Over a week past my due date, I went to bed on Saturday night with my Sunday (Mother’s Day) planned. I would get up, go on my favorite 4-mile jog route, go to church, then had a few afternoon errands to run. Baby had other plans. Around 2:30am, I woke up and felt some mild cramping. Being that it was the wee small hours of the morning, I thought I was just tired and delirious, wishing and willing the baby would come. ”Brush it off,” I thought. ”Go back to sleep.” I couldn’t. I was keenly aware of this tiny tinge of discomfort that kept coming about every five or six minutes. Better safe than sorry, I surmised. I called my mother at 3am to come over, emphasizing it’s probably a false labor alarm and to take her time. ”I’LL BE RIGHT THERE!” She enthusiastically replied. (She rear ended into another car in her driveway in hot pursuit to make good on that promise!) My husband and I both showered, shaved, and I even considered flat ironing my hair, but hubs gave me the “c’mon, BB” look, so I grabbed my bag to hit the road. We went to the hospital where they pulled out a wheelchair to take me up to L&D. At this point, I could have done walking lunges all the way to L&D, but I do like special treatment- so I made my tush comfy in the wheelchair and took the ride to a delivery room.
“On a scale from 1-10, where would you rate your pain?” Asked the nurse. ”A one,” I replied, proud of warrior-like strength. Unprovoked, I also offered that I would NOT be requiring an epidural. ”Ok,” said the nurse, but also mentioned that the anesthesiologist was not at the hospital and would need to be called to come in, if I changed my mind. I assured her I would not be changing my mind. At this point, they had checked me and I was dilated to 6cm and 100% effaced; I was in labor. This was going to happen! I was giddy with excitement. I grabbed my iPhone and began my birthing playlist. As a 90s Country fanatic, I had faves like Joe Diffie’s “John Deere Green” and David Lee Murphy’s “Party Crowd” pumping through the speakers, rocking that hospital room! We weren’t halfway through the second song on the playlist when labor got REAL! Real, real!! The contraction pain went from null to “crap, crap, crap, crappety crap, crap” very quickly. Those little devils stockpiled on each other, too. Not only was I in mind-blowing pain, but as soon as one would end, another would begin. No one should ever have to endure this kind of pain- EVER! ”Epidural! Please!” I gasped between breaths. Oh yeah, there was that thing about needing to give anesthesiologist time to get to the hospital from wherever his home was. I’m convinced he, too, must have chosen to take a bath, shave, and flat iron his hair. No pain meds, my water had broken, and the head was coming out. ”Don’t push if you want an epidural,” said the nurse. She checked my dilation, and I was now beyond the 1-10cm scale. I was at a +1. The baby was coming, ready or not. At this point, the contractions were so strong that pushing wasn’t something I could hold back. Involuntarily, my body was pushing that head out. Bloody murder was I in pain!!! Unspeakable pain!! I had wanted this. It was exactly the birthing story I had hoped for, and at 5:56am, the baby arrived. We found out the gender: it was a girl! Welcome to the world, baby Julie Anna!!
Oh my goodness, I loved her- and love her deeper each passing moment. But a GIRL! The world can be so tough on girls. Mothers can be so tough on girls. Life can be so tough on girls. I’m pretty sure I’ll have to volunteer as a Middle School coach, just so she’ll have backup to handle all the cliquish little bitches. In high school, if any pimple-faced boy thinks he’s going to steal my daughter’s innocence, I will beat him with what we in the kettlebell world know as a “beast.” A 105.6 pound kettlebell is a beast. I will go after him with the anger of Mamabear, armed with the ammo of a beast.
After school, when she’s trying to live her dream, I want her to make the world better in whatever way she feels gifted and called, but, Lord, don’t let her be a fitness model. I love my work as a fitness educator, journalist, and spokesperson. I am blessed by all of my opportunities to help show people what’s possibly by adhering to a fit lifestyle. Image is always going to be a part of that. The dehumanizing part happens when the photograph of a physically fit female is not seen as a fit woman or inspirational human being. The person, herself, is reduced to a sex symbol. I hope to take jobs and project my image, socially, in ways that inspire people but keeps my humanity, and, indeed, promote fitness and change lives. Mamabear has learned how to brush off objectification, but should anyone dare ogle Sisterbear, claws are going to have to come out. (I see now why Nanabear had her own reservations over my choice to walk this path. It comes from a place of protection). IF little Julie Anna decides she wants to positively impact the world through some other trade or industry, I would take a sigh of relief.
I hope I raise her right. I hope I protect her. I hope she knows she can come to me with anything. I hope she knows I’m on her side. I hope she knows my pride in her goes beyond her wildest dreams. I hope she will talk to me when she has problems. I hope I can be the mother she deserves. Thank you, Lord, for the blessing you have trusted me with in giving me Sisterbear: 6lb 9.6oz, 18″ Julie Anna on Sunday, May 14 at 5:56am. I am truly overcome and enveloped with gratitude.
Papabear, Daniel; Brotherbear, Hayes; Julie Anna and I are all doing great!