Six weeks and a day ago, at 10:14 in the morning, I was still asleep. It was a Monday.
We had left for the hospital the night before, when the contractions were five minutes apart. We had been watching a football game on television – Minnesota (where your dad is from) vs. New Orleans – and we listened to the radio broadcast on the drive to Modesto. When we got there, the game had just gone into overtime. It was ten hours later when a nurse told us the final score, and we were still waiting for you.
After a few more hours, we decided on a c-section. Something did not go as expected. General anesthesia was needed. Someone said, “OK, you’re going to go to sleep now.”
I woke up in a fog. I heard you before I saw you, before I could really see anything clearly, before I could even breathe.
Someone else said, “It’s all done. You have a baby girl,” and it didn’t make sense. It seemed like it had been just seconds.
But I could hear you. (Before I could see you). You were crying.
It sliced through the haze.
And that will be your voice: strong and clear and irrepressible. I will listen for it always.
(Before it happened, I didn’t think I had expectations about how you would be born. But I guess I did.
I expected there would be that moment when the doctor holds up a squirming bluish body, tells you she’s yours and you fall in love. I didn’t expect to miss the first 45 minutes of your life. And it hurt that I did.
And yet those 45 minutes, that once were your whole life, are now just a fraction of it. A fraction that keeps getting smaller. Every day and every moment.)
After a while, I could see David across the recovery room with you in his arms.
You’re there again now, dancing in the dark to “Cecilia” – I swear it chills you out – for the eleventh time at least today.
You’re breaking my heart, you’re shaking my confidence daily.