At 5:45 pm, I saw the
doctor hold up a purple thing that looked a little bit like an octopus who was
missing a few limbs. It took me a minute to realize that 1) it was not an
octopus… it was my baby! And 2) the
surgeon had literally just barely taken her out of my stomach – she was real. Mike jumped up out of his seat
and ran to be with the baby while they did her APGAR scores. All I could do was
lay there and wait for them to stitch me up and wheel me to recovery so that I
could finally hold my little girl. As I was waiting, though, I had tears
running down my face.
Just watching Mike “become” a daddy was the most amazing
thing I have ever witnessed. The pure joy on his face as he took it all in was
I probably looked like a wreck as I was laying there, tears
running down my face, shouting out, “She’s so beautiful, my baby, my baby!
That’s my beautiful little girl,” but I just didn’t care. I couldn’t wait for
them to put me back on the bed and transfer me to recovery so that I could
finally have some skin to skin time with our baby. As soon as I was on the bed,
Carol brought Elsie to me and laid her on my chest. It was only then, as I
watched my little girl begin to breast feed, that I could comprehend the
miracle that had been occurring in my body for the past 41 weeks and four days.
All I could do was look at my little girl and whisper, “I would do it all again
for you. Every second of labor, every ounce of pain, every moment where I
wanted to give up – I would do it all again in a heartbeat.” And that, my friends, is how I learned what
a mother’s love is.
Did my birth go “according to plan?” Absolutely not. You know
what, though? My midwife told me that I had just had one of the most positive
births she had gotten to witness. I am absolutely convinced that it is because
of the amount of time I had spent preparing my mind for the possibility of
something other than a natural labor. I did everything I could to maintain a
positive outlook on birth, making sure to remember that my health and my baby’s
health were the two most important things. If I had had this labor and delivery in a
third world country or another time, I may not have made it. Elsie may not have made it.
There is a time and a place for medical intervention, and I am so, so happy
that we live in a world where those options are available. I’m thankful for a
midwife and a nurse who stood by my side and supported me in every decision I
made. Above all, though, I am thankful for my family. I’m thankful for Mike,
who has been there for me every second since this journey began and I am
thankful for Elsie, who, within seconds, completely changed the way I look at