Friday, May 18, 2012 ~ Happy Birthday Sephora Angeline
When they made the decision to take my husband and I back for a c-section, I looked at my nurse and begged for her to get the “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” photographer (an organization of professional photographers who artistically document babies who have an early terminal diagnosis at or before birth) here as quickly as she could. Diane, the photographer, arrived within 20 minutes of calling her, and she stayed with us for 4 hours! The medical staff took us back around 10pm to the operating room. I drank an “anti-nausea” something or other as they put my blue cap on my head and wheeled me in to the OR. The bed ride made me nauseous, and I ended up throwing up the “anti nausea” drink that I’d had minutes before arriving. The staff helped to sit me up and gave me a stool to rest my feet on as they began to prepare me for the epidural before the procedure. After they put the medicine in my back, my feet began to feel warm almost instantly. This is when they helped to turn me back around and lay me on the flat bed in the room. I was draped with all of the blue curtains and given oxygen. It only took a few minutes for the spinal to take effect, and my body was numb enough to start the procedure. At this point, Chris finally was allowed to come in and sit next to me. He held my hand from the moment he sat down…I remember squeezing it so hard, not because I was in pain, but because of my nerves and the intensity of the moment. I could feel the doctors squeeze, tug, and pull…nothing was painful. As the time got closer to getting to Sephora, they told me I’d feel a lot of pressure. I don’t believe I actually did though. I did however, feel them grab and turn her. She was laying sideways across my belly, for the past few weeks of my pregnancy. I literally felt them turn her vertically. I remember looking at Chris and saying, “Here she comes!” …and they lifted her out. Sephora Angeline was born at 10:25pm. She weighed 3 pounds 9 ounces, 16 inches long, and she was perfect! Chris was able to cut her umbilical cord, and then he went over to the table where Sephora was laying with the nurse and NICU doctor. When Chris stood up to leave me, one of my midwives sat down next to me and grabbed my hand. She told me how beautiful our little Sephora was. The nurse and doctor gave her a tiny bit of oxygen and decided to clean her off just enough to wrap her up, hand her to Chris, and bring her over to me to hold. At this moment, I didn’t know that the medical staff felt she only had a few minutes before she would pass as she had not started breathing, at first, when her cord was severed. I was just in awe of our beautiful baby girl. I sang “You Are My Sunshine” to her as I held her. It wasn’t my best performance, but I sang it to her every day while she was in my tummy, and I was determined to sing it to her so she could hear me sing it again.
Her cry was so sweet…and she cried for a few hours. It reminded me of a little whimper and squeak. What a soothing sound to hear our beautiful baby cry. They moved us from the OR to the recovery room where Sephora began to pink up a little bit and cry some more. We’d already been given more time with her than all of the medical staff had ever thought we’d be blessed enough to get. Slowly, our visitors started coming back to visit us in groups of 2. After all 15 of them had come back to visit, they decided we were stable enough to be moved to our room. When we got settled, we moved Sephora from my arms to my belly, and gave her a sponge bath. We dressed her in the one outfit we’d purchased for her that read “Daddy’s Girl” on the chest and passed her around to the family and friends that had stayed just so we all could cuddle and love her for as long as we could. Before all of our guests left for the evening, I asked if we all could sing “Happy Birthday” to our Beautiful Angel. It was the most beautiful and tender moment I’ve ever felt in my life. Our singing even quieted Sephora’s sweet little cry.
“Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.” (Psalm 61:1-4)