Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Six Years Ago...
I get a little choked up every single time I look at this black and white picture. The day Mina was born, I realized there was so much about life that I knew nothing about. So much that this little baby had to teach me.
September 30th, 2002... In the evening my sister-in-law-to-be Laney called because she was procrastinating practicing the violin. I remember telling her nonchalantly that I would be in labor that night.
I was sort of disappointed as we climbed into bed and nothing was happening.
I fell asleep watching Conan O'Brian... and woke up at 12:30 am, October 1st (Mina's due date!) having a VERY strong contraction! My water broke when I went to the bathroom. It was CONSTANT gushing, I remember sort of laughing and fumbling around trying to do something about that.
I woke Jason around 1 am and he suggested we try to sleep some more, which is what they tell you to do in Lamaze. I laid down to have another violent contraction. I told him there was no way I could sleep and that we should get ready. My contractions were coming full force. Jason started timing them--3 minutes apart. He called the doctor, my mom and dad and started getting the car packed up, while I was on all fours just trying to hold the baby in.
The drive to the hospital seemed to take forever. We got there at 2. I went into the emergency room doors and fell to my hands and knees, having contractions, breathing, sweating, my pants falling down... I remember imagining that my pain was going out through my fingertips and into the ground. It was the most surreal thing... Jason came in after me and they wheeled me up to the maternity ward.
They checked my cervix--8 cm they said. The doctor was called and he got there very fast. They strapped a heart monitor to my belly and the baby's heart rate was dropping, so I had to lay on my side while they gave me oxygen and it came back up. It wasn't long before I was at 10 cm dilated. I pushed through a few contractions and out she came, at 3:27 am, a very plump, hairy, healthy girl. Jason was crying and I was so relieved. She was 8 lb. 13 1/2 oz and was 21 1/4 in. long. It was a Tuesday morning. I had a frozen diaper in my disposable panties and a new little person in my arms. We stayed until Thursday morning. I had one stitch.
Today is a sick day, unfortunately. Mina's class called to sing happy birthday and say they missed her and hope she feels better soon.
Being sick hasn't stopped her from being full of questions.
Who are all the people you know who have died?
How did they die?
What are all the jokes you know?
How long can you go without blinking?
Who is your favorite person?
Why does wine make you kind of sick?
What if we drank water and ate healthy food all the days and all the nights?
Who is your favorite baby?
Mina, you are a very strange kid and I love you for it. You are curious and sensitive, thoughtful, creative... You are endlessly fascinating and beautiful. I wish that every moment of your life could be happy and I get sad when you are sad. I hope we can make you strong without making you tough, make you wise without making you jaded. I hope we can teach you to behave without traumatizing you. I hope we can teach you to create without stifling you. I hope we can give you wings that will take you far. You think being a kid is scary--it's nothing compared to being a parent hoping and praying for their child.
Thankfully, I suspect that you need our help a lot less than we think you do. You're already strong. You're already wise beyond your years. You know things before we have a chance to teach you, and you are already so much more creative than I could ever be. We just have to try, try, try not to crush your wings.
Happy birthday to you, Mina. You are one cool kid.