My water broke at 6:45AM and here I was at 12:30PM getting ready to push this baby out. I was a little nervous because I thought I would have more time to let this experience sink in. I’ve heard all the stories about labor lasting forever for first-time moms. I thought I would be the same.
I guess not.
From movies and TV, it seemed like I would just push for a few minutes straight and that was that. Boom. Baby.
Apparently, you only push during contractions. I didn’t know that’s how it went.
So during a contraction, I pushed. then exhaled. then pushed. then exhaled. then pushed. then exhaled.
Then I, along with Jon, the nurses, and doctors, looked up at the TV and watched the Browns-Cowboys game. They went into overtime.
The whole process repeated itself.
Yes, I watched football as I was in the process of giving birth to my little man.
But during the whole “pushing time”, I didn’t feel it. I just felt pressure. It was difficult to push because, honestly, I didn’t know what I was doing. I’ve never been here before.
Soon, I felt the pressure increase. The doctors were telling me to push, but not too hard. I didn’t really know what was happening, but next thing you know, I had this little boy on my chest.
I looked up at Jon. I didn’t know how to feel. I thought I would know when our little boy came out, but I didn’t. I looked up at my husband, saw the awe and joy in his eyes at the sight of our son, and I felt the love. I hugged that little human being, knowing he was the product of this love Jon and I have had for each other since we were naive 17-year-olds.
No, I didn’t cry. I was just so shocked. This was real. This little baby that has been residing within me was finally here.
This. Was. Real.
I always felt like Jon and I were an example of love-at-first-sight, but no. What I felt for our little man was the definition of that phenomenon. How can I love someone I’ve never even met? I don’t know, but I was so in love with our little baby.
After they cleaned him up they returned my little man to my chest. He was there to receive my body heat and get warmed up, but in that moment it was him that brought me warmth. As someone who is generally unemotional, his presence allowed me to accept every emotion, pleasant or unpleasant, that I would usually dismiss.
This little baby changed me without even being on this earth for more than 5 minutes.
This little human being, in all his perfection, was here. He was finally here. This human symbol of myself and Jon was here.
Jon is my soulmate. All that I am, since a young high-schooler and continuing up to now, has been shared and celebrated with him. I have grown, triumphed, sacrificed, and loved with that man.
Jon is my soulmate and Jonathan Chace is my soul.
Jon&Claire est. February 10, 1996 at 1:20am.
Jon&Claire&JC est. November 18, 2012 at 1:50pm.
It’s taken me a while to find the time and energy to write this, but here I am, 8 weeks after I met one of the loves of my life. The following tells the story of how me, a selfish wife, became an unselfish wife and mother.
The night of November 17, 2012. Jon had a feeling. Before we got into bed, he asked, “Umm, do you want to sleep on some blankets or something?” He recalled stories of women’s water breaking and imagined it happening as we lay in bed.
"Why?!" I replied. He came back with beach towels.
"This is a $3000 bed! Don’t ruin it with that shit!" He said as he positioned the towels on my side of the bed.
We had a good laugh, but I decided to play along. I mean, you never know, right?
6:00AM came along. I was awakened by cramping in my lower abdomen. I felt this before and called Labor & Delivery and they told me it was nothing, so I thought it was nothing this time around. I went to the bathroom and got back into bed.
Jon asked if I was okay and I let him know I was fine. The cramping was the same, but at the same time I felt different. I couldn’t fall back asleep, so Jon and I just sat in bed talking. Then it happened.
At about 6:45AM, as I sat in bed, I felt a gush of water escape me. It wasn’t an amount equivalent to an ocean, but it was definitely noticeable.
My water broke. I was sitting on those damn towels. I hate when he’s right.
Jon called Labor & Delivery and they said to come in. Knowing I was a first-time mom the nurses said to take our time since first-time moms are known to endure long labor.
I jumped in the shower — I mean, I was about to be all exposed and stuff, so I did not want to be gross — and as I stood there, the contractions began to intensify. Regardless of the pain I was determined to be squeaky clean, smelling lovely, and looking cute.
My original plan was to put makeup on and blow dry my hair, but the pain was becoming a bit too much. I knew that I was progressing fast despite what the nurses assumed.
As I am getting myself all prepped, Jon was scampering around, loading our things into the car. We had everything ready to go, so this process wasn’t too bad. I could feel his energy, he knew this was it, too.
We double check we have everything and head to the car. Jon is following me, making sure I’m doing alright. I get into the front seat of our Yukon Denali.
"Whoa! Don’t you want to sit on that mattress pad we bought?" he quickly suggested. We bought these waterproof mattress pads in case my water breaks while we were out so that I had something to sit on. I just showered, took steps to prevent leakage, so I felt like I was fine.
Nope. Not for that guy and not in the car he has been wanting since he was a youngster. He got me out of the front seat and put the mattress pads on the seat.
Yes, he did.
I didn’t care at this point. The contractions were coming on quick and painful.
As we were on our way to the hospital, Jon says we need to get gas. I wanted to punch him in the face. How could we not have enough gas?!?
He probably sensed my disbelief and said that he thinks we could probably make it.
We got to the hospital at 8:00AM. The nurse checks me. 7.5 cm dilated. At this point the pain was enough that I was constantly asking for an epidural. My contractions were about 3 minutes apart.
They wheeled me into the delivery room and I laid in the hospital bed as everything was getting prepared around me. They checked me again. 8 cm. Things were moving quickly.
This pain was crazy. Jon makes fun of me now because I was sweating as if I was going through an intense workout. Literally dripping sweat—enough that the nurse was wiping my forehead.
Finally, the anesthesiologist comes in to give me an epidural. People ask me about the needle. I didn’t see it, but even if I did I wouldn’t care. The contractions we so exhaustingly painful that I was pleading for this moment.
Staying still for the process was easy. Just like that it was done and I was feeling good. The perspiration ceased and I began to relax. They checked me again 9.5 cm.
The epidural was bliss. It was another world. I was able to joke with Jon, my sis Gi, and my mom. I sat there and put on makeup. Yes, girl. I did.
Before noon, the nurses came in for me to start pushing. I wanted to wait because I still had some antibiotics I needed to get through my IV. They let me wait. At 12:30PM we started.
Soon, “Jon & Claire” became “Jon, Claire, & JC”.
Story of The Moment coming up next…
It’s funny how this started as a way to document our wedding. Now, it has evolved into a place where I document my transition to a mother. I used to fear the transition, the change, the implications of who I would be. Now that my little boy is here, I can’t fathom why I waited so long to be blessed with this little life.
Soon I will post the story of the day of his birth. That is, when I find the time. This mommy thing is time-consuming!
Now that I am seven months pregnant, I thought that this experience would be a lot harder. The first trimester going into a bit of the second, now that was physically hard. I’ve never been so nauseated and exhausted in my life (and for so long!). Based on the first 15-16 weeks, I thought I would be suffering at this point, but (thankfully) I’m not.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m tired all the time. I can’t sleep consistently. I get out of breath for no freakin’ reason. But the thing is, I’m okay with it.
A big reason why I’m not freakin’ out is because I can feel our son move. Early in the pregnancy, I felt pregnant because I felt like shit. On the days when the symptoms were not bad, it sent me into a slight panic because it almost felt wrong. Now, I feel this boy kick, punch, and move like PaRappa the Rapper (ok, bad video game reference).
Seriously though, his movements are a daily reminder of how amazing this journey is. Knowing that after a few more months I will meet my boy helps me change my perspective. I do get worried about my abilities as a mother, but because my son’s father has always been destined to be a wonderful dad, I know our son will be fine.
Two trimesters down, one to go.
I accept change, but find it difficult. I understand we’re always evolving (well, let’s hope) and yet there are times when I still try to postpone it.
Now that I’m pregnant (!), 6 months pregnant to give it even more reality (!!!), I am still constantly trying to adapt to what’s happening. Let’s put aside the weird/annoying shit like morning sickness (which made my life H.E.L.L. for 16 weeks), my eyes being super sensitive to heat/light, and loss of appetite.
As a woman in the US, I lived my life obsessed with my appearance. I was never quite happy with how I looked, I felt super fat all my life. Before I got pregnant, I was inching closer to being happy with where I was because I was healthy and began to feel that the curves were dope (let’s thank the changing views of society for that).
A baby has taken residence in my uterus and one of the biggest things I had to learn to get used to is my expanding belly. It’s crazy to live your life trying to keep your belly flat then one day you should automatically love seeing the opposite happen.
It hasn’t been that easy.
A second thing I am adjusting to is not being so selfish—especially with baby daddy. For 16+ years it has been me and him, just us. Everything we did revolved around just us. With that reality becoming altered, I get scared. I am so used to things being one way and when things change, I sometimes don’t know how to handle it.
Last week, as we slow danced underneath the stars illuminating the Hawaii sky, the thought popped into my head, “these moments are not going to be so easy to come by in a few months.”
I entered a slight panic the next day when I relived that fantasy-like moment. I told you. I’m selfish. Again, he could read me so well. He knew what to say and helped me escape the world of irrational thoughts that trapped me.
As always, he was right.
"Things will change, but we shouldn’t forget what got us to this point in our lives. We’re going to have a son, but we’ll always take care of us."
And I have the reputation of being the “brains” of the relationship.
Okay, well technically there is no baby that is physically in a baby carriage—yet! This baby has taken residence in my stomach and, though he is a blessing, woooooo, pregnancy has not been easy (but I’ll save that for another time).
So in November, there will be another addition to our family—a baby boy. I think all the years of delaying expanding our family prompts people to ask me if I’m ready. My reply is always the same — I have until November 26 to find out (give or take a week or so).
Truth is, I am 33 years old. I am selfish, but I am realistic. While I live my life with (mostly) myself in mind, I do think of my husband when I make decisions. We compromised and I worked him down from having a bunch of kids to having one, so it was time. I wasn’t getting any younger and who knows how long it would take to create a baby. For years I’ve heard stories of couples we know struggling to have children and I didn’t want to assume this process would be easy.
I decided to slowly take things a step at a time (*sidenote— I say “I,” not because my husband was not involved, but because he always said, “I’m waiting for you” and “it’s up to you.” He was always ready, but left it up to me. See, I married a winner.). First step was to get my hormones back to normal and my system functioning however it functioned without any type of influence. I thought it would take a while, but I immediately got pregnant.
So after 16+ years of being together and 2 years of being married, we will welcome a baby boy.
I can’t wait.
It’s an odd thing, this whole “marriage” concept.
One would think that if you are willing to spend your life with another person, you would trust that person so that the promise of that love would be enough. The marriage thing is essentially a legal document (and to some, spiritual) that serves as a paper pinky swear that we will try our very best.
For me and my husband, marriage was never a big deal. Add in the opinions of others, then the shit becomes real.
Honestly, I don’t feel any different being a ‘wife’ when I think about my relationship with my husband. We are the same playful and passionate pair. He has always treated me like a queen and having this rock on my finger didn’t increase (or decrease) his behavior toward me.
Where things change is in the public eye.
Being introduced or known as someone’s “girlfriend” is never met with the same respect for the relationship compared to when you’re someone’s “wife”. It’s so odd. When I was “just a girlfriend”, many times we would have to explain “oh well, we’ve been together since 1996” or some variation of the that statement all just to prove that we are more committed than what people assume. When you’re a “wife”, you are given more respect and people seem more interested in you as a person.
Though I hate to admit it, the perception of being a wife has made me feel different about myself. That defensiveness melted away as the ring lowered the raised eyebrows of those who don’t know us as well. It annoys me that other people’s opinions really affected me, but hey, I am human.
Funny thing is that we knew that we cared about what others thought. One of the main reasons to get married was so that we could have a kid. What did it matter if we were married or not? I don’t know. But that was one of the biggest reasons we did it.
So a year and nine months later, the love is the same, the commitment is the same, but marriage has brought upon us the change we expected.
I am a sentimental person. I like to keep mementos of significant events of my life — even if the memento is as worthless as a piece of confetti (yes, I saved a strip of gold confetti that rained down during the encore performance of “Holiday” at the end of a Madonna concert).
In my life, the thing I like to keep souvenirs of the most is my relationship with my husband. I’m a sucker for our love.
A week ago, husband and I finally moved out of our first house. We never intended on living in this house forever, but the move was still pretty tough for me. This house was our home base during big moments of our lives — getting his dream job, me leaving a career to pursue my own dream, getting engaged, getting married, just to name a few.
During the move, I was forced to throw away some things because, well, it was just time. There’s no way I wanted to one day end up on an episode of “Hoarders”.
The one thing that upset me most to throw away, even at this point I have to fight back tears, is a bunch of dried flowers. To the uninformed, it just looks like a bunch of shitty dried up nothings; to me, those flowers represented so many special times in my and my husband’s 16+-year love affair.
It’s so stupid, really, to feel so attached to these things, but I can’t help it.
The flowers on the left, for instance. They were blue roses. For the first time in my life, he sent flowers to my work. I remember being called to the front office to pick up a delivery. I made the trek to the office and saw the flowers. Those MFers were heavy as shit.
I loved them.
He sent them to me for my 30th birthday. One blue rose for every year I was alive.
I adored the flowers and the love behind the intention.
He knew I was upset and let me keep them up, giving me time to throw them away myself. I couldn’t do it until there was nothing left to pack in the house. With the vases of dried flowers standing, I knew I had to.
I reluctantly took the dusty symbols of our relationship and gently placed them in trash bags. I don’t know if it was my crazy hormones or just me being super-attached, but I broke down in some crazy heartbroken tears.
My husband hugged me and comforted me. I felt like I was betraying our love by throwing these freakin’ flowers away. I hugged him with this suffocating feeling of loss taking over my body.
"Those are just things, old memories," my husband told me. "Don’t be sad about those things when we have so many new memories to make."
That made me feel better and he just hugged me until I seemed stable (haha). Knowing it was safe to crack a joke, he said, “Damn, where were those tears at our fucking wedding? You left me hanging there, all crying by myself! You cry over that shit and not our wedding?”
Oh, to be so much in love.
[sidenote: I literally had to take a break in the middle of this post because I’m still attached to stupid things.]