It was then that I finally understood. I breathed in a deep sigh of relief, so this is what they meant... "You will understand when you have kids of your own." HA! Never in a million years did I think that I would ever succumb to the words I so often heard as a child. It was then that I understood, in that moment between impending parenthood and actual MOTHERHOOD: the most rewarding, frightening moment of my life. Somehow I managed to muffle the beeping, talking, all of that medical jibber-jab. I was focused, ready. I would be damned if all those books and classes were wasted. I was half conscious ( thanks to the drugs mostly) or maybe this was some sort of defense mechanism... "Just a little while longer" I thought... "I'm not quite ready." However; the bun in this oven was nearly burnt... and there was no looking back now. I looked to my left and he was there, always there. Holding my hand as if it were some sort of porcelain, I saw him lip the words "I love you". Of course, my heart melted, as it always did when he looked at me that way. I am speaking of Marshall, my very own Prince Charming :)This was it. This was actually happening. In that moment, I saw myself. I hate to be so cliché BUT SERIOUSLY! this was sort of an "out of body" experience. I watched myself; my face was void of emotion, but my eyes... my eyes were sick with a thousand uncertainties and a million questions. If I could only read just a few more books, take just a few more classes THEN maybe I will be ready. I realized it was the first thing in my life I had no control over what-so-ever. You see, I had always been such a free spirit... really went wherever the wind blew me. Until I met him of course, my reason for breathing, my very own angel. Looking in his eyes again, trying so very hard to hide my fears.... painting my expression with anticipation... and excitement (If I were being honest with myself, I was scared shitless). We were having a daughter, a little girl named Skyler. Then his face turned white and in that instant... I knew... this is for real. (You see, he is a little squeamish... the idea of a cesarean section did not have quite the same appeal as natural birth... it was so... so medical.) I felt the tugging, the gut wrenching pulling... "Her head is out" he said to me... My heart fluttered. I had forgotten to breathe... the nurse behind me seeing my face... put yet another dose of morphine in my IV. I didn't want that, I wanted to be coherent... I wanted to meet my daughter SOBER. It seemed so unnecessary at the time, nothing could ruin this... and I fought that creeping venom in my veins for what felt like a century... slowly but inevitably... my head dropped... my eyes so heavy from the drugs. All I wanted was to sleep... so exhausted... more from the anticipation than the pregnancy I'd wager. Then I heard it... that long gut curdling cry. She was here, she was finally here. The corners of my lips rose... I thought I was smiling? However, so stunned, so impaired, I wasn't sure. I had pictured this moment in my head a thousand times, so sure I was going to break out in uncontrollable tears, but I couldn’t bring myself to cry. Shock, maybe. Utter and complete shock. I was a Mother. Mom. Momma. HA! I laughed at the thought, who ever would have guessed? Me, Ashley...? I lay there while they sewed me up... listening to my baby... the most insanely loud cry I had ever heard, the most beautiful sound in all the world. She was mine. My Daughter, My Skyler... and no one could ever take that away from me. Suddenly all the fears of a Mother clouded my view... I saw her entire life flash before my eyes and there they were... the tears I had been searching for.... overwhelmed... with LOVE. This love was so deep... there are no words to do it justice. Then I heard it again... "You will understand when you have kids." They were right... they had been right all along. I breathed in yet another, more distinguished sigh of relief... he was holding our daughter... our creation... our new reason for being... and our love grew, it was unexplainable... I suddenly loved him more than ever. There they were... my world. My life. I smiled, knowing I could close my eyes now... I let the moment take me away into an inexplicable peace.