"Every child begins the world again."- Henry David Thoreau
Today, May 10th was the expected due date of my baby, and it would have been a neat date for him to be born as it coincides with the anniversary of when we were engaged. However much like a lot things in life his birth didn't turn out as planned.
It was less than two weeks ago my husband and I walked hand in hand into St. Luke's Hospital. Much of that day has been a hazy memory until recently. I recall anxiously awaiting the c-section, and wondering what it would be like on the other side of surgery. Was I going to be in a lot of pain? When am I going to get better? How am I going to get things done over the next few weeks? How am I going to react to when I see the baby? What will he be like?
Those questions quelled as I walked into the white, cold, expansive operating room. I remember the shiny sharp surgical instruments neatly lined up on a tray as seven or eight people quickly surrounded me, coordinating in a brisk rhythm to prepare my body for surgery. I was asked to hunch my back over limply to receive an epidural. I asked the kind nurse before me if I could hold her hands. Comfort was scarce in the sterile room, and in my fragile state I felt immense gratification to hold the warm hands of the sweet stranger in front of me. A sharp pinch pierced my back, and liquids surged into my spinal column. The shock from the penetrating sting was fleeting, and before I knew it my body was laid down on the operating table and my arms left and right stretched out on arm boards in an odd Christ-like fashion, not a comforting position given that I knew what was going to happen to me. Within seconds I was given a dose ephedrine through an IV, and the fast and furious onset of a violent headache nearly crippled my conscious state.
My husband was allowed to join me and held my hand right away, relaying my seemingly dire state to the anesthesiologist while reassuring me that everything was going to be okay. Only recently did he reveal the myriad emotions he suppressed, seeing me on the table, watching the doctors scrubbing their hands for surgery and realizing that within a matter of moments this was going to happen - he was going to be a father.
As he tried to calm me down from my torrid headache, I heard a high pitched scream coming from the other end of the table, an emulsion of pain, fear and exhilaration permeated the room. Almost immediately a profound impact hit my chest. It was the fierce cry of my new baby taking his first breaths. My eyes widened, stunned to hear such a powerful cry. His father and I looked at each other as tears flowed down our cheeks.
He cried and cried and cried until the nurses handed him over to his father, and my husband pressed his wet warm cheeks onto my lips. And there wasn't a sweeter moment that I could have imagined.
Alexander was born at 12:13pm on April 28th at St. Luke's - Roosevelt Hospital, weighing 7 pounds and 13 ounces and measuring 19 inches long.
To our dear son Alex,
We knew that life would never be the same once you arrived. We never knew just how much one person could evoke such a profound magnitude of courage, compassion, fear, anxiety, joy and love. We feel so lucky that you chose us to be your parents.
Mom and Dad
*A special thanks to Ruth Lawyer, one of the finest doulas in New York, who helped bring Alex into this world. If any one needs a reference for this incredible woman, please do not hesitate to contact me.