Six years ago today was quite possibly the most important day of my life. And the scariest.
Four days prior, I had been to the doctor for my last check-up before my scheduled induction. The baby measured huge (10 lbs) and the doctor was worried. For my future, because of my past. For my baby. Who was still, by the way, 3 weeks early.
She suggested a Cesarean, and despite the fact that it scared the crap out of me, I chose to listen. There are times when you have to be your own advocate and fight your doctor and there are times when you have to shut up and listen to what the lady with the degrees has to say. (Can you tell how much I've had to defend this decision?)
The plan was for me to arrive at the hospital at 11 for surgery at 12. Except that I was so nervous I got there at a little after 10. They are apparently used to that, however, because no one freaked out.
Of course, because I was there early, there were a series of emergency c-sections that bumped my perfectly calm, normal, pre-planned one out of the water. Nearly 3 hours later, I was on the table, grabbing my knees and crying as the anesthesiologist poked me in the spine repeatedly (apparently my vertebrae are very close together or something) and my nurse was yelling at me to relax.
When I was finally numb and The Husband was finally beside me and the doctor was finally cutting, I was finally calm. Until they told me Brynna was here, safe and sound and she started crying. Then I was so completely relieved I asked if the doctor still needed me.
"Well, you can't leave yet..." she giggled.
"No," I replied, "I was just wondering if I could go to sleep now." After permission was granted, I dozed happily off.
Later, as I was wheeled down the hall, the nurse told me that Brynna wouldn't be able to meet me in the room for a while because she was experiencing a bit of respiratory distress. She wheeled me up to the window of the nursery so I could peek in at my little angel for a moment.
Because of the after effects of a complete and total lack of sleep, a hefty dose of anaesthetics, and a great paranoia led to me interpret this visit as my last chance to see my child alive. Because I didn't want to bring anyone else down, I chose to not say anything about it. I'm not saying I made sense, I can't explain it.
They came in many times to tell me that Brynna was still in distress, but should be with me soon. The last update that she gave was that they were giving her a time limit. If she wasn't breathing normally in another hour, she'd have to go to NICU.
Considering what was going on in my head, it's amazing how well I handled all this. Actually, it's all a little fuzzy in my memory.
The next part isn't at all fuzzy, though. It is something I will remember until the day I die.
I heard a baby crying in the hallway. I'd heard babies crying in the hallway off and on all day. But this time was different. I knew, just knew, for no apparent reason that this crying baby was Brynna. I listened as she got closer and closer. Listened as she paused in the hallway. Listened as my door opened.
This was not normal baby crying, it was incredible screaming. This was ear piercing, high decibel banshee crying. And it was my baby.
The nurse brought her rolly bed over and picked her up and settled her in my arms. The moment her head settled against my arm, she hushed. A look of calm came over her and almost instantly, she slept.
That was the moment. Through two pregnancies, I had anticipated motherhood. I had taken vitamins, followed the rules, given up the queso at my favorite Mexican restaurant. I had bought supplies, set up nurseries, crocheted blankies. I had loved my children with every beat of my heart. I had mourned, lived in fear, celebrated, cried and laughed. I had balanced things on my stomach and let her kick them off. I had been a mother from the moment the strip turned pink.
But this moment, with my newly calm baby in my arms, was the moment I became a mom.
Six years ago today was the day that I became a mom. The day my life changed. The day all my priorities shifted completely. The day that my baby girl batted those huge dark eyes at me, right before drifting off.
It may be my pigeon's birthday, but in many ways, it's mine too.