She Sells Sanctuary

Dear Baby Aziza,
Sorry I've been so lax in documenting your arrival and subsequent stay with us.  After last night's tornado touchdowns and downed power lines, it appears that my office's server is down and so, while everyone else is asleep, I finally have a free moment to report.  So.

It was a dark and stormy night.  As we raced through the cobbled streets of D.C. (well, they weren't cobbled, but they were so busticated and full of potholes that they felt cobbled), I clutched the armrest and my stomach when we hit a bump or when my bump hit me.  My contractions had started that afternoon but they did not cluster together until about 8 p.m. that night.  You politely waited until we finished our meeting with ZP's "Tia" to discuss future employment plans.  Then, after they left and we started getting ZP down for the night, your patience ended and the blindly painful contractions went into full force.  I called up LB and KG to scream at them to hurry over and babysit ZP (who, thankfully, had gone to sleep without much fuss) so that we could get to the hospital.  It was a Friday night and therefore easy enough for them to stay over while we ran out into the rain (well, TP ran;  I had to waddle along and pause to double over and catch my breath now and then) and drove to Sibley.

Thanks to early planning, the hospital already had all of my information and I was able to get a room right away.  My brain was filled with angry bees and I couldn't concentrate on anything other than getting through each contraction and waiting for the epidural.  When the anesthesiologist arrived, I nearly wept with relief.  He waved some forms in front of me, making me promise not to sue in case I ended up paralyzed or turned into a swamp monster.I scribbled my names on the forms, nearly breaking the pen in half.  Then, he tried to give me a verbal notice detailing what the forms said.  "Do you want the long version or the short version," he asked me as I bent over to have my spine swabbed.  Was he kidding me?  I almost laughed and wanted to answer, "oh, the long version please.  And don't give me the shot until you've finished and I have considered the options for a long while."  "SHORT VERSION," I gritted.  I got the shot and about half an hour later, I was calm enough to ignore the waves of shrieking pain that I knew were crashing over my body because I could see them on the monitor, but I couldn't feel them any more.  I also couldn't feel my legs; they just felt like two balloons.  Or, perhaps two heavy slabs of meat would be more accurate.  Either way, I was happy.  I felt better - enough to think again, enough to tease TP, enough to realize that, yep, this is it.

The drugs wore off after a while and until the next hit, I was instructed to take deep breaths through the contractions.  My mind swirled around to find something to latch onto so that I could remove it from my body and get through the pain.  Scuba diving.  Scuba diving in Belize with LB where we learned how to breathe slowly in order not to run through the tank of oxygen.  The doctor flitted in and out to check on me (and in me) and finally announced that it was time for the big show.  Memories of the grueling three hours of pushing and tearing and bleeding gripped me but this time around, it was infinitely easier.  "Push!  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.  Okay, breathe.  Push! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.  Okay, now just half a push.  1, 2, 3, 4 HERE SHE IS!"  And there you were.  Tiny, balled up, perfect.  Full head of hair, gentle cries, and finally someone in the family who resembles me.

 You were a dream at the hospital and got rave reviews for your raven locks from the staff.   After the clean-up crew left and it was just the three of us, I realized it was the first night I had ever spent away from ZP.  It saddened me, but I was excited to see ZP's reaction when he first met you.  LB and KG had been taking good care of him and brought him over the next day to make your acquaintance.  It was a pretty successful meeting and ZP was interested but only vaguely so; I was just glad he didn't have a melt-down (that was to come later).  I think part of his pleasant demeanor was due in large part by balloons, cookies, and buttons to push to make the bed go up and down.  Your Nani and Babu were stuck in several inches of snow trying to get to D.C. so it wasn't until we took you home that they got to snatch you away and shower you with adoration and awe.  

So, there's the first day(s) down on paper.  I'll try to jot down the highlights of months one and two before the month three milestone passes.  Suffice it to say, you rock.  More in a bit, my baby doll.