When I found out my due date was September 13, I hoped and prayed he wouldn’t come on September 11. But here’s why I’m so glad he did.
I discovered I was pregnant on New Year’s Day.
It was symbolic in so many ways. New year. New life. New journey. It was extra special since my parents had been in a near fatal car accident in 2009. To start 2010 with such a positive bang just felt right. I was euphoric.
Like most new moms-to-be, I was soon Googling away like mad…
How big was my baby?
What’s the first trimester like?
And of course, the most important thing a newly pregnant gal wants to know, when’s my baby’s due date?
I entered in the date of my last menstrual period and the computer spat out September 12th. My heart skipped a beat. That was only one day away from…
The baby will be late, I told myself
Aren’t most first time moms late?
At my first prenatal appointment, my midwife took out her due date doohickey and said my baby would arrive on September 13th. Yes! (But what about unlucky 13?)
In my birthing class, I learned that first moms delivered an average of eight days after their due dates. Statistically speaking, that put me at September 21st. I was giddy.
But still I noticed that people flinched when I said my due date was September 12. I knew what they were thinking: Close call.
As September approached, I thought it would be fun to have a Labor Day birth. The name is so fitting. I also got engaged on Labor Day. (And yes, marriage is work.) But the day came and went. No baby.
My aunt, a nun and professor, assured me that I didn’t want a Labor Day baby anyway, since the holiday was associated with struggle and strife. She was rooting for September 8th, the Virgin Mary’s birthday. Or September 14th, the date of the exaltation of the Holy Cross.
Not too shabby.
Anything but September 11th
As I was about to go to bed on September 9th, I noticed some fluid in my underwear. Not much, but something was different.
There was more the next morning, so I went to see my midwife. She tested the fluid and said it was the beginning of “bloody show.”
(Note that bloody show is different from the mucus plug.)
“What’s that mean?” I said with bated breath.
“That means you could go into labor in the next 24 hours,” she said. “Or the next week.”
Dear God, let it be a week. Or at least the 12th.
At 9:30 p.m. on September 10th, I felt weird abdominal pains. Was it labor or Braxton Hicks? I didn’t know. It was all new to me.
But, as I staggered around my neighborhood at 2:30 the following morning trying to “walk things off,” I realized these were no Braxton Hicks.
I entered the hospital around 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 11th
I was in so much pain, I didn’t care what day it was.
I was five centimeters dilated. By 7 p.m., my water broke, and I was in the birthing tub. My midwife declared I’d have the baby by 8:30 p.m. My heart sank, but then I quickly returned to the task of childbirth.
Eight thirty p.m. came and went, and still I was pushing. At 11 p.m., my midwife and doula started talking about forceps and vacuum extractions. Delirious, I talked about going to bed and delivering in the morning. And I was serious.
All my mama naturalness went out the window. I begged for a c-section, and I was serious.
I wanted this baby out
The midwife gave me two drops of Pitocin. Three pushes later, my baby Griffin Damascus was born.
It was 11:03 p.m., September 11, 2010. Fifty-seven minutes away from the 12th. From his due date. The “safe” date. The date I’d clung to.
But all of my vain attempts to control his destiny were washed away in a pool of blood, sweat, and vernix after a 27-hour unmedicated labor.
Griffin is my September 11th baby
He was born out of the greatest physical pain I’ve ever experienced. He took me to the ends of myself. I had never experienced something so violent, so intense, so primal. His birthdate was perfect.
Griffin wailed for the first hour after his birth… almost to say “what took you so long?” In those first, fierce screeches, I knew this was a strong soul.
Today, I love that Griffin was born on September 11th. Out of my personal ashes came this beautiful new life. My husband and I selected his name before he was born and now it had even greater significance. Griffin means “strong in the Lord” and Damascus was a place of great transformation for a man who spread the gospel and changed the course of humanity.
It reminds me of when some of Jesus’s followers asked him “what good could come out of Nazareth?” And he said “Come and see.”
As a country, we proved what good can come out of September 11th. And I know my son will too.
Here’s Griffin, our September 11th baby, at three years old 🙂
Want to see my birthing process with this handsome boy?
Click here to see videos from this three part saga