How do you start to tell the story of what is most important in your life? I guess, from the beginning…
Elliott Marie was born on August 27th, 2009.
As time has been filled with sleepless nights, bottles, and life, I’ve forgotten many of the details about her birth. Granted, they’re all jotted down in her baby book for safe keeping (should she, like myself, want to know what’s coming for her when she is 26 and pregnant). I’ve read many blogs following the birth of a child (was obsessed with them when I was pregnant, actually) and they are full of all sorts of information. And they all pretty much read the same:
Contractions…dialation…pushing…baby. They were beautiful. I’m so in love.
And yes, there were contractions, and dilation, and pushing (I’ll actually discuss that…because I’m pretty effing proud of myself), and we had a beautiful baby. And yes, we are completely in love. But the things that I actually remember from that day, to me, are the things that people lose when they talk about medical facts. I think the feeling in the moment gets lost.
SO. If you want to know how my birth went, in a technical sense, just review a developmental/health/medical text-book. And that was pretty much it. No complications (aside from me being loopy as all shit following Stadol), the pain was fine, I had an epidural, and 12 hours after checking in and 20 minutes of pushing (boo-ya, I was a rockstar, if I DO say so) our daughter came screaming into the world. And it really was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard.
What sticks with me about Ellie being born is that I became a parent that day.
Let me explain.
Your whole pregnancy, everyone is really focused on the you, as the mom. Are you eating enough? (yes, I can’t FIT any more in me…thank you) Are you comfortable? (Yes, until I get a sharp little foot in my rib cage) How are your ankles? (I would guess swollen…but I haven’t seen my feet in some time, so you tell me). And then, once your child is born, the focus shifts…as it should.
I’m a pretty stable, sane person. I get stressed out and a little nuts at time, but I’m pretty good at going with the flow. I remember breathing through things that day, holding on to Joe’s hand, and just rolling with it. I focused on meeting my child and even read some cognitive once I got the epidural (that’s where the crazy comes in). There was something about the 7 cm mark that hit me though. The nurse came in, checked, and then told me that I was moving along really well, and that we’d be meeting Ellie in a couple of hours. In that second, it hit me that not only was I going to see my baby…but that my baby was going to be thrust out into this strange world, cold, screaming, scared, and I was going to be preoccupied with getting my shit put back together and unable to be ACROSS the room with her and reassuring her that life was going to be okay.
I remember turning to Joe, tears in my eyes, telling him (TELLING HIM) “When she’s born, you are going to go with her. Stay with her, because she’s going to be so alone, and talk to her. She’s going to know your voice.” It kind of makes me laugh that I was SO determined that she not be alone, but it made it hit me…in that moment, I knew that I would die for my child if I had to. Without hesitation.
The moment that Ellie was born was a blur. I remember it mostly through pictures, if we’re being honest. It was such a blur of activity, and I was still hopped up on Stadol. I remember Joe crying and Ellie crying, and me laughing. She was such a little chick…with a mouth that took up her entire face…
But she was gorgeous, and she was mine. She was healthy, I was healthy, and my husband was just amazing. The day was what every birthday should be.
The nurses took her away and got her cleaned and screened…it was a shock that they actually take your baby away from you. Joe and I sat, eating Wendy’s chicken nuggets in awe of what had just happened. In a way, it was nice to sit and talk with Joe and decompress without the distraction of Ellie. We talked and laughed about her, it was almost like it wasn’t real. We laughed about how we couldn’t believe she was ours, the random shit I said while doped up on Stadol, and about how he was so proud of me.
They brought Ellie back in, cleaned off, wrapped up, with a little pink bow stuck to the top of her head.
So the first thing we do, obviously, is strip her down. Count her fingers and toes, kiss her soft baby skin, and marvel her loooooong fingers and toes (from mommy), and smile at her ears that stick out a little at the top (like daddy). From the little pink bow, to her long little toes…she just took my breath away.
We had been in the hospital long enough to have a shift change. Our first nurse ended up being our delivery nurse…Jeanette. She was amazing! We got to our recovery room and settled in. The next morning, Jeanette came in to check on us and cuddle with sweet Ellie.
It was early morning, and the light was just starting to come through the window. The hospital room was COLD, and the light coming in was bouncing off the white hospital building. I remember looking at Jeanette holding Ellie, and Joe watching them with a smile on his face. And it seriously felt like Christmas morning, when you first wake up and the sun is just starting to wake up for the day…and everything is quiet and perfect. Everything you had been excited about for a while is now here, and it’s better than you could have ever imagined.
That’s what becoming a parent felt like. Christmas. As cheesy as it may sound.
After a small deversion…of course.
And we very promptly fell into a routine of Joe, Ellie, and I. Like the 3 musketeers.
Ellie is almost 9 months old, and it seems like just yesterday she was born. It really is true…time does fly. It goes by SO quickly. Today she’s saying “baba” and tomorrow she’ll be asking for the keys to the car. Our little one is growing SO quickly…and I am happy that I have chosen to start blogging again. Because while I am fairly good at keeping a diary for her, this holds me to some accountability.
I guess the next couple of entries will be catch up. Oh well 🙂 She’s cute…and it’s fun to remember all that she’s packed into her little life so far.