Seven years ago today at 9:00 a.m. I nervously walked out of my house, carrying a suitcase bigger than needed and got into my car, shoving my giant beach ball belly under the steering wheel.
Seven years ago today at 10:15 a.m. I arrived at the hospital a full 45 minutes before I was supposed to because I was scared and nervous and wasn't allowed to eat and I really didn't know what to do to kill time besides eat breakfast. I sat in the car in the parking garage and made my car payment by phone. I went over my packing list. I argued one last time about the middle name if the ultrasounds were all (18 of them) wrong and it was a boy.
Seven years ago today at noon, I was asked to wait while the doctor performed an emergency c-section.
Seven years ago today at 1:30, I cried big fat baby tears while an inept anaesthesiologist stabbed me in the spine repeatedly. I begged her to stop and decided I'd just go home and this baby could stay in there forever. It would be fine, really.
Seven years ago today at 2:15, the doctor told me that she was here, she was fine. I laid on the table, not able to see what was going on with tears running down the sides of my face. "Why isn't she crying?" I asked The Ex. "I don't know." I began praying, hard and fast for God to please, please let this baby cry. Please, please, I need to hear her cry. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, she took a big shuddery breath and wailed. It sounded to me like the angels singing and I very nearly sang with them.
Seven years ago today at 2:30, Daddy and Brynna left the OR and I oh-so-casually asked the doctor if she needed me. "Well, I've got to sew you up so you can't go anywhere," she replied. "Oh, I know. I just thought I'd nap." And I did. Slept soundly and fully for the first time in months.
Seven years ago today at 4:00, they told me that Brynna wasn't able to leave the nursery yet. She was having respiratory distress. They wheeled my bed up to the window of the nursery so I could look in. For some reason, I believed that she wasn't going to make it. That they weren't telling me how bad it was but that this might be the last time I saw her alive. I laid there gazing at her, trying to take in every detail. They finally moved me to my room.
Seven years ago today at 6:00, the nurses told me that they were going to give her two more hours in the nursery. At that point, she would have to be well enough to move to my room or she would have to go to NICU. I nodded, numbly.
Seven years ago today at 8:15 p.m., I heard crying. I heard it way off down the hall and I instantly knew, despite the fact that I had only heard that cry once before and I had been heavily drugged at the time, I knew that it was my girl's cry. I knew that it had to be her. Seven years ago today, I listened to that cry get louder and closer and louder and closer and I waited, knowing that this time it wouldn't pass my door. Afraid to say anything, because I might be wrong, but knowing all the same. Seven years ago today, my door opened and they pushed in that little cart that was full to brimming with my screaming, wailing, precious, perfect infant. Seven years ago today, the nurse picked her up and placed her in my arms. She took a deep breath and so did I. Seven years ago, she stopped crying and fell straight to sleep in my arms.
Seven years ago today was the happiest day of my life. It was scary and crazy and wild, but it had what I had longed for so long: a happy ending. My baby sleeping soundly in my arms, breathing deeply, fingers curled around mine.
Happy birthday my girl. Thank you for making my dreams come true. Thank you for needing me as badly as I needed you. Thank you for being mine.