The morning of the c-section was really exciting and I felt oddly calm. I wasn't supposed to eat but I was starving so I made Nick get me a frappacino light from Starbucks because I figured it would provide the most calories while still not looking like food, in case my surgeon could see all that I'd eaten! While checking in, I wanted to keep working on my quilt for Glor, but Nick made me wait till we got to the room. Kalle & Katie were going to rush up right before we went into the operating room and I spent the two hours before Glory came worrying that they'd be late. Shawn got there a little before them and Katie came just in time to put her scrubs on. After getting all my IV's & bloodwork done, the nurse came up to me and said "okay - let's go!" I was like, alright... let's go!... thinking she'd at least wheel me into surgery. Nope - I walked - right up to the operating room. Once there they told me that Katie and Nick would have to wait outside while I got my spinal, so I made friends with the anesthesiologist quickly. I knew I needed someone to hold my hand while I got it and she helped me out:).
That's where it gets pretty fuzzy. I know I was laid down on the table, butt naked, waiting for surgery to start when Katie and Nick came in. They hadn't put the privacy screen up and I saw the terrified look in Nick's face. He said, "Um... so are they not going to put the sheet up?!", thinking he'd have to watch them slice into his wife, but thankfully they threw it up at the last minute. The spinal was really hard on me and by the time Nick and K got settled, all I could say was "sick". On my cue, the anaesthesiologist would stick the suction thing in my mouth so that when I threw up, I didn't have to heave - it just sucked it right out. Katie started taking pictures and I started worrying about her - I was scared watching a baby come out would make her have hard contractions and go into labor. But she was such a trooper...she took some of the most beautiful, sickest pictures of my insides during surgery. I'm so thankful to have them!
Nick and I shared an ipod and listened to Glen Hansard & the Once soundtrack. I remember hearing him sing, "Raise your hopeful voice - you have a choice" when they were pulling her out. I know most people think that c-sections are the painless choice, but there is a good bit of discomfort involved and I remember hearing that line and knowing they were trying to get her out because it just felt like a really intense pinching inside of me - dull, but still intense. After all the drama about her health in utero, I just needed to know that she was out and safe. During Elias' c-section, I forgot to listen for a cry and was surprised when I heard it. I listened intently to hear Glory's 'hopeful voice' and I've been hearing it almost every hour since:). If I had known what a crier this girl would've been, I might not have been so blessed by her first wail.
Katie kept taking pictures and I kept crying. I looked at her across the room and said, "she looks like me! she looks like me!"... but I only see that resemblance every few days in her now. The rest of that day and the next few are such blurs. I know Faythe, Jimmy, Kal, Shawn, Kelly & the girls, Marilee, Thadd, Silas, our pregos, Debi, Miles, and Elias were all there to visit - and of course Nick and Katie. I know something in me felt really protective of my heart against Glory. I loved her so much - so, so deeply that I was almost scared of her. Sometimes I still am scared of her in a weird way. I think in her pregnancy I just saw how much Christ becomes vulnerable for us - and how greatly that is mirrored in a parent's love for their child.
You know - another reason I think I've hesitated to write her birth story is because I realized during this experience how much birth is only the beginning. It took me a few days to stop referring to her as 'him'. It took me weeks to get really, really genuine with her and tell her how much I loved her. But she really has my heart. Her & Elias hold so much of my affection and so much of my future and so much of my love. Their births and these past two years have only been the very, very beginning of their lives and the've been the biggest and best two years of mine. I know Christ better because I see how much He loves me to bless me with them & I see how much He takes care of me when I come to him scared that I'm going to lose one, scared that I'm going to screw one up, or scared because one has cried for four hours in a row.
But all in all - I think the Connolly family story has just begun.
ps: sorry for the gross picture, I couldn't help myself!