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  • for 42 hours I labored at home. I so wanted to have you here. our Tower Baby. but you were not ready to be born here despite the rising intensity in my body.

    the contractions came fast & furious from the beginning and never waned ... 57 hours in total from your first knock to your first cry.

    your daddy was my doula & kept his love locked fiercely with me, anchoring me in the sweeping contraction tides. time got tied and twisted and rejected definition. there was no time. there was nothing outside of this holy thing we were doing, birthing you.

    I labored in the bedroom, in the shower, in the birth tub, in the kitchen, the living room. at some point we went alone out on the deck, in the deepest night. I was naked, and the air and the stars draped me in cosmic comfort.

    insecurity, embarrassment, and despair pounded from every direction while power raged in my bones threatening its own Big Bang. there was laughing and puking, swaying and swaying and swaying, and rocking hips. searching constantly for comfort. more puking.

    on the second day we went for a walk. Mimi miraculously waited by the front door. seems she'd been sitting there in vigil the entire labor. we walked to Mission Street, went right, up Valencia and to the back of our building. every 20 steps or so, I would grab the neck of one of the birth team and bear down as my body mightily growled.

    I peed on the sidewalk. just a little bit with every contraction. it's YOUR sidewalk now, I marked it for you.

    I was so sure we were getting close. but my body had still not dilated past 8-9cm where it had been stuck for close to 24 hours. when the midwife found meconium, we decided it was time to go.

    the hospital was not as bad as I feared but with all the wires and monitors, my cervix couldn't or wouldn't progress. they broke my water and an ocean gushed out.

    you were so content in there. no stress.

    I labored 7 more hours then got an epidural which took away the pain, but also the power. I regressed to 6cm after 8 hours and an almost maximum dose of Pitocin.

    your daddy and I looked at each other, and said "fuck this, we want to meet our son" it was time to cut you out.

    when I was wheeled into the OR you sang to me through the radio ...

    I'm sorry but I'm just thinking of the right words to say
    I know they don't sound the way I plan them to be
    but if you wait around a while I'll make it up to you
    I promise you I promise you I will

    ... and I knew it was all happening exactly as it was meant to happen. your dad at my side, the doctor said "we have a baby!" and heard your cry.

    if I wrote all day I wouldn't find the words to express the joy and ecstatic love that you exploded into our world with that cry.

    I wrote you this poem on your 24th day as I pondered the gorgeous blond fur on your shoulders and back:

    little monkey, asleep on my chest
    I hush my soul to hear your breath
    my favorite sound your tiny snores
    I swear my life to uphold yours
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