My first born almost wasn’t…
After 26 hours of labor, I mean loud, screaming labor, her heartbeat stopped.
Everyone in the room turned to look at the heartbeat monitor to see if the sudden beeeeeeeeeep was a glich. It wasn’t.
The doctor hovered over me, just inches from my face and calmly spoke that he would be delivering by c-section because when they broke my water, the baby had fallen and, landing on the cord, had cut off its own life supply.
Nurses on all sides were fervorously taking off my nail polish and taping over my rings as tears of utter fear welled up in my eyes.
Like the opening scene of a medical drama from the 70′s, I was raced to another room with about 6 masked people staring down at me, one of them shouting the agenda as if I could actually concentrate on what he was saying. The ceiling lights were zooming above like a meteor shower ready to rain down on my already panicked heart as we sped through the hallways practically two wheeling around corners.
I couldn’t breathe and the oxygen mask over my face was doing the opposite of it’s intended purpose. Somebody moved it for me and I remember wanting to hug them.
And then I heard her. The doctor started laughing as he exclaimed, “She’s not even out yet and she’s crying! She’s crying from inside the womb!” And then he lifted her to full life, brought her to my face and told me to kiss my beautiful baby. She was then whisked away and I slept for what I think was about 7 hours.
After I awoke I was waiting for them to bring her in when I was told that it was time to sign the birth certificate. At this point, I had been given heavy doses of Demerol to ease the pain from the c-section. Who thinks it’s a good idea to let a heavily medicated mother fill out a birth certificate I will never know, but I had planned for this since I was a teenager and had already picked out her name so I was ready.
November Rain, after a Guns N Roses song I had heard on a cassette tape from somebody’s cousin who recorded them practicing in a garage before they were famous. Yep. Somebody give me a pen-I got this.
And then she entered the room. And I started sobbing. I couldn’t name her November!!! People would call her ‘Ember’ and that was like ashes, and ashes were dirty and my baby was beautiful. (THAT would be the Demerol thinking. I now think Ember would make a beautiful name with a lot of symbolism! Lol)
And then I sobbed some more as I held her in my arms, and I called my mom and apologized for all the pain I caused her in high school. And I loved my daughter and my mom more in that moment than I had ever loved anybody and that I ever realized possible.
So I wrote October in the First Name’ slot instead, because I adore fall and all it’s BEAUTY. And in the Middle Name slot I scrawled Dawn, after my mother’s middle name, because I was so sorry for how I misunderstood all her motherly love for so long…
I later learned that Illinois law states that a baby born by emergency c-section must be delivered within 30 minutes of the declaration of distress. My doctor had her delivered in 7 minutes. He said she cried as soon as the incision in the womb was made. That’s the same moment my tears of fear turned to tears of joy & gratitude, and I still cry those for my BEAUTIFUL October Dawn today.
Happy Birthday October! You are a more of a blessing than you could ever realize and I love you so much!