I don’t remember waking up that morning. I have tried to recall but that part of the day is lost to me. I have read that on the days that change your life forever, many of the small details are lost, overshadowed by the big moments and memories. I don’t remember waking up that morning – but I vividly remember this day.
The day began as my favorite summer Saturdays do – rising before the sun to load into the car for a trip to the Farmer’s Market. On this day, we would not just visit our local Matthews market but we were heading to the regional market also. I do remember I was determined – slow but determined. I was 35 weeks pregnant after all and it was July 21 in NC – balmy does not begin to describe it.
These trips, such a part of my life since I was a small child. My Dad taking my sister and I – coaching us how to properly select produce, how to identify “truck farmers”, how to forge friendships with the people who sustain us. These people my Dad traded with for many years still remember him nearly 4 years after his passing. They recounted stories with tears rolling down their cheeks on this day. And as we went from booth to booth filling our basket with tomatoes and cantaloupe, I felt my Dad right beside me.
When we got back into the car and the air was heavy and hot with the smell of sweet cantaloupe I was transported to the back seat with my sister as we rode back home with our bounty. Now we text each other on Saturday mornings with pictures of our purchases – how times have changed but yet are still the same….
There was much to do this weekend. We were one month away from meeting our baby and I had a plan and a list! There was food to make and freeze so we had meals for those weeks I heard were tough when the baby first arrived. There was a bag to pack. There was our Maternity Photo Shoot this afternoon which I could not wait for!
And then somewhere around 4:30 I got my first lesson about being a Mom and having a plan as my water broke and my son began his entrance into this world.
But wait – I had a plan! I mean a good plan too….I am having my baby at a birth center with my midwife. I am having a non-medicated and non-medical birth. I am going to labor at home where I can be comfortable and peaceful for as long as possible.
Best laid plans……
The last thing my husband said as we walked out of our home for the last time as a “party of two” was “Do you honestly think your Dad is going to let anything happen to his grandchild?” For the first time since 4:30 I felt peace.
As we headed to the hospital in stunned silence at what was happening I knew my husband and I were both scared. This Mom who wanted a non-medical birth could not get up to that floor fast enough to get hooked up to that monitor to hear my baby’s heartbeat strong and healthy. Only then could I exhale and get back to my plan (or what was left of it!).
The nurses that night were phenomenal and let me have my own way – low lighting, quiet voices, limited monitoring and no medication. I clung to my hope for a peaceful birth for my baby, still very naive to the fact of what could go wrong because he was 5 weeks early.
It was only when we were getting close and I opened my eyes to see half of Matthews standing there at the ready did I realize what we could be facing!
At 12:20am on July 22, 2012, Reeves Michael Lafond arrived. Loudly! With all the gusto and vigor I had expected after carrying this super active baby for 35 weeks. What I did not expect were the words that my husband uttered with a huge undercurrent of I told you so – “It’s a boy!”. This non-medical Mom would of course not want to know what she was having and had 100% certainty he was a she! My only disappointment was losing that bet with my husband because any Mom with a little boy will tell you, having a son is the BEST!
And one by one the specialists filed away each one greeted with a sigh of relief by my Mom and sister who waited anxiously outside. My sweet, strong son never left our room. The bliss that came from those moments that followed is unlike anything I have ever known.
I didn’t know I was going to meet my son that day. I did not get those final weeks of waking up and wondering if today was going to be “the day”. Heck, I didn’t even get to pack a bag (somehow that task got pushed off the list that day!). What I did get that day and the days that followed was my life’s purpose, harder work that I have ever done and more happiness than I thought existed.
Oh yeah – and I also got the most amazing tomato sandwich I have ever and will ever have somewhere around 2:00am. The kind of sandwich that should have a street or a song named after it.
Thank God for sisters with house keys, home grown tomatoes and healthy baby boys.