Monday, January 12, 2009

labor day

You were born on a Thursday.
Your doctor scheduled a labor induction for the early morning of October 9, 2008, at the hospital in Mount Pleasant. We were not alone. Your father was there, and your godmother and another old friend of mine were there too.
We waited for hours. It rained. I slept. I wasn't allowed to eat. I was given an epidural and the doctor ruptured my membranes. More hours passed. Eventually I was informed that you would be born via cesarean.
I was terrified. I cried. I said I wanted to go home. Phones were ringing like sirens. I cried, cried, cried. I yelled to turn the phones off. Nobody listened. I was in a panic. I knew I had to do it, to see you. But that didn't mean I wanted to.
They wheeled me in to the operating room. It was bright and cold, hopeless, like ice. I became sick. They prepped me; set up a blue paper barrier. It was almost time, they said.
I asked for your father. Where is he?
He's coming.
Where is he?
He's on his way.
Finally, just before they sliced into me, he was there at my side. He held my hand and kissed my forehead. I started to cry. He sang our special song in my ear. I closed my eyes.
I barely felt the knife on my belly. I could feel the pull of your body against mine, trying to break free.
She has hair, the doctor said.
For the first time that day I cried tears of joy. To know something about you after wondering for so long was all I needed to understand this was the right thing.
When they brought you to me, I couldn't hold you, I wasn't allowed. But I got to touch you, whisper that special song in your ear as your father had just done.
I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck
And then you were gone and I was asleep.
When I awoke, your father brought you to me. You took right to my breast. It was a miracle. It was all I could have hoped for. I couldn't stop smiling. I swear it wasn't the morphine.
You have his hair, his eyes, his ears, his toes.
You have my nose, my mouth, my cheeks, my hands.
You weighed seven pounds, nine ounces.
You measured twenty-one inches long.
You hit a nine-point-nine on the APGAR scale.
You were born at six-oh-four in the evening, Eastern Standard Time.
You were born on October 9, 2008.
You were born on a Thursday.
Happy Birthday, Betsy.

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