’t screw things up too badly or too often. Please give me the guidance, strength, love, patience, courage, faith and support that I need every day to be the best mother possible, because my daughter deserves the absolute best.”
About an hour later my mom returned and my best friend was with her. Labour was much more active and intense and I was finding the pain hard to manage. At this point I was 5cms dilated and asked for the epidural. I don’t remember much about the epidural going in, but I remember feeling such relief afterwards.
The evening wore on and not a lot happened, I actually feel asleep a few times, and while I was asleep I had the most vivid dreams. I dreamed I was running through a field, chasing after a little girl and when I finally caught up to her she threw her arms around me. I remember embracing her and whispering “Thank You God,” as I pulled her close. I also dreamed about an angel being in my presence. The angel didn’t say anything but it had its arm stretched out towards me and appeared to be holding a baby. I’ve never told anyone about these dreams, but they were the most beautiful and comforting dreams I’ve ever had in my entire life.
I was fully dilated at 11:30pm. Then the hard work started; lots and lots of pushing ensued. The pushing was exhausting and I prayed for the strength to be able to do it. I was so tired and felt like I had depleted all of the energy that was stored in my body. I closed my eyes and asked God for more strength, and he gave it to me.On August 12th, 2014 at 1:26am my daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth, was born, with my mom and my best friend standing by my side. It was love at first sight. She was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.
Charlotte inhaled meconium while she was in the birth canal. She tried to cry when she came out but instead gasped for air. The NICU was paged to my room where again, I prayed and prayed.
“God, please let my baby be okay. Please Lord, please let these doctors figure out what is wrong and allow her to get air in those tiny lungs. Please don’t let anything bad happen.”
Charlotte was whisked off to the NICU, which was so hard to see. I desperately wanted to hold and cuddle and nurse my new baby, but it simply wasn’t possible. My nurse helped me get a shower and took me back to my room. She suggested I sleep for a few hours and then head to the NICU to meet my girl once she was settled.
I did not sleep. I simply waited for time to pass. I prayed to God and begged that my daughter would be okay. At 7am one of the nurses came by and offered to help me to the NICU. Despite that I had given birth only a few hours before, I practically ran there. They led me to Charlotte’s incubator and told me to sit in the rocking chair. As they took her out, I looked at her and began to cry. There was my baby. The child that grew inside of me for 9 months was here, and as I sat down and held her in my arms, I knew that God had taken good care of her and that she was going to be okay.
I held her for hours. We slept and cuddled and I nursed her and sang to her. We talked and chatted and I told her all about her aunts and grandparents and all of the people that were so very anxious to meet her.
Charlotte was released from the NICU just twelve short hours later. We were only in the hospital for two days when we were given the okay to go home. Leaving the hospital and the NICU was such a relief; I could see the rest of our lives ahead of us as we exited the front doors.
As I sat in the back seat with her and we drove home, I stared at her and began to reflect on my life. What if I had made one different decision? What if I had done one thing differently which would have affected the present moment? Maybe I wouldn’t be in this wonderful place. As we continued to drive home, I realized that my life happened the exact way it was supposed to happen. I kissed my daughter on the forehead and silently thanked God for giving her to me. I’m not sure how I got so lucky to be blessed with such an amazing daughter.
All I know is that every decision I have ever made, every path I have ever taken and every road I have ever traveled has led me to her.
Katie lives on the east coast of Canada and is a single mother to a beautiful baby girl named Charlotte. When she’s not busy raising her daughter, working full time, writing, or taking pictures, she spends what little time she has trying to figure out how to make a living off of eating chocolate and drinking wine. Her work has been featured on Scary Mommy and Mamalode. She can be found on Twitter and Facebook and you can check out her blog at she didn’t come with instructions.
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