Sunday, May 10, 2009
Happy Mother's Day, wife!!!
I got up on Friday like every other day. Leah mentioned that she was having some cramps and I smiled but didn't say what I was thinking. We don't like to make big deals out of things when we don't really know what's happening. So I went to work. Leah called me after she got up for the day and said she still wasn't feeling any better but wasn't in enough discomfort to stop her from going about her day. I believe she was running around with Robin, I could be mistaken about that though. I think it was around noon when she called again and said "Robin thinks I should go to the hospital and that my cramps might be labor, but I'm going to call first." She called and they said yeah, that's a possibility and that she should come in and get hooked up to a machine. Turns out she was contracting but she still didn't know if they were going to keep her or send her home as she was in very early labor. She told me to stay at work until we knew if they were going to let her stay or not so I did for a little while. Eventually, I decided that Taylor Muse doesn't stay at work while his wife is alone at a hospital, and I took off. By the time I got to the hospital, Leah was starting to REALLY feel the contractions and they were starting to come closer together. The on call doctor came in and said that if we didn't naturally have a baby tonight we would induce tomorrow morning. It was about 6 when he came in and said they would check on the baby at 10 and decide when to induce.
At 10 a nurse came in to check on Leah and in the process accidentally broke her water, we would definitely be having a baby now. Hearing the water break from across the room and the splash of it on the bed was one of the more disgusting things and it freaked Leah out because no one was expecting it.
A few hours later, another nurse checked Leah again and said "Well, you're ready to go." A few days ago if I'd thought about what my role in the delivery room would be, I would've said something like, "Holding Leah's hand, saying encouraging things to her and not in anyway helping or seeing anything happen." That's not how it turned out and I saw a lot of things. Leah had a similar idea of my role and didn't want me to see anything but when you're pushing another human out of your birth canal a lot of modesty related ideas that you may have seem to go out the window. I held one of her legs and the nurse, the other, and we helped her push for about 30 minutes before the Dr. came back and had her push three more times at which point Harper came out, purple, soaked in blood, with a head shaped like Alien, and strangely the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen.
I never expect myself to cry because I never cry. I expect Leah to cry all the time because she cries all the time. This is good logic, I feel. When we had our first sonogram and Harper wasn't anything more than a large cluster of cells with a heartbeat, Leah asked if I would cry and I remember saying "Don't be ridiculous." But there I was that day, staring at a tiny blink on a monitor and wiping the water from my eyes like a little girl. And there was Leah, with her eyes dry and her smile wide. Friday, was a lot like that day, except this time I wasn't a little misty eyed, I was choking back sobs as the doctor wiped the blood off my daughter and put her on Leah's chest, her first minute in a world that I can't wait to introduce her to. Ten fingers, Ten toes and with the exception of a little bit of Jaundice, completely healthy.
I feel like at this point in the story part of me wants to rant about what a miracle the birth process is and ponder how long it must have taken nature to perfect it. It is pretty damn amazing, albeit, gross.
However, what I was more impressed with was my wife. I feel like I've been telling her non stop since the birth but I really can't get over how amazing she was. She never complained or whined about the pain and since we've gotten home we've discovered new levels of exhaustion that we didn't know were possible, and Leah is apparently built to handle it, whereas, I am not. I don't believe that people have destinies past what we make for ourselves but if I did believe that, I wouldn't have any problem saying that Leah was born to be Harper's mom. She is so natural and effortless in her love and patience with Harper and with me for that matter. I will love her forever. I will love them both forever.