Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Day Our Gift Arrived

I received an email from someone who wanted to know what it was like the day that I had Rosemary. So as best as I can remember, this is what it was like.


I was initially supposed to be induced because my amniotic fluid was getting too low to keep Rosemary inside safely. However, everyone and their sister was having a baby that day, so they sent me home and offered to call when a bed became available. What? I know, it seemed so unusual, but we left, quite anxious.

When we got home, Drew's family was waiting for us. We were all very excited and waiting for the call from the hospital. Hours passed and no call. So around 6pm, I called and said, "What's up?" About an hour later, the on-call doctor said to come in. And then it hit me. All of this excitement, and now I'm numb. I had no idea what to think or feel. Just as we were getting ready to leave, we looked out the window, and a double rainbow was shining above our house. I knew it was going to be alright.

After valet parking the van, we came to realize that we were only there to wait even longer. The moon must have been full and the barometric pressure just right, because woman after woman came waddling through the door with that look that only a woman within moments of delivery could have. Another woman had been told to come in for induction, so both of us and our husbands rolled our eyes simultaneously all night as our pole positions worsened.

Around 11pm, I was finally taken to a room. The usual monitors were attached and an IV was administered. For the next four hours, we sat in a holding room because there was still no delivery room for us. So I rested and waited. Without being induced, I surprisingly found myself in labor. Rosemary must have known, and wanted to begin her life. By 8 AM, I was in need of a delivery room. Once my epidural was in place, and comfort was mine, night-night. I napped for about an hour and a half, the nurse woke me up and said that I was ready. I woke Drew, and we were all ready for this day.

(CUT TO THE CHASE VERSION-from here down)

I was nervous, anxious, excited, desperately wanting a Future-Cam to tell me what was going to happen. As the doctor prepared the receiving table, I just wanted to hold Rosie, but they informed me that I may not be able to, depending on her status.

When she came out, she looked like a little blueberry, but she was crying and moving-and that's a good sign. I got to touch her and kiss her head, I told her that I loved her and then off she went to the temporary NICU. There, they connected her umbilical cord vessels to the necessary fluids and med lines, prostaglandins to keep the hole open between the top two atria.

About an hour later, we got to see her. They wheeled me in on my bed, Drew behind me, and we got to see her lying there peaceful, quiet, breathing and comfortable. She was a miracle. It was just as I'd seen on our NICU tour, except this time, the baby was ours.

I couldn't quite get over how I wasn't able to hold her, I didn't know when I would. I loved her, I was afraid of how much I loved her because I didn't want to lose her. I didn't know what to expect, if she would be alright, if she would make it. But I tried to never let that thought re-enter my head. That was a constant battle between preparedness and insanity. I made myself get over my fears so that I could hold onto some of my sanity and be there for her. My brain froze the part that recognized my own needs, and somehow, my maternal instincts kicked my ass and made me forget about myself. It was a good thing. The only way that I can describe that day in a nut shell, is that I entered the tunnel, looked toward the light and started walking. And from that day, to her 3rd day of life when she had her first open-heart surgery, to the month and a half hospital stay where we almost lost her, to this moment as she sleeps soundly in her crib, I just keep walking.

I'll never stop being amazed at how resilient this kid is. She's simply amazing.

I chose risk to have her, and chose love when she lived. That's where I've been ever since.

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