You Were Born…

Dear Soph-
Exactly one month from yesterday my baby girl turns 1 year old. I can’t believe it. And here comes the cliched line… Where did the time go?

I decided to write down the story of your birth. It’s something you will undoubtedly ask me about one day, so…why not?  I’ll try to keep it short. Here goes…

Your due date was July 9, 2014. You were born at 11:58pm on July 9, 2014. I read somewhere that only 4-5% of babies are actually born on their due date. So that’s pretty cool, huh? While I wish I could take some modicum of credit for getting you into that 4-5% statistic, the credit really goes to the doctors and surgical team that so skillfully – and hurriedly – plucked you into this world.

You see, kid, your birth was a bit traumatic – for you and for us.

Let me back up a little…

I was scheduled to be induced on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Your dad and I left for the hospital about 10:30 that night. I cried. We listened to Sara Bareilles’ “I Choose You” as we drove. I cried some more. I was so nervous.

By the time they got the induction process going, it was about 12:30am on July 9. I told your dad to go home to get some sleep. Despite my nerves, I also managed to fall asleep… only to be woken up about 5am by a room full of nurses. They were quite obviously panicked. One was strapping an oxygen mask to my face…one was hooking up an IV…one was adjusting the monitor that tracked your heart beat…one was telling me to turn to my other side. I stared wide-eyed, looking from one nurse to the next until one of them met my frantic gaze and calmly told me that your heart rate had dropped suddenly.

Thankfully, your heart rate soon started going back up and everyone relaxed.

Unfortunately this happened about 3 more times. It would drop to about 90…I would change positions and strap on an oxygen mask and your heart rate would go back up. Add to that, despite being on Pitocin for 12 hours, I was making no progress. Horrible contractions? You bet. But I was not progressing. The nurse told me that my doctor would give me another 5 hours and if i still had made no progress then I would have to have a c-section.

And then all Hell broke loose. I noticed our nurse was suddenly on the phone, looking panicked. The next thing I knew the room was full of doctors and nurses…throwing scrubs at your father, pulling cords out of the wall…it was sheer chaos. I was told I had to have a c-section immediately. At this point, the way everyone was acting, I wasn’t sure you even had a heartbeat anymore. No one was really telling us exactly what the problem was. But people were panicked. They were running…RUNNING…down the hallway… RUNNING to the operating room.

I have never been so scared in my entire life. I thought “this can’t be happening…this can’t be happening.” And I kept repeating (in my head, I think…but maybe out loud): “Please God, please protect her. Please don’t take her. Please God, don’t take her from me.”

It was more chaos in the operating room. They let your dad come in and sit next to me…he held my hand while I cried (he told me later that he sat, alone, in a room while they prepped me for surgery. He said he cried. Your dad never cries. He cried for me and for you). There was tugging…and pulling…and pressure. I tried to stay calm.

And then I heard them suctioning out your little mouth. And I went from despair to sheer joy and relief in a flash. One quick suction and you let out the loudest cry I have ever heard. It filled the operating room and I cried and said (actually I may have shouted)ß “Oh thank God!” You were ok. You were breathing…and had quite a set of lungs!

It was hard for me to not get to hold you right away. I had to settle for listening – gleefully – to your loud cries as I cried right along with you – my arms strapped down stretched out to each side. The anesthesiologist, Dr. Patel, kindly answered each of my tear-filled questions.

Is she ok?
She’s perfect!

Does she have any hair?
Yes, and it’s brown!

Is she big? They thought she would be over 8 pounds.
Oh no…she’s very tiny!

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, a nurse brought you over to me…all bundled up…and held you near my face so I could give you a kiss.

“Hi angel,” I remember saying to you.

I later found out that your heart rate had dropped down to 30. They said the umbilical cord was wrapped tightly around your neck. Your dad and I are forever grateful to the doctors and nurses that acted so quickly and brought you into this world safe and sound.

And here we are…one month away from celebrating your first birthday. Remembering how you came into this world makes me even more grateful…we are so incredibly blessed…and it is truly my privilege to be your mother.

Love, Mom

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