it was magic.
it was all things good.
it was...the most amazing experience of my life.
i want to go back to march 5th and do it again. i want to feel every emotion, to shed each tear, and to hear her soft newborn cry for the first time...again
i want meet our newest daughter for the first time...all over again.
it was...sublime. the closest way to relive it is to write it down, so here it is ...
the early morning hours of saturday, march 5th, four weeks ago, my bags were just barely packed. my suitcase lay open on our bed as a scribbled checklist i had created days earlier lay next to it:
flip video camera
pillow with a colored pillow case
fave lip gloss
baby name book
extra memory cards...
brushes, headbands, and toiletry bags sat upon my messy bathroom counter.
what to take? what to take?
a few days earlier than that, i had carefully washed three outfits for the new baby and placed them in large ziploc bags in my suitcase. each was made of the softest organic cotton i have ever felt and all three were white or soft white. i was happy with my choices...all gifts from my baby shower celebration. i carefully folded a crisp, white nightgown with tiny embroidered purplish grey flowers adorning the top...i will wear this at the hospital the night the baby is born. that was my plan, anyway.
lavendar and peppermint oils, battery operated candles and sweet favors were thrown in a duffle with my favorite quilt at the last minute.
i burned the birth music i had chosen to CD and decided i was tired and needed to rest, so at around 1 am-only 7 hours before we were due to be at the hospital, i ran the water for a bath. the kids had gone to stay at grandma and grandpas and jeff was fast asleep. the house quiet and dark, absurdly really quiet and dark. the most quiet it had ever been it seemed.
i poured two capfulls of ________ into the running water and i touched my pregnant and very big belly and was suddenly very aware that it would be gone in a matter of hours.
i felt the baby move and i closed my eyes, begging my brain to remember it exactly as it was at that moment. i felt the hard bump that often presented itself above my bellybutton. "it's the baby's bum," i had proudly shared with family and friends for the last 20 weeks or so.
i was acutely aware that i wouldn't be saying that ever again. as i soaked in the tub, my eyes stinging with exhaustion and my mind racing with excitement, i touched my stomach and softly whispered to the baby how much i loved him or her.
"i can't wait to meet you, sweetheart."
tears started flowing. how i loved this belly and all the life that it held for 40 weeks and 3 days.
i got out of the tub, and afraid i hadn't documented this little miracle enough, i began snapping photos with my iphone desperate to memorize the last hours of what will soon be gone.
although, i knew things were only going to get sweeter, earlier in the day, i had been struggling with the fact that this beloved pregnancy was just about over. i would never again feel a baby kick and dance within my belly.
i was grateful and blessed for the times i grew healthy babies, but i wasn't quite ready for it to be over and taking those last few moments to myself felt ceremonious and just what i needed to do to move on to the next step.
i miss it.
when the alarm went off, it felt like chrismas morning times 100. the excitement grew as i called friends, kelle and jenn... wake-up...it's time to have a baby!
jeff was up and packing the car for the ten minute ride down the street. i applied my make-up and did my hair. jeff laughed at me each time he walked into the bathroom.
"jeff, i looked like marge simpson when i had beckham. i want to look better this time...even if i'm screaming in pain!"
we picked up kelle on the way and it was starting to feel real. each of us carrying something, we checked in and took seats in the waiting room. my mind went to the last time i was sitting in this room...in this exact seat. i was pregnant with peyton. i had never done it before and i was scared. i tried to compare the two different experiences, but i was too excited to think through it all. all i knew...i was so happy. i was in the happiest place i could be.
joan, the nurse that delivered peyton 7 years earlier, called us into triage. i cried as i changed into my hospital gown...
this was it. the moments i had waited for and i was enjoying each and every second of it...even the open backed butt ugly hospital gown didn't bother, i was honored to be there wearing it.
they walked us into our room and kelle and i started crying at the bed where soon, my baby would lay and that adorable hat would be on my precious baby's head soon.
the iv was in, they broke my water, jeff played it cool in the corner reading the name book, the candles were 'lit' and my girls were by my side
we laughed and we cried a lot of happy tears. it was a good day. the best day.
we talked about baby names and couldn't agree on much, which kept things interesting.
if a hair was out of place...kelle and jenn knew to fix it immediately. we laughed later, as i telling a story, these two both jumped up at the same to time to smooth a flyaway hair from my face.
in between being poked and prodded,
we laughed and cried as we anticipated the arrival of this little surprise baby.
i can't believe the day is here!!! we are having a baby.
i wish i could have bottled up the love, joy and happiness that was in the room that monday.
i had been waiting patiently, but i just wanted to hold him or her. i just wanted them to hand a warm, little body to me so i could breathe in the new sweetness and kiss the sweet lips i had been dreaming about. i wanted to be the one, the lucky one, the one whose baby the nurses would fuss over...wiping her off and shouting out apgar scores to one another. i wanted to look over to the right from my hospital bed and try to catch glimpses of the little human that jeff and i created. today, i was that girl.
our third miracle would be joining our family of four very soon.
i was feeling a range of emotions when my nurse joan said, "you are ten. you can push! do you want to push or do you want us to top you off first (epidural)?"
"what?! i'm ready to push. already?"
i looked over to jeff, kelle and jenn, heart pounding and taken with a mixture of excitement and nerves.
"oh my gosh. it's time to push!"
they all rushed to my side.
but hey, mama's no fool...they topped me off first!
i heard a medley of sentiments while waiting to push.
you can do it, baby.
heidi, you're going to meet your baby!
tears and hugs were shared.
this was it. the moment i had dreamt of. the pure magical experience of counting and pushing and delivering a child.
the lights were turned up, people in scrubs started filing in and the doctor slowly prepared himself, tugging at gloves and offering warm and encouraging smiles my way.
kelle grabbed my hand. jeff kissed me. jenn giggled. we were giddy.
this was it. it was my turn to dance. to accept my reward. i was ready.
like any woman and regardless of pushing a baby out into the world or meeting a specially chosen child that was born in your heart, it's what you feel before you meet your child for the first time. it's the kind of emotion reserved solely for occasions like, meeting your child for the first time.
like an unexpected tidal wave, the emotion washed over me relentlessly and while my carefully selected music played in the background...i began my work.
push, heidi. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. good. you're doing great! we can see the head. black hair.
i tried to taper the tears while pushing, but i couldn't. feeling fully present and realizing that magic was happening...i couldn't stop the salty water from falling. fyi: crying and pushing at the same time...not easy to do. also, it does not make for the effective use of a contraction. but she came fast and easily anyway.
omg, heidi. one more time, heidi... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. one more push and you will have your baby. you are doing awesome.
"omg, really? you can? you can see the head? Turn up the song, number 1, number 1!"
feeling no pain, i felt her little body slide out of me. it was the most exhilarating release of emotion i have ever experienced...
dr. gauta proudly lifted her up...
i heard her beautiful and tiny newborn cries and lost in the moment i said, "is that her crying?"
it was the most beautiful music. her cries were softer than i remembered with the others and i was overcome with joy. so much so, i forgot to look for the gender.
kelle kept saying, "jeff and heidi, look. look what you have!" finally it dawned on me to check it out.
i announced, "it's a girl!"
the doctor echoed me a second later.
kelle ran over to me, her tear streaked face tattooed with love and happiness, "she's perfect, heidi. she's beautiful! sobbing, she said, "i'll go get more pictures and come back to show you."
jenn clutched my hand and cried with me. "she's perfect, heidi! another little girl! oh, heidi! she's beautiful."
jeff had been next to the warmer, next to his newest little girl...i could see the tears and just like that...this little surprise-holy-crapola-what-have-we-done-baby had captured her daddy's heart.
finally, they brought her to me...
and i looked into the eyes of my new baby girl for the first time...
and she took my breath away. her beauty, her health. the color of her face, the chubby little arms, the thick blanket of dark hair that covered her perfectly round head. the cleft in her chin, a trademark of being siblings to peyton and beckham, i guess. she was amazing. she stopped crying when i held her for the first time. she stared at me. right at me. she was alert and her eyes wide open before she finally latched on to nurse. her skin next to mine was surreal. i was looking at this baby, but it was almost to good to be true. but she was.
i finally had her in my arms.
we counted fingers and toes. compared our older babies to this new one.
"she looks like, beckham!" i said.
"peyton!' he said.
yes, the best was yet to come.
peyton and beckham just left school and were on their way to meet their new baby. whenever i thought about peyton and beckham meeting their new baby always brought me to tears. i knew how happy they would be to finally meet this baby we had been talking about for so long.
i can't find the adequate words to describe the amount of happiness and pride i felt at introducing peyton and beckham to their new baby.
"what kind a baby is it, mama?"
a baby girl.
his face fell for just a moment as he really wanted a little brother to teach how to play hockey. he quickly recovered and ran over to shower her in delicate kisses.
peyton's excitement over having a girl shone on her sweet face.
they couldn't keep their hands off of her and for the first time, i realized what i had just given them. another person linked to them genetically, but more importantly, ivy was an extra person for them to love and learn from and ivy would offer them love back.
they followed her around the room. she never left her sight.
she will adore her big brother and sister. she will look up to them . want to be them. ivy will share things with them that she may not want to share with me one day.
opportunity is what we gained that. the opportunity to love and be loved back from one more person...that kinda has to. we are a family. a new family of five. we are together united in the big beautiful world of so much good and so much bad too.
we have each other forever. and so we celebrated and toasted to our new girl and our new family.
hello there, daughters of mine.
such tender and sweet moments were shared this day. i'll never forget this day and i'll always be grateful that i was able to really share it with peyton and beckham. it's been just us for so long, but they were there when it all changed. they were a part of it.
our first family photos.
and right about now, it hits me...this is our new crew. a family of five. feeling so in love and completely blessed
happiness. that's all that is.
peyton made me promise that she could hold the baby as much as she wanted.
we obliged her.
she stuck to me like glue. bless her sweet, sweet heart.
this picture slays me. i love this girl. she is so proud her baby. i love you, peyton mae.
beckham is so tender with her. his away around her is natural and beautiful.
we partied with our girl and our family and friends. it was epic.
the kids decorated her immediately.
daddy looked proud and deeply in love and i couldn't help but remember that at one time in his life he had said, "i only want boys. i don't want to have to hurt a teenager going after my girls. i never want a girl."
i've seen this face before, seven years ago when we welcomed our, peyton mae.
my dear jenn, clutched my hand and cried with me at the birth of our girl. someone who celebrates you or children like that, you hold onto them. tight. xo
sito finally had the baby she had been wanting, i think she'll stop asking for another one now...for a minute at least.
cousins loved on her.
and i watched my best friend welcome and love on my girl moments after she was born just as i had done to hers two years earlier. we were back in sacred space and we knew it. tears of pain and happiness were shed as we remembered where we were two years earlier and knowing how far we had come in so many ways in such a short time. we were blessed and things happened just as they were supposed to happen.
i watched my babies transform into protective big brother and sister within seconds of meeting her.
i saw friends rejoice in the magic of a new human,
and i heard mothers reminded of how tiny their own little one must of been once upon a time.
we marveled at things that are normally taken for granted...hair and lots of it, ten healthy toes, a button nose. eyelashes, and tiny ears.
it was a party celebrating the little things.
finally, it was time for me to make my victory walk. the olympic torch relays got nuttin' on being rolled out of your delivery room, with a tightly swaddled newbie in your lap that's all yours.
and even though we had a minor glitch...we kinda named her two different names over the course of 24 hours...
first we celebrated Josie Lynn (PB&J), we danced, we called people, i wrote it in her baby book and recorded it on video...the next day, it didn't feel right even though i loved the name.
the next day before the hospital all but sent in nurses to beat a name out of me, we decided on francesca, frankie for short. i started crying a minute later. it wasn't right.
finally, daddy pulled a name from one our cast-off names...and Ivy Lynn it was. and it's perfect.
we finally, made it home. it was the best adventure. an amazing journey that started with a surprise positive sign on a pregnancy stick to the most beautiful and lucky little girl named ivy. and she is magic. every breath she takes...she's like sugar.
we are so lucky. truly, she is my little miracle.
how did i get so lucky to have these three beings?
i'm not sure, but i hit the jackpot, i think.
i tried to post a video but it won't play at this time, i'll try again on the next post.