Friday, August 13, 2010
I'm leaning up against a pile of pillows, the same set that I called "my nest" during my pregnancy, on the couch looking out over Eleanore and Charlie, as they sit on the floor below me watching Shrek 2. My toes are curled up against Christopher's camo shorts, and I can't help but notice the ridiculous smile that keeps peeking out from behind his exhaustion, as Eleanore repeats every, single, thing, that Donkey says. And in my husbands arms... our 5 day old daughter. A teeny tiny little person, wrapped up in a bundle of blankets that sways up and down every time her Daddy takes a breath.
I'm not going to write out my complete birth story, detail for detail- I've never really been into that sort of thing. I like reading the birth stories of others, but I think that the birth of my child, is a very private and personal time. That being said- I do want to share some of it with you...
She weighed 6 pounds, 3.5 ounces.
And she was 19 inches long.
Kind of amazing, isn't she?
Ok, so she looks a little... alien (?), there. But even being only a minute or two old, covered in all sorts of baby-growing goop, with her eyes getting an overdose of vaseline- she manages to take my breath away.
I won't write about the pain that I endured, leading up to her delivery. I refer to it (in my head at least), as the 5 steps of beast versus beauty. The very worst of the surgery prep and process, that in the end, doesn't matter.
I will write though, about how I layed frozen on the operating table, both in reality and in time, waiting waiting waiting, staring into my husbands play-it-cool eyes, silently, anxious to hear the first cries of Evelyn. Towards the end of the surgery, I couldn't feel much more than emotion, yet I knew the very instant that she had been born into the world. Before the doctor could announce her gender, or say anything about her strawberry blond hair, I shouted (or maybe it was more of a mumble) "Is she born? Can I see her?"
The doctor laughed a little, said something about how he still needed to cut her cord, and told Christopher to stand up and take a look.
"Is she beautiful? What does she look like? Let me see her!" I begged, "Please!".
And then there she was. Being held over the blue curtain, small as could be, choking on a "hello Mommy" cry, just within arms reach, had I had arms to reach with.
I should have slept, while in recovery. I closed my eyes after Christopher and Evelyn left the room, but anytime a dream would start to appear, I'd quickly wake myself up, not willing to fall into a deep sleep. I'd focus on a new object in the operating room, an instrument that surely had saved a life, maybe mine, or a crack on the wall, wondering how long it had been there and what had caused it. The thought of drifting away was all too scary, when the only thing I could think about was holding my daughter for the first time.
And when that moment finally came, it was worth all five parts of the beast. It was worth every kick to the rib, every day of my facial numbness and paralysis, every sleepless night that seemed to float away on a heartburn coated cloud.
I brushed my fingers through her light fluffy hair. I told her all of the things that a mother waits to tell their newborn. I nursed her until she sank into a lullaby-like sleep.
No longer wearing his blue scrubs, which he must have traded in at some point for his new yellow nursery smock, Christopher held his newborn gently in his arms, unable to look away for even a second. They swayed side to side, back and forth.
His love for her is unmistakable.
I could hear Eleanore down the hall, running to my room fast as her feet would carry her, screaming "Evelyn!! Big sister is here!! Evelyn!! Mommy!! I'm here, I'm here!". All of the shushing in the world, couldn't calm or quiet her.
Even Charlie, unsure of who exactly this "Bean" character was, burst through the door and shouted "Beebee!!".
At the time, Evelyn was away, having an adventure all of her own, but after two long hours of waiting- Eleanore and Charlie finally got to meet their new baby sister.
"We're going to keep you forever and ever, Evelyn", Eleanore assured her, patting her head softly.
And almost as if someone had already clued her in, Evelyn let Daddy carry on his tradition of changing the first poopy diaper.
The teeniest, tiniest, little fingers that I've ever seen.
The softest skin.
That newborn baby smell.
And I just can't get over how she looks exactly like her big sister.
Shes only been with us for 5 days, and already we've all been through so much together. Our hearts are bigger, and our tear ducts exhausted.
With our breastfeeding every 2 hours, every hour and a half really, and our having spent so much time together alone in room 3102, usually with the tv turned off and the blinds open- Bean and I bonded easily.
Tonight Christopher gave her her very first bath. It wasn't until watching him wash her, singing to her and gently wiping water across her cheeks, that I realized how they haven't yet had a chance to bond.
He dipped the soapy cloth into the shallow water, quickly dabbled her skin here and there, moving as fast as he could so that her thin skin wouldn't get cold. It was almost as if I wasn't even there, the only two in the room were Daddy and Daughter.
So pull that hat off of your face, silly girl! Show the world your beautiful red hair, show the world your beautiful blue eyes!
We've waited so long to meet you.
We're so glad that you're here.
Welcome to our family, Evelyn June.