A week ago today, I spent all day in bed. It wasn’t as comfortable as one would think. I was hooked up to an IV of fluid, an IV of pitocin and had an epidural catheter running into my spine. I couldn’t feel my right leg at all, but my left leg was oddly feeling everything. Every so often, I would be overcome by waves of pain and due to the drugs running into me working to get you out, I’d have to wear an oxygen mask to make sure your little heart would beat at an appropriate speed. Three shifts of nurses attended to me and my needs as well as yours, including a very wonderful and calming nurse named Salame and a pretty and friendly student nurse named Rebekah. Your father kept me in good spirits by sitting by my side for the majority of the day and keeping me sane. He’d play some music for us to help us relax and help me turn over from time to time to help things move along and keep me comfortable. He was patient and more loving than I’d ever seen him and I don’t know what I would’ve done without him there. Periodically, grandma and grandpa would come by and check in on us as well. I dined on the finest of ice chips from 6am until 11pm, and that is all that I put into my mouth until you were here and with us. My doctor kept threatening to take you out of my tummy by cutting me open, but we both knew you’d come into this world the way it was intended. At around 9pm, when I hadn’t progressed as much as they’d like, they told me that I had one more hour to let my body and you work together, to open the door wide enough. At this time, I had a brief conversation with you involving promises of future gifts if you just worked with me. I didn’t want major surgery to be the way you entered this world and I knew that if we worked together over the next hour, we could make a vaginal birth happen. At 11pm, the room swarmed with nurses and doctors and your daddy, who was present all day and incredibly comforting and calming. It was time for me to push. The doctor and nurses (well, mostly my doctor) as well as your daddy pushed me pretty hard to get you out quickly. I think the doctor was ready to go home after having been around all day waiting for you to get here. At 11:20 pm, I asked what time it was. Considering I’d been in labor with you since 7am, I couldn’t blame her. I was totally on board with the plan to make sure you were born on November 11, and not November 12. I was exhausted but found a second wind when I started pushing, giving everything I had with each push. I couldn’t feel much down there due to the medication, but I felt pressure and could see the reflection of your head in my doctor’s protective visor. That, quite honestly, was weird. Within 10 minutes, you were out, a flurry of activity was happening. You were placed on my now flat, albeit flabby, belly, bloody and warm…still connected to me by your umbilical cord. I was overcome by a flood of emotions that I can’t even begin to describe. Bawling my eyes out, I just kept saying “oh my god, oh my god” over and over again. I looked at your perfect little toes and your perfect little fingers and remarked that you had normal thumbs, as opposed to my odd looking hammerhead digits. They took you away from me, weighed you and gave you your first test (which you passed with flying colors, strong, loud cries and all). My doctor stitched me up and informed me that my eagerness to bring you into this world, combined with the size of your head, had ripped me pretty good. This, I would learn later, is not fun to recover from ( I still am, but it gets better every day). They brought you back to me wrapped in a blanket and let me look at you and hold you. At this point, grandma and grandpa were allowed to meet you for the first time, but weren’t allowed to stay too long as I began to turn whiter than the sheets around me and my blood pressure took a nose dive. All I was concerned with was being able to feed you for the first time and being there for you, but my own health was apparently at risk. Not entirely sure what cause it, but it took me a good hour to get back to the point where they’d let me hold you again. Meanwhile, you rested in daddy’s arms, crying a little bit, taking in the world around you. They eventually gave you back to me and let me feed you. They took us up to postpartum and took you the nursery to give you your first bath. You got to ride on an elevator for the first time, safe in my arms. Eventually you were returned to us one more and we began our life, in the hospital, as a family…sleep deprivation and all. It was a very long Wednesday, one of the longest ones of my life…and definitely one of more memorable ones that I will never forget.
I love you Alva.