The 6th was a gorgeous day...sunny, sloppy, and amazing. The spouse and I cleaned out near the garage and I remember Finn coming to me, sobbing, because his feet were all muddy and even as a toddler he hated to be dirty. I remember taking a long walk to the DQ with my friend, Angela. I remember washing all the floors in the house that night, on my hands and knees, while I chatted on the phone. I remember talking to my Mother-in-law about how they had set a c-section for the 9th....and how I was bound and determined to get that baby out by VBAC before then. I went to sleep on the 6th an exhausted woman....I had worked and played hard that day. My house was spotless. I felt great.
At 4 a.m. I woke with a sharp contraction. I resisted the urge to get excited. Braxton Hicks and I were old buddies. I had another at 4:30. I fell back asleep until 4:50....I laid there trying to let my husband sleep. The tightening was there again at 5:10, 5:30, 5:50...pretty soon Finn woke and we got started with our day. I casually mentioned the contractions to The Spouse. He didn't get too excited...the Dr. had said I was "tight as a drum" at our appointment the Friday before. I showered....and I had a huge contraction....the white of the tub surround in our old house is burned into my memory as I tried to pick a focal point so I could breathe through the contraction. It happened again while I was making breakfast! At that point we called into work...we wouldn't be in. We were going to go to the Doctor just to see what was up. I called in and got my Dr....she was in, she'd see us when we got there.
We brought Finn with us...we weren't sure if this was the real-deal and didn't want to get too excited in case it wasn't. We had been induced with Finn so I really had little idea of what to expect. We got to the clinic and the Dr. checked me out and put me on a monitor. At the end of my appointment she laughed and admitted that when her nurse told me I was on the phone she had told her to "have her come in...she's not in labor, but it will make her feel better to come in." She happily told us to head over to the hospital and get admitted.
We stopped by McDonald's first....I know, we're naughty. I was craving a cheeseburger, though! We got there, we got settled, Finn watched Wiggles, our nurse-neighbor Ellen visited us, we called family, worked out a plan for who was going to watch Finn until my Mom got there. It was afternoon when Dr. came to check on me. My contractions had been consistent. She checked me and I was only at a 2....she thought that perhaps breaking my water would help things along. I didn't know what I was doing so I let her do it. When she did it the baby decelled big time. She looked wide eyed at my nurse and said, "Is that Mom or Baby?!" That momented is burned in my memory...I was scared to death. It had hurt so incredibly bad and now my baby was in trouble?! Thankfully the baby evened out and my Dr. assured me we'd be having this baby soon.
I spent the day walking the halls. My Mom came to see us at the hospital before going to get Finn from the neighbor. Ellen came to visit again and we discussed names....I had no scientific proof that we were having a girl; I just KNEW it. She like Maren. I liked Kiki. The Spouse started throwing Erica in the mix that had already included Paige. I kept trying to get him to reconsider Siri....we landed back at Kiki. We ate supper. I was checked....a 3. I called my Mom, "I'M a 3!!!" she said. Patience was wearing thin.
Finally, around 10 p.m. on the 7th I was a 4...and just in time. The contractions were completely intense....I was in pain....I was wearing out...after 18 hours of contractions I couldn't take it much longer....and I was only a 4?!?! I decided to with the epidural. We have video of me getting it. I keep chanting, "O-kay. O-kay" in the way that Finn said it at the time. I refused a catheter, so The Spouse walked to me to the bathroom since I had little feeling in my legs...he is the best birthing partner EVER.
After the epidural a nurse sat next to my bed the rest of the evening watching the baby's heartrate...the contractions were a little much for that darling....but she hung in there....I think she knew how important that VBAC was to me! After getting a little rest I told the Doctor that I was starting to feel pressure....I need to go to the bathroom. She giggled and checked me...10 cm. It was nearly morning and it was time.
I pushed only a handful of times. It's the joke with The Spouse and I that while it takes me a while to be ready to push (as in 24+ hours), once I get there I'm an excellent pusher. The Dr. was so awesome and motivating. I could feel it, but it didn't hurt. And then there she was...my Kiki. We looked at her and we knew....she was Kiki. She was amazing, so pink and beautiful. Looking at her was like looking right into the sun...I was the mother of a little girl! Born March 8th...her estimated due date. A girl, just as I knew she would be. We snuggled our darling girl in that hospital room.
Later in the morning, we grieved as the woman next door gave birth to a stillborn baby...we hugged our girl even harder and prayed for that family and the hospital staff. To sit there with our joy while someone else was in such pain was horrific, to say the least. I think of that Mom often....I don't even know her name, but I still think of her. She had 3 children at home....each of them excited about the new baby their Mommy was having. She had to walk out of the hospital with her arms empty....even now my throat tightens and I ache for her....and I hold my Kiki a little bit tighter and am so thankful for the blessing she is to us.
After seven years I can still remember the pride that a nearly two year old Finn had as he held that little pink bundle....how he willing shared his pacifier with her....how he would say, "Nice" when he stroked her head. I laugh at the stink I made over The Spouse's gift to me....after 25 hours in labor with his child, he brought me a candle warmer. No flowers. No jewerly. A candle warmer....looking back it was a sweet gesture...the room smelled funny, he was trying to help. I was too tired to appreciate that. Later my Mom brought me the most stunning pink roses on his behalf. We came home to pink upon pink gifts. The cheerleaders came to visit, camp staff came and snuggled, it was a magical time.
One of my most treasured memories of having a little girl was our first outting. My Mom was staying to help and one day we all went to a nearby town to buy a poster I had seen at a shop there. It is the most stunning painting of pink roses. I wanted it when I had first seen it, but didn't want to somehow jinx having a girl...so I left it, telling myself I'd buy it when she arrived. So we went....all 5 of us....my Mom, The Spouse, Finn, Me, and Kiki. I was so proud to be able to buy a PINK poster. I had a girl. She had a big brother. The world was perfect.
|The poster was similar to this...but wider and even more beautiful. It hangs in their room in W-town.|
On days like this I tend to get sad. Really, really sad. As happy as I am. As proud of her, as much as I adore her. I grieve the yesterdays. I miss what was and know that it will never be again. I was not a Mother who "missed it" as so many people I know claim. I was there. I was paying attention. But it was still too short! Those mornings of snuggling her on my chest. Those days of carrying her in my arms, of chasing her as she toddled ahead of me...they were just too short. And if I let myself I can sob away the hours just missing those moments. So, I must find solace....and I do...in two things:
1. God's timing is perfect. He knows how long things should last...He knows that infants should be infants for that perfect about of time. I have to trust that. I have to believe that.
2. No matter what age she is...I love it. (Yes, even the threes!). I adored the 2s when she was figuring it all out and had that pudgy tummy and hands. The fours were a stitch with the hilarous things she said. Who doesn't love a Kindergartner all full of wonder at age 5? And this six year old who is eloquent and sweet?!
I grieve that I can't more clearly recall each delicious moment of the last seven years, but I can tell you that I will continue to do my very best at savoring the moments that are ahead.
And most of all, I thank God for this blessing that is my daughter. For entrusting her to me. For letting her fill my world with pink. I am honored to be her mother.