The date was set, the time scheduled. August 28th at 11:15 a.m. the surgery would begin to extract the little child that was growing inside my wife. We told our family, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to tell our children. They were already anxious enough, we didn’t need them to be worried about this as well.
It was a weird experience, knowing in advance the day that your child would be born. Knowing about your new child’s birthday before she was even born into this world. You could feel the anxiety and tension that led up to that day. I was excited for another child and yet, my stomach twisted and turned in ways I had never experienced before. All kinds of thoughts ran through my mind: What if this baby doesn’t make it either? What if something happens to my wife? What if there are complications? What if….? What if….?
That morning, August 28th, we rolled into the hospital for 9:00 a.m. and sat in the delivery room. A nurse came in with hospital gowns for my wife and scrubs for me. Can we check for the baby? my wife asked, I need to hear the heartbeat. The nurse looked at us…her eyes said it all. Lady…in two hours you will not only hear the heartbeat, you’ll be holding your freaking baby! Your request is ridiculous! You know how many things I have to do before we get ready for this c-section?
She didn’t say much and left the room. A few minutes later she came back, I’m so sorry she said, I just read your file and see that you lost a child last year. Of course we can monitor the baby if that’s what you want…I didn’t realize….
So we sat there listening to baby’s heartbeat. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, the song that never sang just a year prior.
The midwives came, gave us hugs, and brought my wife down to the O.R. The hospital was running ahead of schedule that day (which is really weird), so we were in the surgical room early. I waited outside while they prepared the room and my wife for surgery.
Earlier that morning, because I couldn’t sleep anyways, I sat in prayer. Oh Father…I don’t know what your plan is for today, but I’m really hoping that we’re on the same page God. You know…because last time…well…I’m just really hoping we’re on the same page. BUT….if we’re not, I’m going to trust that you’ve prepared me for that as well.
As I sat there in prayer, an overwhelming sense of calm came to me. I wasn’t anxious. I wasn’t trying to control anything. I knew that I had prepared myself and my family to the best of my abilities and now I had to trust. I had to let go of anything I was holding onto and trust.
Finally I was called into the room where my wife was. I sat behind the curtain that separated her head from the rest of her body, and I looked into my wife’s eyes. So much joy, fear, excitement, and overwhelming amount of peace filled those eyes. We sat there for a few minutes, and then I was told that I could announce the gender of the baby.
As I stood up to peer over the curtain, I heard her. The sound that I had longed for…the cry of a baby. And then I saw her being held in the hands of the doctor. It was our baby. Our rainbow child. Our fourth beautiful child. A little girl.
The doctors and midwives looked her over, wrote out her stats, and placed her on my wife’s chest. Born at 11:11. A wish come true.
There she lay, her little body full of life, snuggled into my wife’s chest. Both lay there with their eyes closed, savouring the moment that they could be connected on this side of the womb. Their breath no longer rapid but settling into a deep meditative pattern as they savoured the connection. And there I stood, watching my two girls fall deeper in love, as tears came to my eyes. I no longer saw all the people hustling around the room, I no longer heard the beeps of the machines, it all fell into the background. There was our daughter. A gift from God. Our little Norah Rie.
“Here sleeps a girl with a head full of magical dreams, a heart full of wonder and hands that will shape the world.” ~unknown