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Seventeen years ago (last night), I was sitting at home when the pain started.  I called the hospital because I thought I was in labor.  The nurse told me that it was false labor and to rest – it will go away.  It was after dinner so I attempted to relax in the bathtub.  I remember making my way down the stairs to go to bed and just sitting down on the step.  I cried because I was in pain and they hadn’t believed me.

I called my father to come check on me when he got off work at midnight.  I couldn’t tell anything about the pain.  It didn’t feel anything like they described.  At 1, I told my father that I thought the contractions were two minutes apart and we should go to the hospital.

The nurse was the same I talked to on the phone – still think you are in labor, she asked me.  She took me into a room and started prepping me.  Then the examination began – to their surprise I was not only in labor but really in labor.  I had come in much later than I should have.

Just after six, my son was born.  I can tell you the weather on that day because it’s so engrained in my memory (slushy and grey).  When he came into this world, I had them give him to my mother.  She teases that I didn’t want him.  The reality is the movies are wrong.  The baby comes out but it’s not over – there’s poking and prodding and stitches that come after.  And they expected me to hold this brand new baby while they did it.  No thank you.

I waited until they were done and then held my perfect beautiful baby boy.  Even after 17 years, I still love that little boy.  He’s still perfect.  He makes me crazy but I still get blurry eyed when I think of him.

You can’t imagine loving someone like that before you have a child and after you can’t imagine not wanting to.  Raising a child is hard, I’m not going to debate that.  I’m not going to berate anyone who knows they can’t do it.

I’m just here to say that we’ve survived seventeen years of child rearing.  I know that I have many more years to come before he’ll be able to stand confidently on his own feet.  I look forward to that but I will always miss that baby boy and still see him in that six foot plus man.