We always talk about things being perfect...it's such a strange word to apply to our last week... the absolute craziest week of our lives... but somehow, in so many ways it was perfect. One week ago from right now, we were down in a cozy room in labor and delivery: Steph in her hospital bed, waiting for her second steroid shot- which would give Avery that much more of a chance the next day after the c-section- and me in one of those fold-down chair bed things that most guys don't get the joy of having their neck kinked on until after their bundle of joy arrives.
The nurse would come in every half hour or so and check her vitals...talk to us and calm our nerves like an angel prayed to us by friends and family who couldn't be there with us. Just as we would fall asleep, it seems, someone would come in and take more of Steph's blood to run down to the lab...which was ironic, because the doctor had said that her platelet count was too low to have a spinal, which meant general anesthetic and I wouldn't be able to be in the operating room the next day: a very lonely overtone to the next days events. I can still remember on the upswing of our ebbing and flowing emotions that night Steph would chant: "platelets high, enzymes low, platelets high, enzymes low..." I can see Steph adjusting the little monitor on her belly that monitored the baby's heartbeat, and laying in super uncomfortable positions every time she couldn't hear the heartbeat... saying "Come on baby, where are you?"... a little momma, so concerned for her baby...when really, unbeknownst to her, that is was her own life that lay more in the balance. After each time they took her blood, we would wait a precious hour for the results... and each time, her platelet count miraculously came back a little higher...her enzyme levels dropped off a bit...and we slept just a little easier for about 10 minutes at a time.
I can still hear the rhythmic sounding of little Avery's heart on the monitor that last night... she was with us, comforting her scared little parents...telling us she was fine and it would turn out okay. Since about 12:30 that afternoon...we had that feeling of being on a rollercoaster...the part right before the bottom drops out from below you. So, we held on to each other. And the three of us made it through the night...
The next morning... at about 10:51... Steph and I were next to each other in the operating room, and our eyes met... the world stopped.. and for the last time, it was just the two of us... scared to death at what had happened to us... scared to death at what the next few seconds could bring. And with the sweetest sound...her first little cry, Avery brought the most incredible peace to her mom and dad. It was perfect.
We get lost looking at her little body in the dim light of the NICU at night. Her little fingers, her fingernails... she takes a deep breath, yawns...stretches... cries... and looks up at her mom and dad just holding on to each other for dear life... all three of us together a little sooner than we expected...but it's so perfect.