It’s New Year’s Eve, and the baby’s asleep. Time to reflect.
Full disclosure: I know. It’s been 4 months since I’ve written on this blog. I lecture people on keeping their blogging consistent and frequent, and then I totally ignore my own advice.
Last time I checked in, it was the end of August and I had done a belly painting with Rachel Deboer (who has since gone on to create a business out of painting pregnant bellies). Now it’s New Year’s Eve, and I’m home, in pajamas, writing a blog post. (Yes, I had the baby, and he’s sleeping right now!)
Life got really FULL (pun intended) as my last month of pregnancy zoomed on. I worked really hard to tie up as many loose ends as possible: planning The Noble Chef benefit for Maui Culinary Academy, getting heavy duty into the planning of TEDxMaui 2013, getting the house ready for baby, planning for my birth (probably the most serious plan I’ve ever made), and doing the obligatory maternity photo shoot. (Big thanks to my buddy Naomi D. Sheikin for taking these amazing shots.)
Soon after these photos were taken, I began my self-imposed “maternity leave”…which is funny because as it turns out, I never really rested until about 7 days before I gave birth. I dove in to my “leave” in a big way: taking naps whenever I wanted, getting a manicure and pedicure, laying on the beach and soaking in the ocean for hours without a care in the world, frivolously listening to podcasts. What an amazing seven days those were; now I know why mothers always tell pregnant women to really soak up as much “alone time” as possible. (Just do it, ladies.)
It was in the evening of October 6th that I felt my first contraction. I remembered my birthing class teacher’s advice: as soon as you feel your first contraction, make sure you’re really hydrated and well-fed, and then go back to bed. I slept through the night for the most part, getting up every few hours (it had been like that for the past month or so due to the little one squishing my bladder), and then at 4:30am the next morning, I told my husband, “I think its happening”.
For the next full day, my labor slowly progressed. It wasn’t until 3:37pm on Monday, October 8th that my beautiful Henry Koa came into the world. It was not an easy labor, yet still completely natural. It totally took every ounce of everything I had in me to get him out, and definitely a bunch of stuff I didn’t even know I had. After all of that hard work, exhaustion, and an unparalleled extreme intensity I’d never experienced before, none of it compared to how jaw-droppingly beautiful he was.
And I will forever be indebted to Henry for as long as I live, because he gave me the best day of my life. That day he taught me one of my greatest lessons: no matter how limited I feel physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, there is always more in me than I think.