10:02pm

At 10:02pm on 17.08.14 Clover May Sinay Riley was born naturally with no assistance after five hours of painless active labour.

I still remember it well as if it was a movie being replayed in my head. I remember waking up at 4:30am knowing we would meet our baby real soon. I sang to me belly with the voices of my Vietnamese students in my head. I could hear the laughter of my sangha from when I was in France. They were there helping me and keeping me calm and excited.

I knolled, meditated, ate, talked, walked and watched Friends (Tim checked the other day it was the one when everyone found out about Monica and Chandler). Tim stayed by me the whole day. He tended to my needs. He held my hand, made me tea and was there for me completely. I never once felt I had to do it alone. I didn’t feel like I had to try.
I remember going into the hospital in a shortsleeve dress thinking how insanely hot it was despite the cold winter night. We got to the birth centre and the tub was being filled. Our midwife arrived after us. and she told me I was good to birth the baby when I was ready.

I laid on the bed, hopped in the bath, got on all fours on the bed and pushed.
Clover, you came, you were passed on to me and I looked at your dada and we smiled so wide the world seemed to stop.

It’s now 10:02. You are one.

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