Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Just perfect

Tuesdays at Two Writing Teachers!
May 9, 2015, 2:15 a.m.

"Um, c-c-can you wipe my face?" Squirming my hands in a futile attempt to gesture, I strained against the straps that held my arms down.

"Oh, are you hot?" the nurse looked up from whatever she was doing down by my legs.

"N-no... I, um... the tears are running into my ears..." I bit my lip and squeaked out the words, my face burning. It's bad enough be so filled with terror on the operating table during what is supposed to be one of the happiest moments of your life that you can't keep the tears from leaking out, but even worse to have to admit it out loud to a roomful of strangers. If the tears could have run down my face, I wouldn't have minded, but in my horizontal state, those salty warm droplets were tickling my ears in an unbearably annoying way that might have been funny if I wasn't such a mess.

"Oh!" the nurse's face softened and she wiped my face, thankfully without asking why I was crying. Maybe she thought they were happy tears, like normal moms must cry when they're getting ready to give birth? If so, she must not have seen my wide, terrified eyes peeking out of my tense face. I'm not ready for this. I'm so not ready for this! She isn't supposed to come for another 3 weeks! Oh, I'm so not ready to do this. There's no way I'm going to be a good mom. Good moms aren't petrified at the thought of having their babies. What on EARTH was I thinking?! I don't even like babies! What if I don't like her? Some moms don't fall in love with their babies right away! Oh gosh, I totally can't do this...!!!

"Hi, honey!" Husband walked in, covered in funny blue hospital scrubby clothes. I shot panic from my eyes to him, and as he started to talk to me, the whirlwind of the last six hours blended, blurred, and slowed. Our dramatic trip to the hospital, texting and Facebook posts, checkups, me napping while he sat in an uncomfortable chair. Feeling like a solitary island in a swirling sea of medical staff while he had to wait outside: echoes of everyone constantly announcing my name and what they were doing, calling out words and phrases I'd only heard on Scrubs. Calm, kind Dr. Gee (the chief resident, that's like J.D. or Turk in the later seasons, right?) telling me they were going to paint me with some blue Cookie Monster paint, trying to get a giggle out of me. Perching on the edge of the cot while he held my hands and looked right into my eyes, helping me taking slow breaths and talking about how important it was to stay absolutely still. Getting my legs swung up to lie down and the shocking feeling of my arms in straps. (Who knew your arms got strapped down for a C-section?!) The now-infamous tears-in-ears display. And after those tumultuous minutes of bobbing alone with my thoughts and these strangers, Husband in this funny blue alien outfit.

Someone asked if I could feel anything as they ran a knife across my skin. When I said no, they started jiggling my belly. Such a strange sensation! Down there behind the blue curtain, they were playing with my belly, shaking and wiggling it! I couldn't help giggling. "They're jiggling my belly!" I grinned at Husband.

"Do you want us to lower the curtain?" the OB asked. While curious, I had visions of ruining the moment by getting sick, even though I'm usually fine with blood. "Um, no thanks!" And the next thing we knew, a squirmy little red bundle appeared in a pair of gloved hands above the curtain. The next thing I knew, Husband was gazing at me with glistening eyes, cradling the tiny bundle in his arms. We were a little family! Someone put my glasses back on so I could really see her. She was so perfect! Her serene, dainty little face was the cutest thing I'd ever seen. A nurse took a quick picture of the THREE of us with Husband's phone and another with our real camera. My heart was so light and full it seemed like it would fly right up out of my chest and burst out of the ceiling.

When they took her over to a corner of the room to wash her off and check her out, we could hear her making the most adorable yelps, yips, and squeaks. I didn't know babies could sound like little animals! I thought they just cried all the time! We giggled and grinned, squeezing each other's hands.

More gloved hands brought her back and set her on my chest, and I couldn't take my eyes off of her. Her tiny mouth! Her flat little nose! Her tranquil closed eyes! Her minuscule fingers! I loved her. I really loved her!

From the other side of the blue curtain, Dr. Gee exclaimed, "Your belly's gone!" From the small weight gain I'd had, that was no surprise. But I didn't care what was happening down there, because something amazing was curled up on my chest.

I loved everything about her, and I wasn't scared anymore. She was just perfect.