On Friday, July 1 at 12:59 pm, Luna June Ciancio made her way into the world to the sounds of Elton John’s Tiny Dancer and grunting noises from me.
It seemed like the perfect balance.
Now little Luna, although we didn’t know she was a Luna at the time, wasn’t due to make her debut until late July.
However, as with most things in life, there was a change of plans.
My blood pressure levels were elevating starting in my 32nd week of pregnancy, and if you know anything about blood pressures and pregnancy, high numbers immediately raise a red flag.
So, instead of the picture-perfect water-breaking scenario, I had envisioned for myself, we decided the best route to take was an induction at 37 weeks.
This was not an easy decision for me. I truly did not want to take this route and deeply wanted as close to a natural birth as possible.
After a couple of very long appointments with my doctor and several lengthy conversations with our doula, I began to feel more comfortable and empowered with this new and unexpected plan.
Of course, the main objective was ushering Luna safely into the world and keeping my own health out of harm’s way so I knew what we had to do.
On the way to the hospital, I remember looking out the window with tears streaming down my face and my throat swelling up. This was all too familiar, but it hadn’t been felt for quite some time.
I was missing my mom…and badly. It felt odd to be on the way to becoming a mom, yet I didn’t have one of my own to share the excitement with or ask any advice from. No one to seek that maternal care from that I so desperately wanted and needed.
This was a new sensation of grief, one I have a feeling I’ll experience much more of as I embark on motherhood.
Still, as I write this it saddens me, but I believe my mom sent us a little girl so her name would be said for years to come.
I especially believe this to be true because everyone and their mother said I was having a boy. Well everyone except for my sister, Nicole. She was certain it was a little baby girl in there. She was right.
Eventually, we arrived at Prentice, settled into our birthing suite, and waited with anticipation for everything to begin.
Once the induction kicked in, it was full steam ahead.
In a room full of six people, including myself, Anthony, our doula, Jennifer, Dr. Constants Adams, and our nurses, Kendall and Izzy, we worked as a team to get the job done. And it was an amazing team if I may add.
Bless the hearts of nurses! My goodness, they are earth angels.
Now in an effort to really feel what childbirth feels like, I held off from pain meds for as long as I could. When about fifty minutes in, I was no longer curious about how it felt and didn’t want to feel what I was feeling so in went the epidural! Thank goddess for modern medicine!
As intense as some of the moments were, we had some laughs and good conversations between all the pushing. Giving birth to our baby was one of my life’s coolest, most beautiful, and most extraordinary moments. I loved it.
After eight hours of labor with an hour and a half of pushing, sweet little Luna June arrived. She was 6lbs 2oz and 19.2 inches long.
I’ve been settling into motherhood comfortably and working through all of the challenges as I get to know Luna and what she needs from her dad and me.
Having my whole plan of what I envisioned thrown out the window offered me a lesson I didn’t realize I so badly needed.
Nothing goes as planned and sometimes everything goes as planned.
It’s just a matter of going with the flow and taking it one step at a time or else there’s no flow and only panic.
Luna has taught me so much already and more than anything, like her name, and just like the moon, we go through phases.
And so far, I am loving this first phase of motherhood…even if I am utterly exhausted.
Oh and also, newborn babies are so damn cozy.
This post was originally written for Hillgrove Avenue Magazine.
TO LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST, “COZY CONVERSATIONS WITH THE SISTER PROJECT”, PLEASE STREAM ON SPOTIFY, APPLE, ANCHOR.COM, OR ANYWHERE ELSE YOU STREAM PODCASTS.
To learn more about how you can support The Sister Project and the content we create, please head HERE.