We found out weeks in advance that our girl would be born on October 15th.
October 15th. A day where I would be lighting a candle for her sister in heaven. It felt like Ava’s blessing to her sister. To share her day, to link our girls together tangibly once more. Such beauty in the connection, it felt right the second I was told of the date.
October 15th 2012 came with speed. One day it was the 10th and then next moment I was obsessively packing and repacking our bag. We were scheduled for an 8 am Csection, which meant we were to be in hospital checked in by 6am and we live over half an hour away. Wake up call for one of the most important days of our life would be 4:45 and it loomed over our Sunday before.
Poor Matthew barely slept a wink the night before. I felt him leave bed sometime around 12:30am. I didn’t follow him knowing that there was little I could do or say to ease his mind. I had the same concerns. Unlike every other member of our family, I slept. Lying in bed I felt a finality wash over me. I had no control over the next day, I had no control over what would or wouldn’t happen. I was ready. Oddly calm and resting well. The next morning I awoke with excitement. Today was her day. Our day. No matter what, it would be answered today. I could see the fear in Matt’s eyes. I know that fear but did not share it. My hands on my belly, I was ready.
Check in for our Csection was routine. The hardest moment for me was changing out of my clothes and into the hospital clothes. I remember doing this with Ava and the extreme agony I was in. I just kept saying to myself, be present…be present. This is Beta’s story. This is Beta’s story. Routine questions, routine procedures and blood draws and the first hour flew by. My parents arrived as did our midwife. Their excitement was palpable. It filled the room and made me even more calm and assured. All the sudden a nurse, M walked in. M was a nurse who spent the night with us with Ava died. She was an ultimate comfort to Matthew. I had mentioned her name our Dr hoping that we would be able to involve her in Lillian’s birth. She did not know we were her clients that day, she was simply told she would be participating in a Csection. When she came around the corner she saw Matt and I she undid at the seams. The entire group was together again and somehow…Ava was there. I basked in this moment, all the work came down to this and Ava was there. This was her blessing. Anthesia came in to consult and despite all the meetings, my advocating and the hospital advocating for us they denied us having Matthew present for the spinal. They would allow L and stated Matthew could stand at the door looking in. With little choice I accepted it, the time for fight was over, now it was time to survive. Calm survival.
|Waiting for Lillian|
Sitting on the operating table my midwife L was in front of me. I could see over her shoulder Matthew was standing at the window of the door, his face staring intently at mine. They asked me to round my shoulders and I asked L to talk to me. As they put in the spinal I prepared myself for the worst. Pain? Nausea? Perhaps a medical crash that would result in intubation?
“There you go, Melissa. That is the worst part.”
What was the worst part? Nothing happened yet!
Apparently the spinal went in and I didn’t even notice. I kept waiting for the world to stop spinning and it did not. I did not know how to understand that.
They laid me down on the table and I could feel 20 sets of hands on me at once. Trauma triggers ran through my body. Too many hands, it felt chaotic. I asked for L to tell me what was happening and she talk to me. I look up and see my Dr working on cleaning my stomach. My doctor being in the room meant that he was in charge and not anaesthesia I was relieved. I immediately asked for Matthew who was with me in moments.
I felt nauseated and shaky but fine. Matt’s face was in mine and his eyes were no longer scared but strong. I reassured him I was okay; our chatter quiet and calm. He kept making me laugh with inside jokes and L’s eyes were on me at all time. All of the sudden I felt the doctor reach into my stomach. An overwhelming sense of nausea waved over me, his hand felt like it was inside my stomach and my entire body was trapped. Horrid, awful feeling, I could barely breathe.
Then I heard her.
I stared up at the ceiling, searching the top of the curtain for her. My eyes groping for her.
“Look up Melissa, here she is!”
Covered in blood and vernix she was held over the curtain as Matt and I stared at our girl. The doctor then held her up to my parents whom were standing at the same window Matthew was. Relief. She is pink! She is screaming! She is here!
L went quickly to be with her as Matthew and I touched foreheads. We did it. She is here. The sheer shock of having her here made the next few minutes fly as we waited for L to bring her to us. She is healthy and here. Perfection.
All bundled up I could barely see her, I asked L to put her skin to skin against me and our sweet Lillian reached over at me. A moment of calm reassurance. Both her and I assuring each other we did it, together. We made it.
More pictures and posts to come!