I was 39 weeks when I had my daughter. I remember waking up on the 3rd of June 2017, elated that this was the day we would meet this little girl who showed such personality already in my womb. The girl we prayed for. The girl who would change our lives forever. I was also excited to finally have her out. Those last few days are not comfortable. I swear I could see my veins ready to pop. I was excited at the prospect of being able to choose which side I wanted to sleep on without her kicking against the mattress for me to move. I was excited to be able to walk up our three flights of stairs throughout the day without having to be pushed up at times. An extra 16kg is not fun to carry. I think I was most excited though to not have super powers to smell drains or people, to look at my phone screen and not feel nauseous. To pretty much be able to do all things again without feeling nauseous.
My operation was set for the early afternoon, but we went early in the morning for the stress test. I had spent the last few days leading up to my birth praying for a safe delivery because a couple of weeks before I had this recurring fear that the chord was around her neck. The stress tests I had that last week helped put me at ease. So I was relaxed and ready to start the day processing what was about to happen. I remember laying in the room thinking, praying and breathing. And then it was time. For some reason I went into panic. It was real. I was about to be a mother.
I don’t think I fully thought about the operating side of it all even though I chose and wanted to have a ceasar. I am not sure why all of a sudden I got so nervous. The thought of any operation is scary in itself. The things that could go wrong. But it was so overwhelming, the first time not knowing what to expect. But the doctors and nurses were amazing. I barely felt any injections. They spoke so tenderly to me, and I knew we were of the highest priority.
I asked for an extra high curtain, because I was not about to see any reflections of my body being sliced open. Seeing my legs being moved without feeling them was crazy enough. Brendan sat next to me and we spoke and listened as the procedure began. You can feel your body moving a bit. Such a crazy weird feeling. My gynea then said she was about to give her final push and Harper would come out. She encouraged Brendan to come out from behind the curtain to have the first look at our baby girl.
And then, in a rush of talk and movement, I heard her say “the chord, quick”. Brendan said he had never seen hands move so fast. Our doctor, in a swoop untangled Harps and freed her. Her eyes wide open and no cry. My doctor tapped me and kept saying, “Such a long chord, I am so happy you chose ceasar, Claudia.” Turns out that my chord was actually wrapped around her neck, three times! However, because I did not go into labour it thankfully did not contract around her neck. It did not tighten. It would have complicated my birth significantly and endangered Harper. I saw the paed take her to the table on the side. And in that split second of thinking about nine months carrying this child only to possibly lose her at that final stretch. I knew deep down about her chord, a mother’s instinct I guess, and I spent time secretly praying into this feeling. I was so overwhelmed and elated at how God had us in His hands the entire time. He kept her safe. He kept us safe. I heard her gasp for air and give her first cry. And tears shot through my being. I was so in love. Immediately. Wholeheartedly. Unconditionally.
I don’t remember much of the last part of my op. I remember shivering and being told not to sneeze because I was jolting a perfect stitch. But I clearly remember how tiny she was. Laying on my chest. My Bambi-na. Our love manifested into this beautiful girl.