My Pregnancy: Week 39

Week 39And just like that our world was never the same again. What a strange feeling to go to sleep knowing the next day you’ll wake up and have a baby. We’ve wondered for months if she will look like a sumo wrestler like I did at birth (she was actually our smallest babe) or if she’d have the blue eyes that are so rare in my family (so far, yes). Trying to put words to the birth of a child…our sweet child.

I remember waiting. We arrived at the hospital at 5:30. The house was so quiet as we dropped our boys off at grandma and papa’s the night before. We were mostly quiet and still, just like the morning. For everyone there, the doctors and nurses, we were just part of their routine. She arrived just short of three hours later. There was a lot of paperwork, questions, and monitoring. I soaked up the last time I would hear her heart beating on the monitor, the last little kicks before I’d feel them in my arms.

I felt nervous and alone. I warned the anesthesiologist that at my last birth I was so lightheaded on the table from lying on my back that they gave me medication to stabilize my blood pressure. This time it happened again, and our heart rates dropped low. I saw my OBGYN’s eyes watching the monitor, watching the nurse as she prepped my belly. I felt about to pass out as I saw him fanning the antiseptic to speed its process. He began the procedure as they hurriedly finished draping me, around the time medicine started kicking in, my blood pressure stabilized, and my husband joined me.

I remember the anticipation. Per my request, hubby kept me distracted with stories of his students and fellow teachers. He talked about rudimentary things and I asked a question or two but I was quite aware of the pressure, tugging, and quiet talking of the doctors at my midsection. She gave them trouble coming out, several people pushed on my belly before they used the vacuum to deliver her in the midst of more amniotic fluid than anticipated. At this point hubby and I sat quietly in awe, waiting for that sweet tiny cry in the silence, because what else can you do as your child arrives in this world?

I remember desperately wanting to know her.  We hoped to have the doctor show her to us before anything else, but given the circumstances they took her straight to the incubator to be checked out. Hubby saw her, took pictures. I finally spoke up, as he was captivated, reminding him I wanted to know too. He brought over the camera and I that’s how I caught my first glimpse of my girl. Perfect.

I felt complete. She quickly arrived at my head, bundled up but every bit of beautiful. Her alert but glazed eyes penetrated to my heart. The rest of the room disappeared until I heard the pediatrician ask to take a picture.  There she lay in my husband’s arms, the finishing touch to our family. Instantly it felt a bit like she’d always been there. Even still, remembering life before her is hazy unless I really think about it.

I felt calm, almost at home (as much as possible in a hospital on an operating table). As hubby went with baby toward the recovery area just a few feet away, I spoke with the doctor I’d come to know over two pregnancies’ time. He explained what he was doing as he sewed me up but I basically already knew. This was my third time on this table. The nurses were familiar, the routine calming, as all the literal and figurative loose ends were tied up and I wheeled into recovery and babe was brought to my naked chest to nurse. Her long fingers and stretched out toes!

I remember looking over at hubby and smiling. Our world was never the same again.

Annie is a mom of two boys, ages two and four, and a newborn girl! She looks forward to sleeping again in about 18 years.

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