We met in the early hours of a chilly October morning. Long deep torturous breaths all night long to meet this little soul. In a moment of new life with first breaths he was blue but with black wavy hair and covered with white from birth. “'Give him to me” is all I could muster as he was gently but vigorously touched. I was waiting for his first breath. None.
The bag of desperation came from the emergency cart near the bed. Oxygen. Then an itty bitty cry. The black wavy headed boy was pink, breathing. Finally. Shear utter relief.
I went for the first celebratory walk the next day and I felt breathless. But proud. In love. My body loose, my hips achy, my chest tight. My heart tainted with worry. With every step I couldn't quite catch it. But the warmth of him, the sun tried to assure me. He made funny new noises but my gut wondered if they were 'normal.'
The next night, we lay together as if he was still inside me. The co-sleeper even felt too far. My husband banished from us until I could figure out his 'noises.' He ate like a ravenous pig from my rock solid engorged breasts, which were covered in frozen pea bags. Advil on my bedside table. Exhausted, the both of us, I laid him swaddled beside me and switched off the light.
Then, the breath from hell. The breath that inhaled my regurgitated milk. I was waiting for his breath again. He couldn't quite muster one. I sprang from the bed forcefully patting his back, “Breathe god damnit, breathe.”
Limp. Blue. Oh my fucking God. 911. My husband. CPR. Sirens. I couldn't look. My baby whisked away by strangers in the night as if it were a movie. In shock.
I'm not sure if I took a breath in the car on the ride to the hospital. I couldn't fathom what I could be walking into that early, chilly October morning. I wasn't sure of my existence. Was he alive, was I alive? The automatic slider doors opened to the emergency room. Reluctantly but fiercely I took a step forward unwavering with uncertainty and gut wrenching fear. And then I heard it, the loudest most pissed off cry ever. Shear utter knee buckling relief.
Never could I have dreamed this, even in my most anxious moments in life. Later when we were sent home, I would hear sirens while driving down the road, I stopped breathing. If he was out of my site I stopped breathing. Never was I more attentive to my own breath and his after my baby almost left me as fast as he came to me.
Life is funny. Life is short. No guarantees. Today, three years later almost to the day and with continuous healing, I breathe with intention and try to remember to let it go and let it flow.