(Got a few minutes? This is a long one!)
It was only minutes before Mike joined me in the operating room, but it felt like hours...
There were so many emotions coming toward me during this time....it all felt somewhat like a dream.
A dream that we have had for a very long time.
I realized how quickly things are beginning to move around me. There was already so much action amongst the doctors and nurses, and the surgery had not even begun yet.
It was time to lie back on the table now. Let me tell you, I realized then how large I really was as I was trying to center myself on a table that seemed to be a foot wide. Not an easy task.
The anesthesiologist began testing the effectiveness of the spinal. He rubbed a cold swab on my legs first. I could feel the swab, but not the coldness. He continued that test to see how far upward the anesthetic was going. He decided to raise the head of the table a bit. How strange that I could feel all the swabs...hmmm... hoping the spinal's doing its job!
More action around me. My arms were being velcroed to the boards stemming from the table. Trays of tools were being wheeled up toward us. I really tried not to look at those!
Wonder if I can still move my feet. I tried, but it felt like it was definitely in slow motion...such a strange feeeling. At that point, I decided not to try anymore, so I wouldn't freak myself out!
The curtain was up, blocking my view of the surgery. I knew they had begun prepping me.
Did I just hear someone welcome Mike into the room? I tried to look toward the doorway, but there were too many nurses to see around.
Then I saw him...nothing can describe how great that was. We were together. He had on the mask, and the full OR outfit. Although I couldn't see much of his face, I knew that he was smiling. He sat down on the stool next to me and said, "This is it, babes."
A woozey and lightheaded feeling was hitting me big time. And they hadn' t even started surgery yet. Or so I thought.
"Will they be starting soon?" I asked one of the anesthesiology assistants who was standing near my head.
"Oh, they've started alright. You're open right now, sweetie," she told me with a laugh. I was glad to know that we were that much closer than what I realized.
A minor drawback of being awake for surgery--there was a lot I was trying to ignore so I wouldn't feel worse. But the smell of flesh or skin burning was about more than I could ignore.
Just breathe, Jenn....soon....she's coming soon...
"It'll be just a minute now," she told us.
Mike and I looked at each other again, in total and sheer excitement. He was holding the video camera up high, but not high enough to catch the surgery itself.
So much tugging and pulling, then pushing up high on my ribs.
I was waiting...waiting to hear the words. Any minute now...
Months ago, when we found out we were pregnant again, we asked people to pray for two specific things. The first was obviously for a healthy pregnancy this time. And the second... the second was for Mike and I to be together this time in the operating room, so we could hear our baby's first sweet little cry together.
Thank you, God. Both dreams were coming true...
I heard it right then. The most beautiful sound that ever reached my ears.... the sweet sound of a strong cry from our baby girl.
I didn't have to look up at Mike to know that we were both crying at that moment. So much to go through to get here, but this moment was worth it all.
I heard some aww-ing from some of the nearby nurses. I saw other nurses standing by the baby's bed, waiting for her.
Then I saw her...just a glimpse, but still I saw her. Saw a little foot sticking above the arm of the nurse carrying her to the bed. A glimpse of some chubby little legs. And dark hair? Did I see that? We knew she would have lots of dark hair!
Then I saw something equally as amazing... I saw Mike being a daddy. He was standing beside her with the video camera, soaking in his little girl.
More tears....that's what I had waited for for years....not to just be a Mommy myself, but to also get to see Mike be the Daddy that I know he's been longing to be. And here he is with her now... such a proud Daddy already, touching her and bending down to talk to her.
"Will they bring her over to me?" I asked.
"Yep, they'll wrap her and bring her over to ya here soon."
I couldn't wait. Couldn't wait to see her little face up close.
I was still trying to ignore the extreme light-headedness I was feeling.
The assistant told me, "Your blood pressure dropped pretty low, so we're giving you tons of fluids... and you'll feel much better once they put your insides back in..."
What?? Did I just hear that? Oh, no details please.
Just then I looked up to see Mike holding her, all wrapped and snug in his arms. Then he looked up and stepped toward me. I quickly asked the assistant if I could have one arm freed so I could touch her.
He lowered her down. Then I felt the softest little cheek next to mine. Heard some soft cries, and saw the cutest, chubbiest little face. I touched her soft skin and through my tears, I said the words that I had been waiting to say--
"Hey Baby Girl, I'm your Mama."
Mike had to leave then as they were finishing surgery and cleaning me up.
Everything still was happening so quickly. Soon they were done, and it was time for them to move me from the table back to the bed waiting nearby.
"You'll get to hold her as we take you both to recover in your room."
"I'm afraid I'll drop her...I feel like I can't move most of my body right now."
"No...we'll have her tucked in good with you. She won't go anywhere."
They brought her over and laid her in my arms.
Such a moment right there that I'll always remember. The moment where the years of waiting were no more. The exact moment where the past two years of loss and heartache turned to nothing but total joy. All washed away by our little dark-haired angel that I was holding in my arms. Tears just flowed quietly.
They wheeled us back to our room, and I knew what we would find there... Mike holding the video camera, welcoming his wife and daughter.
The nurses left, then it was the three of us. Mike and I just took in everything about her, and just held her tight. We were all smiles.
"She's here, babes...she's finally here," he said.
I just whispered back with a smile, "Yes, yes she is..."
Alexis Faith, we have eagerly waited for you with such perseverance. And even before we had the comfort of holding you, we trusted our Heavenly Father that He would lead us to this day. And now little girl, here you are...
Safe... in our arms.
"For we were saved in this hope. But hope that is seen is not hope. For why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance." (Romans 8:24-25)