Before I forget.

Reese and Finn,

I know how much I liked hearing the story of how I was born, and I'll tell you, it's only been a few years and I'm already struggling to remember the details of your much celebrated, much awaited arrivals.

So, pre-Alzheimer's, I want you to know:

You were exactly six days late and had already made me wrong for the first of many times that would lie ahead: I thought you would be early. Instead, your Dad and I checked in to the hospital at 10PM on December 9th, 2003 to be induced - to uproot you from your snug little home, which knowing you now, I realize must have been very against your will. You like to stay put. You like to be home. You are a homebody. Nevertheless it was out you would come - after 17 hours of labor and many epidural "boosters" - you slid out into my waiting arms. That's right, the doctor made me "catch" you, a hand under each of your armpits, I pulled you out into the world myself. I told him he should take ten percent off his bill if he was going to make me do HIS job, too.

But really, if you want to know the truth, I'm glad. Because when you came out eyes open, the first thing you saw was me. Your mama. Our eyes locked at minute one and our hearts at minute two. And ever since, even on the days you make me question my fitness for this job, on days you sit on my very last nerve, I would throw myself in front of a semi for you. I would give you the last of my chocolate bar. The cherry on my sundae. The last ride on the carousel. For you, Reese, I would do anything, for it is you who captured me first. First and always.

I thought for sure you'd be early. Yet again, a lesson in patience. Then when you were two days late, I got used to the fact you'd be late and planned accordingly. So, of course, you decided to come that night. At a few minutes past midnight on November 10th, the contractions started coming two minutes apart, hard and fast. And they didn't stop. We ended up at the hospital at 2AM and I was already dilated to 4-5 centimeters. This, for a woman in labor, means one thing: epidural at will. And my will was imposed immediately if not sooner. But, after some initial stalling and then pitocin for the stalling, the epidural never could catch up with your desire to be out, now. You were in a hurry. Your Dad was the one to catch you, with me trying to work from my side as best I could. You came out screaming and husky and gorgeous and didn't stop being any of those - still. Now you are also charming and sweet and smart and so kind. You did what I had no idea could be done: you made my heart larger. You, seeing it full already with your Dad and your sister, added on a room. A room just for you. You are my special surprise. My proof that my lack of control of this Earth's plans, of my life's path is indeed a gift. You are a gift.



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