I went out and bought the biggest box of Pampers I could find because in my head, if we had them at home waiting for her, she was coming home to wear them. I wore the same shirt and sweater to the hospital that morning that I had worn almost 2 years ago when I got to meet her face to face for the first time, because in my head, I had left that same hospital once with my baby in that outfit, and I’d do it again. I made a deal with God when I stopped myself from drowning a gigantic centipede on my bathroom wall with a can of hairspray. I will not kill one of your creatures if you don’t kill one of mine. And I swear, 12 hours later that freaking hairy bug was still hanging out on my bathroom wall. It was taunting me, but I let him be.
Superstition played a big part in my every move leading up to last Friday.
Friday morning I tried to look calmer on the outside than the mess I actually was on the inside. Though when I woke her up and kissed her face, I cried. When we first sat down in the wooden rocking chair, I cried. When I snapped the snaps up her back, dressing her in the smallest yellow hospital gown I had ever seen, I cried. When her head rolled back, her body went limp, and she blinked vacant eyes at me as the sedative kicked in, I cried. When they came and took her away, I was left standing there with an overwhelming sense of helplessness, an empty feeling without her in my arms. And so I cried.
No matter how many people told me it was a routine procedure, there was absolutely nothing routine for me about sitting in a recovery room waiting for my baby to be brought back in, being asked who the designated baby rocker was going to be and raising my hand because I couldn’t speak, wondering if everything was going the way it should in a room where I wasn’t allowed, knowing I had just signed a bunch of papers and had no idea if I had signed my baby’s life away.
And before I knew it, 7 nurses rushed in, one holding her all wrapped up in her blankie that she was allowed to have with her in the OR. They put her on the crib mattress and as fast as I heard someone say ‘quick, she’s waking up’, she started to cry. My baby made it through with flying colors. She cried off and on for a good hour in my arms while I rocked her in the rocking chair shushing her tears away, knowing that she actually heard me for the first time in a long time. We had some popsicles, we had some juice, and we went home. My trooper.
I can’t begin to explain how much of a difference this has made in just one week. She reacts to things, she repeats everything we say to her, when she sings I can actually tell if it’s Row Row Row Your Boat or Happy Birthday because they now sound significantly different when she sings them. She doesn’t wake up crying anymore. I haven’t had to wipe her nose for a week, something I did daily for almost 4 months.
My favorite moment was the afternoon after surgery at home - she woke up from her first nap of many that day and when I sat down on her bed, she looked up at me with wide open eyes and a really confused look on her face. And it took me a second to figure out why…she was hearing the dog scratch its neck and she had no idea what the sound was. But, oh, she could hear it. I giggled, scooped up her little body in my arms and then, at that exact moment, I breathed for the first time in 2 weeks.
For my angel, this one is for you….
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