I'm not glad because the last 9 months are over and now I have an un-pregnant wife again, I mean on Tuesday, labor day, I had a few minutes with her here and there but for the most part she was in the zone. And when you're in the labor zone, life is different. You know when you ask your wife a simple question like, "almonds or crackers?" and she just stares at the wall and exhales in rhythm... she's in the zone. And i'm glad that she's now out of the zone and fully able to interact with me again.
I can in no way describe the miraculousness of birth. It is perhaps one of the most basic occurrences in the world and yet most people don't experience it until they're well into life, if ever. Don't get me wrong, giving birth is horrible. There's blood and screaming, moaning and sweat, oxygen tanks and heart monitors... but there's also a baby. There's this precious little person, that was carefully knit together inside my wife, that is coming to meet us. I cried. I cried a few times, but always between contractions and always when Caitlin was collapsed on her side not looking at me because I wanted her to think I was being strong for her. However, in retrospect I could have been laughing or sleeping and she wouldn't have known because she was seriously in the zone.
I can't explain how proud I am of her. The entire labor was 8 hours, which is a 3rd the length of most first timers, and the intense (I mean, get me out of here, let's die - intense) pushing stage was less than half of most. And all of this was the case because of 3 things: 1) Grace, 2) Donnelyn's Guidance (our midwife), and 3) Caitlin's hard work all through pregnancy. To watch your wife go through such pain, and to work through it and triumph over it... I think that's where most of the tears came from for me.
Donnelyn and the birthcenter were amazing. There were 4 wonderful women at our birth just looking for ways to serve us. One girl even washed and dried all of Caitlin's clothes and had them ready for us when we left. Donnelyn really made the whole experience of pregnancy a blessing, brought us closer together and got us more excited than ever to make Denver apart of our family. We would have never known so many things, like a waterbirth was a possibility, if not for these great women. Yes, we had a waterbirth. That means caitlin gave birth in a bathtub. However for a short time we almost thought we were having a hallway birth. You see when you have prepared your body to have a rather quick labor, your body doesn't always leave you time between contractions to go to the bathroom. And there's this stage of labor (right in between the "don't talk to me" and "kill me now" stages) known as the "hope you weren't planning on standing" stage. This moment happened on the way to the bathroom, in the hallway. But alas, we made our way back to the tub. Which i'm a huge fan of now, though originally I thought it'd be weird. Caitlin said it was a TON more comfortable; I liked it b/c it forced a good distance between me and the action. If we were on a bed I would have had the option to see and handle a lot more 'stuff'... I'm glad that option was taken away from me.
I kept telling Caitlin during it all that she didn't have to fear the pain, it was planned and it was with purpose. I like to think this helped but I know she didn't really hear me. I really think giving birth is a huge illustration of life. God made my wife's body to give birth, she can either fight it and make it more painful and more complicated, or she can trust and let go. Not that trusting and letting go is the easier option, it's certainly more difficult, but like the Psalm says: Pain may endure through the night, but joy comes in the morning. And it's kinda ridiculous. "Just let go and let your body rip itself apart... it's okay" ... ? How is anyone going to trust in something crazy like that. But Caitlin sure did it. She is a stronger woman because of it, and her husband has fallen in deeper love with her because of it too.
Night one we got 6.5 straight hours of sleep, and night two 5.5... a lot more than expected. Denver is a cutey, lazier than ever and I would do anything for him. Really the thought of him growing up and doing things and giving me hugs makes me want to cry more. I'm gonna be one of those lame dads that chokes up every time anything happens. I still hate diapers, and baby decorations, and that yellow is considered 'neutral', but i'm a sucker for my boy. He doesn't have to do anything, ever, he's just amazing. And knowing that my amazing wife worked so hard for many months to bring him out to see me just makes me want to work hard forever to be a great father and husband.
I know pregnancy isn't something you should just recommend to people, but man, what an experience.