When a mom meets her daughter for the first time in the flesh, it doesn't feel like it's the first time they've met. The day Claira was born, I could not believe that the time had already come. Was I really ready for this? When contractions started and got more and more painful so quickly, you'd think we'd just have gone straight to the hospital, but there was no way I was going to be sent home without a baby.
When a mom meets her daughter, she wants to be looking her best. I happened to decide not to wash my hair for church that day. It wouldn't have mattered anyway. By the time we got to the hospital, I was sweating from contractions. Triage felt like a lifetime, not being able to find a good vein for the IV felt like eternity, each contraction rose in me like waves of shredded glass that I could manage only with the thought "I'll get an epidural and it will be all right." Famous last words.
When what definitely felt like a head pushing down started and the nurse was calling to me "don't push" and doctors were coming with their masks and gloves and no epidural was in sight, I didn't feel like I was ready to meet my daughter.
But when a dad calmly and firmly counts in bouts of 10, encouraging and strengthening, this mother pushed and pushed with all she has ever known of pain and grief and a desire to know this precious little one; it wouldn't matter that when this mother met her daughter, she would have bloodshot eyes for weeks from laboring, that they would cry together over the pain of mortality even with all the joy that entwines them as kin.
When a mom meets her daughter, she holds her tight and says over and over "You're here!" She carries her proudly as the nurse wheels them to the mother-daughter unit. This mother remembers well the two other times being wheeled through the hospital with babies that would not be coming home. It's unreal and so real that it hurts.
When a mom and dad meet their daughter, the daughter learns quickly that parents make mistakes. Sorry, sweety, for the dumped ice water just moments after your fresh bath and measurements, just when you thought you were safe and cozy :(
When a mom and dad meet their daughter, they endure three days of hospital stresses,
dad studying and holding and running to and fro
in order to go home to the nursery that Dad and Mom have been preparing for months.
After a mom meets her daughter, there is sleeping time and feeding time and tummy time, and that's the best thing about having her daughter--time.
"I'll take the time to love the best I can
and hold this little life with tender hands."
-Nancy Peterson, aka, Mom/Grandma Nancy