It’s going to be hard to write this without letting tears fall to my keyboard, but the happiest tears. The kind that bursts from a place of overwhelming love and gratitude, my heart so full that it overflows like steady streams outta my tear ducts. I’ve waited for this day for what had felt like an eternity, the moment I got to look into my baby’s eyes after all of those months of anxiety and pregnancy pains. I’ve dreamt about your little limbs, tried to imagine what your face would look like, what expressions you would have, and now you’re here. You’re finally here.
I labored for 24 hours. The contractions were unbearable. They pushed so much fluid inside of me after each medication they gave through my epidural because my blood pressure would drop. All of my limbs were swollen. I didn’t think I could tolerate so much pain, like my entire uterus and lower abdomen being crushed and squeezed through a meat grinder. I had to breathe through it. The epidural could only do so much. I had two nurses, a former ICU nurse in training and a more experienced L&D nurse. One was very calm and nurturing, and the other definitely brought out the tough mama in me. I’m glad I had both. When you finally came out and they placed you on my abdomen, my baby nurse instincts kicked in and I was stimulating you to cry, rubbing your pale back and face. “Come on baby.. cry. Cry.” When Jay cut the umbilical cord, I knew they would take you to the warmer right away. I watched the nurses care for you across the room. I was listening hard, hearing them say words like “start CPAP” and “hook up an O2 monitor.” I was holding my breath, watching the seconds on the clock and waiting for you to let out your first cry. I do this exact job every day, taking babies away from mothers at delivery and helping them breathe. I didn’t know what I was feeling then. I wasn’t scared or anxious… but I felt the world going quiet. I wanted to focus on just you. All I could do was try to connect with you, again. Even though you were no longer part of my body, I wanted to still give you every strength I had left in me so you could take in your first breath of air. I stared and I waited, unaware of whatever my doctor was doing to stitch me up. And then finally, finally… the smallest sound came out of you. Like a gurggly squeak. Seconds later, another cry. I exhaled. I asked my sister, “Is he pink?” She leaned over to the warmer and nodded at me, “Yes.”
When they finally brought you to me and I held you close to my chest, nothing else seemed to matter. Your eyes were wide open and fixated on mine, like you were trying to confirm the sound of my voice. I felt you saying to me, “Is that really you, Mom?” and in response I said to you, “Hi baby. It’s me, it’s me.” I’ll keep that moment forever, when the world felt so still and it was just you and me. There are such few feelings in life that make the world stop, where your blood feels calm and warm and the softest part of your core at peace. All of the sacrifices I made in the last 9 months just dissolved the moment we were skin to skin and I was finally holding the person I had always felt moving inside of me every day. You are mine, this tiny body made from patience and love; you are half of me and half of your father that waited so long for you. We’re finally here, eye to eye, your small fingers grasping mine, your face so innocent and pure and looking at me to protect you. There is no other love like it.
The following photos are some of the most intimate I’ve ever shared with you. This was such an incredibly special moment in my life and we’re all so happy he’s here.