I didn’t realize the fear I would feel going into the operating room. My hands trembled and felt as if they were not in my control.
The delivery I had planned had gone up in flames and a C-section became my only option. My baby’s heart rate was dropping, and the life I dreamed of flashed before my eyes.
This was not the way it was supposed to go.
When I arrived at the hospital that Wednesday evening the nurses boasted about how well my baby boy was doing, how strong he was, how active he was, and how good his heart rate was looking. When his heart rate began to drop, it was then I knew his arrival would not go as I had planned.
I tossed my plans aside and tried my best to suppress the fear I felt. I incessantly and silently began praying, “Lord please keep my baby safe,” as if the more times I prayed it, the more God would hear me.
The epidural kept me from moving my legs. So the thought of jumping out of that bed as I was wheeled to the operating room had to be pushed away because it was no longer an option. I lay there helplessly, with no other choice than to trust the doctors and nurses and continue my relentless prayer . . .
“Lord, please keep my baby safe.”
My husband sat at my bedside the entire time and held my shaking hand as the doctors casually talked about the hockey game that was on that evening.
After what seemed like just a few minutes, I heard the sigh of my baby, and moments later he was laid on my chest. I still cannot quite put into words how I felt, but I know that moment will always be one of the most amazing ones of my life. I temporarily forgot I was still on the operating table with my abdomen opened wide. The only thing that mattered was that my sweet baby boy was safe.
The next few weeks went by in a blur. I did not feel like myself. I was unsure of my abilities. I thought I would instinctively know what my baby’s cries meant, but I just did not. I thought breastfeeding would come naturally and it was much more difficult than I anticipated.
I was unsure of who I was.
Suddenly my world revolved around this little person, and I no longer knew how my old self fit into this new life. I was insecure about how I looked; the body I once knew had been forever changed. I was recovering from a C-section and delirious from the sleepless nights of being up with a newborn baby.
My emotions were all over the place, and tears of joy, sadness, and fear came often. The days were filled with breastfeeding, sleeplessness, and endless diaper changes. There were many moments I struggled and doubted myself.
But as the days went on, things began to change. I started to understand what my baby’s cries meant. Breastfeeding became easier. This little person who had taken over my whole world now was my world.
I still was not my old self, but I was a new self, maybe even a better self.
Waking up in the middle of the night became easier, and I began to cherish the moments with my baby boy. Diaper changes became just another moment to see my baby boy’s sweet smile. Nursing sessions became a time of special bonding. And nap time was now a moment to hold my baby and adore his tiny features.
The moments that seemed so difficult, that scared me, that brought me to tears, became the moments I’m now afraid to miss.