We have all heard the saying "there's two sides to every story". In the case of today's blog, I'll start by saying, there's several sides to this story. The story of sweet Ali Girl's birth is one that a few of us had the honor of experiencing and as I sit here and reflect on it, I realize that even today, I'm not sure I'll find all the words to describe it and give it justice.
Annie and I have been best friends since the moment we met. It was instantaneous. We clicked over bean burritos and Diet Coke as freshmen at Western and have been inseperable ever since. To say the least. Just this week, we are celebrating ten years as friends. When I look back at the last ten years and all we've experienced, it's hard for me to accept the fact that its only been ten years. So much has happened in what feels like a lifetime of friendship. I really can't remember my life "pre-Annie". I'm so lucky. She is the perfect friend for me. "Love" doesn't even begin to describe how I feel about this girl. Especially now.
About 9 months ago, Ty and I made our 6 minute trek over to the Dumond's for a typical Saturday night dinner ala sweats. Within seconds of walking in the door I noticed their sweet pups wearing little shirts. I didn't even have to read them to know what was going on. You see, we've talked about this moment for the last ten years. The moment where she'd share news with me that would change our lives forever. Our friendship has consisted of conversations about our future and all that we have to look forward to since day one. At 18, we talked about meeting "the one" while watching TLC's Wedding Story in between classes. We'd then skip our next class to watch TLC's Baby Story so we could imagine the day when we'd see each other as moms. It seemed so far away. It wasn't.
Annie's pregnancy was just another chapter in the book we'll call Our Friendship - from seeing the pee stick, to learning it was a girl, to watching her and Dui get the nursery ready, to doctors appointments, blog entries, maternity clothes, summer walks around the neighborhood, and finally the call that changed everything.
4:30am Friday, August 27th, 2010
* I want to note that I did wake up at 3am and pretty much couldn't go back to sleep because I was thinking about Annie and the babe.
Me: Hi Honey! (He was calling from Annie's phone.)
Dui: It's Dumond. (Morning voice and all.)
Me: Oh. Hi Dumond. What's going on? (Duh.)
Dui: OK, so Annie's been having contractions since 2 and they are about 5 min apart. You should probably come now. (In other words, I know you'd be pissed if I waited any longer to call you so I am calling now knowing there's nothing else you'd rather be doing.)
Me: OK, I am going to shower and come right over. (Obviously.)
Dui: OK, bye.
Me: See you soon.
At this point, I yelled to Ty, as he slept soundly next to me: "Ty! This is it!! It's happening!" I shot up, ran to the bathroom, started brushing my teeth and texting simultaneously to my boss that I wasn't coming in today. I quickly realized a shower was not going to happen. I needed to get my butt over to Annie's ASAP. The formally mentioned 6 minute "trek" seemed like a freaking 100 mile walk in slow motion in a blizzard. It felt like it took me forever to get there. I walked in the door to see my girl looking amazing. She did not look like she was in labor. She was just beautiful and ready to go. Ready to meet this baby girl she and Dumond had been so excited to meet for, well, ever.
I felt like I spent the next 24 hours with my mouth to the floor. Here's where I just don't feel like I can give the day justice. To see pictures from the day, you can actually see the slideshow I put toghether using Annie's dad's pictures from the day. Eddie Bear was with us the whole time and captured this special day. Speechless. Annie posted it on her blog - so grab some kleenex and turn up the volume!
I've never been with anyone during labor before. Not like this. I can't tell you how amazing the day was. What I will say is this: there's simply nothing like it. There's nothing like seeing your best friend bring life into this world. There's nothing like seeing someone you love so much show strength like you've never known. Ali came into this world at 1:30am on August 28th and everything changed. Seeing her and meeting her for the first time, was beyond what I expected. The day was so much of what I expected, and nothing I expected at the same time. I just didn't expect to be blown away like I was. I was blown away by Annie's peace and strength through the entire process. I was blown away by Dumond's commitment and constant support and encouragement. I was blown away by the emotion of seeing Annie's parents see their sweet baby girl become a mother herself. There are moments from the day that I will never forget. I will forever feel grateful to Annie and Dui for allowing me to be apart of it all... to be there on the sidelines, jaw dropped and in absolute amazement as they met their daughter for the first time.
New life is incredible. The experience is indescribable. The love you feel is unimaginable. I am so proud of my best friend. I have a new appreciation for women who give birth - because really, is there anything bigger than this?