A Day Without Rain by Sonya Hemmen bookmark amp share Looking back I remember that
Posted On Tuesday, October 27, 2009 by Tiffany
A Day Without Rain
Looking back I remember that it rained for five days after Molly was born. Not just light rain or sprinkles, a downpour that felt like it had soaked all the way through, deep-down into my soul, down to the very bottom and then splashed up, again.
What is odd, to me, is that I had always loved rain before. The dusty clean smell, coolness, refreshing and making new of all things. But this rain was different, foreboding of the next several months, years, really, and it told me that my life was going to be unlike it had ever been. This rain did not seem to calm me at all like rain once had.
Now, when it rains, I feel a melancholy like never before. I think about what it was like to be told that we were going to deliver Molly, with 10 minutes' notice to prep for surgery and that the doctors had done the best they could but that we would become parents of a micro-preemie, a 26-weeker, 1 pound, 7 ounces, 10 inches long.
Often, now, I think about the fact that she was born too soon and is nothing short of a miracle. I recall the first few days after I delivered Molly, when Scott and I were in the hospital for the next two days, in the old and scary converted nursing home.
I think of my first night off of the High Risk Pregnancy Ward, when I woke up in between my two-hour blood pressure checks. I walked to the bathroom, the staples in my abdomen were foreign to my body and didn't want to help me in any way. The staples were cold and sterile, just like I felt on a regular basis, back then.
As I struggled up out of the bed during that time, I had to gingerly step over Scott, who lay on a crinkly old mattress on the floor of the hospital room. As I walked to the bathroom, I struggled to muffle my wailing. I was embarrassed to let anyone know or hear how I felt.
Scott was not my enemy but in some way, everyone was. I felt as if the world had somehow cheated me out of a normal pregnancy, a normal life, a normal anything. So I sauntered into the putrid yellow hospital bathroom and cried harder than I had ever cried into a towel that felt like sandpaper on my face. I wasn't sure what else there was to do. My whole world felt breakable and dry.
I decided to get dressed. I gingerly put on some clothes and somehow found my way to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) six floors below my hospital room.
I sat down carefully next to Molly's isolette. It was truly the closest and the farthest away to her that I could possibly be. I felt like she was still inside me until I saw her right there. Then I remembered the cold and tight staples in my gut and took a moment and stared in complete awe and shock as her little pink, translucent chest rose high and then fell, triumphantly, as she fought for each and every breath, over and over again, for what seemed like hours.
I watched this tiny giant who had so quickly and profoundly entered my life. She took a breath and fought for the next one, took another breath and then fought for the next one. For her, each breath was a battle.
Within her, I saw a courageousness and determination that I had never witnessed in anyone or anything else. I stared at her many monitors and memorized her blood pressure, her pulse ox number and her pulse.
I stared, simultaneously terrified and mesmerized, as I noted the tubes, gadgets and beeps that were helping her to win the battle of life. There were tubes and pumps everywhere, it seemed. She had an IV of vitamins and minerals going out of her from her belly button. She had an IV in her head that was surrounded with a cotton ball that, on her, looked enormous.
All of this started to get to me and I started to cry and then, quickly, I stopped, dried my tears and made a decision. I would never choose to cry in front of her while she lived this bizarre existence in a plastic box in the hospital, ever again. No crying, not in front of her. Not in the NICU. No one else would be permitted to do so, either. This tiny and mighty little angel needed our strength, not our tears.
After surviving a very traumatic first pregnancy with a nightmare delivery (30 hours of magnesium-induced hell, ending in an emergency c-section) and even more debilitating recovery, one would think I was DONE having children. Let's be ...