There’s just something about the rain. I can remember as a girl, my father would drag me out of the house to watch a storm roll in. We would watch as the clouds turned grey and wait until lightening lit up the sky. I would scream as the rain poured over me and he would laugh, occasionally pushing me to stay outside and experience it. I would run inside as soon as I could only to turn around and watch him fearlessly stand in the storm. I will never forget watching those storms with my father.
As a grown woman, rain seems to follow me. It rained on my wedding day. It has rained on almost every occasion I’ve planned for myself. On August 26th, as I drove to my last appointment with my midwife, the clouds began to roll in. We hadn’t seen rain here in Georgia for weeks. Maybe longer. But as I parked my car and walked into the hospital, the sky opened up and rain drops started falling. That is when I knew, she was coming.
I didn’t share my intuition with my midwife. But after examining me, she confirmed that our baby girl would be here shortly. I was elated. Excited that my body was preparing to give birth. As a woman, I am truly amazed of what our bodies are capable of. I had waited 9 long days after my due date to go into labor with Camden. And with her due date falling on the following day, I was filled with renewed confidence in my body’s capability.
I had decided months before Georgia’s birth that I wanted her to enter the world surrounded by the strong and beautiful women that Bo and I are lucky enough to call family. My mother Myrrl Layne, Bo’s mother Maggie, and our sisters Mackenzie and Nicole. There are so many layers and memories that each of these women contribute to my life. Far too many to list here. But when I envisioned my baby girl’s future, I thought of us all sharing the memory of her birth together. And I imagined drawing strength from my tribe as I brought her into this world. Looking back, I know those choices led to the deep connection we all now share and I couldn’t imagine it otherwise.
After I left my midwife, I spent the afternoon with my Mother and Maggie who were already in town. We laughed, we ate, we played with Camden. We enjoyed the day. As the afternoon progressed, our baby girl started her journey into this world. She came on quickly with contractions starting around 4pm at only 4 minutes apart. Bo arrived home shortly after. He had taken Command only a few days earlier and the hours were already adding up quickly. I labored in my bedroom and showered as my family made dinner.
When the contractions hit the 2 minute apart mark, we decided to leave for the hospital. I remember seeing my baby boy as he was getting ready for bed. Blissfully unaware that his life would never be the same when he awoke the next morning. I knew the gift he was getting by having a sibling in his life, but that didn’t seem to numb the pain I felt saying goodbye to my only baby. The little boy that made me a Mommy. His Mommy. That he now had to share. My heart ached as I kissed him one last time as my only child. I told him about the beautiful year we had together. Just he and I. And how it was the best year of my life. He smiled as if he knew.
As we arrived to the hospital the pain had overwhelmed me. I labored there in the dark hallways of a closed military hospital. Bo was by my side encouraging me of my strength and coaching me through the pain. Somewhere around midnight, we were admitted at 7cm. It is a miracle to be pregnant. It is a miracle to be moments away from meeting your child. My sisters and mothers arrived just in time for me to begin pushing. Seeing them all walk through the door of my hospital room renewed my energy. I was ready to meet our daughter.
At 5:36 am, on a rainy summer morning, on her due date, surrounded by family, I gave birth to my daughter Georgia Layne. I will never forget the immediate love and appreciation I felt when they laid her on my chest. Bo and I were overcome with emotion when we saw her for the first time. She was a large 9lb, 3oz baby girl that immediately quieted when she was placed on my chest. She was here. This little person that I’d been planning for and dreaming about for over a year was in my arms. And it was perfection.
Just remembering that day, isolated from what has followed, is how I like to think of it. I’d like to tell you that those feelings of love, accomplishment, gratitude, appreciation, safety continued and only multiplied from there. But that isn’t what happened. Shortly after her birth, we returned to the hospital frightened for our daughters health. What followed…the testing, the ambulance transfer, the fear, the loneliness, the guilt…that has overwhelmed my first few months as a mother of two. I have often compared these feelings to drowning.
Thankfully Georgia is healthy. And beautiful. She loves to sleep, smiles when she sees her Papa, and holds her neck up like a pro. It has been the highlight of my life to see my two children together. I love them both beyond measure. I wanted to share our whole story, not just the parts that are easy to write. I hope talking about it more heals my heart and sharing it with you, reminds you that you’re not alone. I hope that whatever journey you’re on right now, that someone see’s you. I hope that you are brave enough to let someone in and that they are fearless enough to hold you through your storm.