So there we sat for hours through the wee hours of the night, watching this little monitor go up as the pain increased, applying as much thumb pressure as I could muster to one spot in your mother’s back to help with the pain, and having the nurse periodically check for your progress, which unfortunately was slow, very slow. We had packed a deck of cards, cribbage board, and a couple of videos to help us pass the time. Somehow there never seemed an appropriate time to watch the Star Wars Trilogy. To keep the excitement level up, whether intentional or not, once in a while several nurses would run in, grab your mother, and roll her around like a beach ball without saying anything. On one of these occasions, they attached another monitor to your head, which would presumably let them know better what you were up to while we patiently awaited your arrival. We would later find out these periodic gatherings were due to the fact that your little heart was not beating at an acceptable rate. Soon, your mother had tubes in her in every place you could think of and some you can’t and wouldn’t want to.
On one occasion, we were visited by an older nurse who seemed to have a certain wisdom about her. After one look at your mother she noted: “Nope, never going to deliver this baby. Look at the size of her feet.” In two short sentences, the nurse had clarified the present situation in a manner no one else had. Sure enough, your mother was not going to be able to deliver you unassisted. Who knew shoe size was so important.
One thing you will learn about me, as you grow older, is that I am not real good with blood. I don’t think it is necessarily the color or texture, but more the fact that when you see blood it usually means someone’s bleeding. Since I was told the surgery was scheduled for 8:30 AM and blood and surgery somehow go together like peanut butter and jelly, it was suggested that I eat a big breakfast. While food didn’t seem like a good idea at the time, supposedly it would help keep me from feinting. As I munched on my plate full of hospital pancakes, I had ample opportunity to convince myself that actually being in the operating room was not a real smart idea. Again I don’t recall being asked if I wanted to go into surgery and I thought it was within my rights to decline attendance at the event. After all, I am sure it would be crowded, and I would just be in the way, and your mother would be asleep, and you wouldn’t know if I was there or not, and my reasons went on and on.
Well, needless to say, I was soon dressed like a frumpy Dr. Kildare and on my way to surgery. I had no idea what to expect or if I would be still standing when everything was completed. A nurse asked if I would like to take some photos as you were being delivered. As much as I wanted to see you as soon as you arrived into this world, the thought of seeing the incision and whatever else made me think a sitting position next to your mother and holding her hand (or was she holding mine?) would be the safest bet. I quickly passed the camera to my nurse. Yes, they had a nurse assigned to me in case of complications with my physical health. Somehow I survived and you arrived into the world as the most beautiful baby in the world. I am certain all parents feel this way about their children, but, in this instance, I was right. I am not certain how someone can watch the birth of another human being and not ask themselves, “How is birth possible without our God above directing this miracle?”
Your mother’s life and mine have never been the same since those 2 glorious days. I hope and pray that you will someday be able to experience the same joy your mother and I realized when you entered our lives. Children are one of God’s greatest blessings and there is nothing that can quite fill a place in the lives of parents like the birth of a child.
While your departure may be an inevitable, if not necessarily a welcome event, we are very proud of you and are your biggest fans. Life will provide so many opportunities and we know you will seize the moments as they come and make a difference for the Lord. I am sure the first year teaching will provide many challenges, but truly delight in each day and take comfort in knowing that you are making a huge difference in the lives of young ones who one day will look back and remember Miss C with her gentle spirit and beaming smile. You are loved.