January 30, 2001, 6:30pm

At this very moment, 8 years ago, I had been lying in the same hospital bed for almost 12 hours. I was probably just about ready to receive my second epidural; and, thanks to the first epidural 8 hours before, I was a lot more rested than Nick and my mom, who hadn’t left my side since early that morning.

I was anxious to finally meet my new baby boy and hold him in my arms for the first time. But, I was extremely nervous about what the next few hours held in store… I still didn’t understand how I was supposed to physically birth that child! No matter how many episodes I’d watched of A Baby Story in the past 9 months, I still didn’t know how I was going to accomplish such a task (they make it look so easy on television, but somehow, I knew better!).

I was 24 years old and thought I was an adult. I thought I was more than ready to be a mother to that gorgeous, perfect baby…to place more value on his life than my own and to love him and teach him everything he’d ever need to know.

I had absolutely no clue how difficult the next several hours would be. I had absolutely no clue just HOW perfect that baby would look when I first laid eyes on him. I had absolutely no clue how my life would change in every way possible the moment he came into the world screaming. No clue.

But it wouldn’t be long before I found out…

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