It is 3:42 in the morning and I can feel her warrior heart beating against mine. I am exhausted and my body aches. It’s been less than 24 hours since she was placed on my chest and I am overwhelmed with anxiety and fear, but mostly love.
I look down at her and remind myself that she is ok, but it is at that very moment I realize I am not.
The trauma from the day before is creeping in. I hold her a little bit tighter and whisper, “You are my little warrior and I know you are destined for great things.”
I close my eyes with the hopes of getting some rest, but the harrowing moments from her birth flash through my mind. The chaos, the panic, and the blue drape blocking my view are fresh. I go back to the beginning with the hopes of trying to not forget the miraculous events, her birth story, that brought us together. For it was her warrior heart that led her here.
Time To Go
The house is quiet and peaceful as we gather our bags and take a minute to snap one last photo of my pregnant belly. It is early and we are tired, but today is the day we get to welcome our third and final baby to the world. We make the short drive to the hospital and during that time I am reminded just how magical these next few days are going to be. For in a few hours, we will be holding and celebrating this new life. It will be just us for the next 72 hours. No family, no friends—just the three of us.
A few hours later I find myself on the operating room table again, ready to have my third C-section. I am amazed at how resilient the body is as I lay there waiting. The energy in the room is light and I feel calm. Knowing what to expect helps control my fears. Familiar faces surround me and I squeeze your hand. The smile on your face is so incredibly beautiful. These are the moments we live for—the ones that take our breath away. The ones that remind us that this life we live is truly magical. The doctors and nurses are casual and chatting. We talk about dropping the blue drape just before they pull our little miracle from my belly and having you call out the sex. With each passing minute we are getting closer to that moment. Excitement fills my body, but I am surrounded by stillness.
A Shift in Energy
The energy changes. The voices around me change. They were no longer calm. Your smile fades. The blue drape still protecting me from the struggle. I scan the room and I begin shouting for somebody to tell me what is happening. Nobody responds. My breath becomes heavy and my heart begins to ache. I hear bits and pieces of conversations.
“Her uterus is contracting.”
“I can’t find it. It is not in the drawer where it should be.”
“Call down for another doctor.”
Your eyes meet mine. You leave my side to walk over to announce the sex of our baby, only you return to me with tears in your eyes. You hold my hand in silence. It is then that I realize, I never heard our baby cry. I could feel my breath slow, but my heart continues to race. It was if my breath left my body. It was as if it left mine to give our warrior her first breath.
Time stops. The room is cold. The lights are bright. My heart aches. I finally hear a cry. Moments later, they place my beautiful daughter, a warrior, a fighter, on my chest. I hold her close and kiss her head. For a moment, it is just her and me. Our breaths connect as if for one more moment we are one.
I know that she is going to be ok.
As I release my arms and send my daughter, a true warrior, to the recovery room without me – I am left alone. I feel a familiar hand grab mine and I meet the eyes of one of the most caring and kindest humans I know. Her voice is quiet, but strong. She continues to hold my hand and wipe my tears as she begins to speak. I hear bits and pieces.
Born a Warrior
“She was born without a heartbeat”
“They couldn’t get her out.”
“Your uterus began contracting.”
“They had to do a vertical incision on your uterus in addition to the horizontal one.”
“Doctor M had to manually flip her so they could pull her out by her feet.”
“The nurses had to use the resuscitation bag to give her oxygen.”
“Her Apgar score was a two.”
“She is resilient Emily.”
I think to myself, she was born a warrior.
I wept silently, unable to stop my tears from rolling down my face. The minutes pass, but they feel like hours. I think to myself, she has already shown the world her warrior heart and her wild spirit! They finish all the necessary protocol and we are finally reunited.
I hold her tiny sleeping body and send every ounce of love I have for her through my body and into her heart. I kiss her tiny forehead, lips and nose and kept repeating, “my beautiful daughter, you are a warrior.”
Our hearts are forever thankful for the amazing people who were a part of this story. We have never been more grateful and we will always think of you each time we look at our little warrior heart!