Two years ago, I lay in a hospital bed and asked every nurse, every doctor, every family member the same question: "Where is the baby?"
Ours was a pregnancy fraught with fear. I was put on bed rest in December. The Nugget was due in April. I had hypertension and diabetes and not the best body for having a baby. But I WANTED her with all of my heart.
On March 23, 2009, I went to a regular doctor's appointment (I went to these at least once a week). I lay on the table while we monitored The Nugget's heartbeat. I was weary of lying at home on the couch alone each day. I wanted to meet my baby. My blood pressure was sky rocketing. The doctor sent me to the hospital to prep for a C-section.
I was excited but also scared. I no longer trusted my instincts. When the neo-natologist came in to see me prior to surgery I had only one request: no matter how sick the baby was (she was coming 5 weeks early), please let me see her before they take her away. He promised.
An hour or so later, I lay on the operating table holding The Mister's hand. I tried to keep our spirits up. I made him laugh by mouthing, "elephant shoes", a game of ours to trick the other into saying, "I love you, too." It worked.
The whole time, I prayed and prayed: Please let her cry. Please let her cry.
And then, with a tug, my beautiful daughter was born. And she cried. And she was big and healthy and beautiful. And she laid right across from me in a very warm incubator while they sewed me back together.
Soon the doctors took me to recovery and took my baby somewhere else. She was early and needed special care, I knew. But I needed to know where she was. I pushed and pushed, and finally they led our family to her. I was able to rest once she was okay.
Now that baby is two years old. It's been such a big year. She has learned how to walk. She has stopped taking bottles. She has begun talking in sentences. She jumps, she runs, she sings, she dances. She broke her first tooth. She visited the Children's Museum and the zoo. She has developed an attitude and a mind of her own. She is delight at every turn. As I write this, she sleeps soundly in her crib (something she has done since 5 months old).
Happy birthday, baby girl. I am able to rest because you are okay.