Monday, November 12, 2007

January 16, 2007

4:05pm: held

Woke up at 2:20 this morning, absolutely petrified. I tossed and turned, ran my tired legs into my husband's back - he couldn't find the Sandman either.

We went to Target last night, I know he was nervous when he told me we should stay and wander around the aisles some more. He HATES shopping in any form. I stopped him in the socks..."Scott, what if we lose him? What if the same thing that happens last time happens again? What if this baby has a genetic problem, an undetected one? Are you worried about that?"

"Well, not until you brought it up..."

I must have taken an hour-long shower this morning. I repeated the words of "Come Thou Fount" over and over again - even though my heart couldn't grasp the words...

come thou fount of every blessing
tune my heart to sing thy praise
streams of mercy never ceasing
call for songs of loudest praise
teach me some melodious sonnet
sung by flaming tongues above
here's the mounti'm fixed upon it
mount of thy redeeming love

I watched Babies-Special Delivery (mistake), and then Chicago Hope. Wrote a letter, didn't want to mail it because what if I died during the section and my friend got my letter after the fact? Freaky...

...we crunched our way out to the car on the frozen snow and rode silently to the hospital.

I'll never forget the moon - a tiny sliver in an ink black sky. I noticed it right as we got there; for some reason it calmed me. The moon was there, constant as anything.

We arrived; I was prepped, the IV went into my hand and started spurting blood. I thought it was just a nice heating blanket they had put under me until I realized the other arm wasn't feeling warm. Scott started massaging my kitten-sock-clad feet after he had assisted the nurse in holding the tube in place (biology major for you). "Are you ok? Are you ok?" he kept asking. The worry was written all over his face.

I was wheeled in; they told Scott he couldn't come with until I had the epidural in place. I started to panic when I saw the metal table and the bright bright lights. People scrubbing in; the nursing student looking scared in the corner; my nurse telling me I'd be ok, "Just relax, sweetie, breathe. Breathe." She made me lean up against her as the anesthesiologist told me he thought I had scoliosis and it may be dificult to get the epidural in place. Next thing I know I'm numb; I breathe a sigh of relief when the OR door opens and I see my husband's warm brown eyes crinkle over his surgical mask. "I'm smiling, but I guess you can't tell, huh," he says, as he takes his seat.

He holds my hand, tightly. I tell him not to stop.

The anesthesiologist reports that my blood pressure is low; I'm given 3 vials of medication 3 different times to get it back up. Glad I didn't know until later how low it got.. I ask him every 20 seconds its status.. "Should I breathe more slowly?"

"Relax...there's nothing you can do at this point to get your blood pressure to go down. It's out of your control."

I watch the drip, feel the pressure of my abdominal muscles being separated.

It is then that the lesson comes, like the realization that the sliver-moon in the ink black sky is always there:

It's out of my control.

I tell Scott to take pictures of the c-section; he offers to show them to me right then. I smile and shake my head.

"Get ready, Dad, Do you have your camera ready? Here comes the baby!"

Pressure, pressure, a cry. A sweet cry, and the pronouncement, "Oh, he's beautiful!" I ask my doctor if he has a butthole. Scott laughs, the doctor answers yes; she's checked.
He's held up, still covered in vernix, blood, everything that connects him to me.

I don't cry, I just look. And I whisper, "hi, hi, hi..." it's all I can say in this moment that defies words. I stare at the blue of the sheet; listen to him cry. Scott runs to him; runs back to my side with a video - our boy peeing on the nurse and being jabbed in the leg with a vaccination. He's not happy.

"Thank you," I say."You're welcome," he says. "What is his name?"

"Asher. Asher Scott. Do you think?"
"Yeah, yes."
"You're not sure?"
"Asher is a good name."
"It's a strong name."

We look at him, agree that he screws his face up just like Lucy does when she's throwing a tantrum.

As I cried when the transport team clad in Star-Trek jumpsuits came once again to take my baby away, as I think of the same sliver of moon that will shine over him in his tiny bassinett on the opposite side of the city, the realization hits me again:

I have no control.

But Someone else does, and that's all the realization I need.

Happy Birthday, Asher Scott.

1 comment:

childlife said...

Oh, goodness Pipsylou! I just bawled through that entire, exquisitely written story... my daughter's birth was so very much like that.

Your writing is just lovely - thank you for sharing such a personal story with such beautiful words. This one is going to stay with me for a very long time.