Seven Pounds, Three Ounces - The Great Unwind - CycleBlaze

January 1, 2018

Seven Pounds, Three Ounces

After the first night, when this baby is most definitely going to arrive, all the way up until the point where it most definitely is not.

After the second night, when this baby is most definitely going to arrive, all the way up until the point where it, again, most definitely is not.

After the search for ways to fill the idle time.

After the search for ways to calm the un-idle mind.

After the sleepless naps.

After the late afternoon visit to midwife's office, where membranes are stripped and it's suggested we walk the streets of Mt. Vernon for an hour to try and help things along.

After the hour-long walk through the streets of Mt. Vernon, shivering in the cold of the year's last day; talking, hoping, wondering.

After the van ride back to the small boat we have called home for the past two weeks.

After the arrival of contractions a few hours later that strike with such force it becomes clear that the last two nights were nothing but a drill.

After the realization that this is it.

After the careful steps down to the narrow pier.

After the six stops on the way to the head of the dock, each time waiting for the wave of a contraction to break, with two-dozen sets of sailboat rigging clanking in uncoordinated time all around us.

After the ride back to the clinic, where the contractions aren't so strong that Kristen can't laugh at my jokes, which are numerous and very funny, I assure you.

After the arrival at the clinic.

After the rolling from side to side on the yoga ball, over and over again.

After the walks up and down the hallways of the clinic that sits empty but for us and the midwife as the clock rolls over to midnight and we trade one year for the next.

After the realization that we will not be getting an extra tax break for 2017.

After the hours-long album of relaxing music comes to its end.

After the midwife tells us there's still a long way left to go.

After the hour-long nap where we wake up more tired than when we began.

After the hour Kristen spends in the bathtub, where the progress of time seems to have stopped.

After the moment she rises from the bathtub and the bag of water in her belly that for days has refused to break all of a sudden springs a leak.

After the trickle of water becomes a stream, then a river, then an ocean.

After the second midwife arrives, because the event we have been imagining for days and weeks and months is at hand.

After the pushing, the pushing, the pushing.

After the breathing, the breathing, the breathing.

After the pushing, the pushing, the ... well, you get the idea.

After the crown of one tiny head covered in a thousand tiny hairs appears as if from nowhere.

After the sweat pours from Kristen's brow and the back of her neck.

After her face shows the fatigue of the hardest task she'll ever do.

After the widest part of the head clears the way forward.

After the ears, then the neck, then the shoulders, then the chest, then the belly, then the hips.

After one last mighty push.

After the bright red streams of blood cascade down my forearms.

After the realization that I'm holding in my hands the most beautiful little girl upon which I have ever laid eyes.

After the two steps I take from the foot of the bed to the top and place this most perfect little girl in her mother's arms.

After all of this — after three days of false starts and effort and mystery and wonder and exhaustion — we hold in our arms seven pounds, three ounces, and the weight of a future that only seven months ago we never could have imagined.

Welcome to this world, Juniper Rose.

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Bennie D. BarfieldCONGRATULATIONS :: I've got to get in touch with Bernice and Mike Miller, you know, the couple you met here in Reidsville, Ga. a couple of years ago!!
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1 year ago
Bruce LellmanBeautiful. Just beautiful.
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1 year ago
Paul MulveyAs a father to two girls (who are both in University right now) you are about to embark on your greatest tour. May it be filled with all of the joys and wonder and adventure of parenthood.
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1 year ago
Danaƫ SowdersI'm so excited for you guys! I was sad y'all disappeared off CGOAB but I knew you had to be up to some kind of adventure. Little did I know the scope of the adventure you were on.

Congratulations, Jeff and Kristen. You guys are going to kick ass at parenting. :D
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1 year ago
Jeff ArnimTo Danaƫ SowdersA belated thank you for the kind words. This is indeed the adventure of our lives. It's an incredible amount of working, but it's also incredibly rewarding, and we can't wait to see what the road ahead holds for the three of us.

All the best to you and yours.
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1 year ago