Thank you all for your support on my last post. “Coming out” so-to-speak has brought on a renewed barrage of inspiration. This is a first in a series of slightly more abstract posts that have come to me. I’ll get to the practicals later. I’m still in the process of writing these, and it is cathartic. I hope you stick around to read them.
Bunny was born three hours ago. I barely held her. Barely registered her being and they took her to the nursery. That’s what they do. They need to monitor her. She’s a gestational diabetes baby. They need to monitor her.
The nurse that took her at 4am – I asked her to let Shmerson come too. She said he could come, but couldn’t stay. I was upset. I don’t remember how, but somehow someone told her about Nadav. I didn’t want to leave my baby alone. She promised she would hook her up to a heart monitor. Just so I could feel better leaving her without us.
Just so I know they’re making sure she’s breathing. But that’s my job. I need to make sure she’s breathing.
4:15am. Shmerson texts me a picture of this wonder – this miraculous creature who I only got to hold for a few minutes. She’s hooked up to a monitor. They did what I asked.
I send him home to sleep.
5am – I get wheeled into the ward.
“When will I see my baby?”
“Probably around 7am. You should get some sleep”
Yes. Sleep. It’s Thursday morning. I haven’t slept since Sunday night.
I get to my room.
6am – A nurse helps me out of bed so I can rinse off two days of induction and a hard-fought labor.
“When will I see my baby?”
“The doctor checks them between 6am and 7am – then there’s a shift change. They’ll probably bring her to you around 8am. Get some sleep.”
In my room I stare up at a ceiling and close my eyes.
And I do what I’ve done 100 times before in the last four months – since I felt the first flutter.
I start to count. 10 in an hour. But usually with Bunny I get ten in 15 – 20 minutes. I wait for a kick.
A kick doesn’t come.
I start to panic. I put my hand on my stomach.
Where is she?
She’s here. She’s just not with you. But she’s here.
I start to cry. Is she really? Is she really here?
I jump out of bed. Barefoot. Wearing a half-open gown. Traces of the last 48 hours still all over my body.
I don’t care. I run to the nursery.
The door is locked. The doctor is checking them. The door is locked.
The panic rises. I start to cry. I start to pace back and forth, back and forth in front of the sliding doors. Waiting. Panic tickling my throat.
My hands are on my stomach.
I feel so empty. Where is she? I’m empty.
An eternity later the door opens. A nurse sees me. She sees my distress. Nobody is supposed to come in at this hour.
I cry. I beg. She lets me in. I walk up to the bassinet. Bunny. She’s here. She’s here and breathing and sleeping. She’s here. She’s breathing.
But the nurse says I have to go.
“Can’t I take her with me?”
“We’ll bring her to you at around 8:30.”
“No. I want her now.”
“We need to check her blood sugar again.”
I see the small bandage on the bottom of her foot where they drew her blood. Tears well up again.
“When will you check it?”
“Then will you bring her? Please. I can’t wait until 8:30. Please bring her to me.”
The nurse looks at me with pity. With exasperation. With something.
“Ok. Try to get some sleep.”
Sleep. I haven’t slept since Sunday.
I go to my room. 7am.
Sleep? Who can sleep?
7:30am – my amazing, miraculous, beautiful baby girl is wheeled into my room.
I sink into three days of blurry, sleepless, unadulterated bliss.