Bella asked me tonight if I remembered the day of her birth.
Boy, do I.
I remember so many things, and yet, there is so much I do not remember.
I remember the roads to the hospital – the route we took so many times. Too many times.
I remember the look on my doctor’s face as he read that long trail of paper coming out of a machine at the end of all the wires and connectors and sticky things all over my body. The look on his face was followed by these words,
“Care (he always called me ‘Care’) :: we need to perform an emergency C-section on you, Kiddo. Right now.”
That was all he said – that was all he needed to say. The look on his face said the rest.
I remember, that during the C-Section, the anesthesiologist whispered encouragement in my ear::
“You are doing great, Carrie. ”
“Don’t you worry. Everything is going well.”
I remember seeing my Bella for the first time as the doctor raised her up – she did not make a sound – and then she was rushed out of the room. She was brought back in, but I was not allowed to hold her. Not yet, they said.
I remember sitting in a meeting room, in a circle of chairs, all doctors and specialists. I remember tears streaming down my doctor’s face::
“I wish I could have known,” he said.
“We think she may have ______ disease.”
“We are not sure she will survive the week.”
“We are here for your family and will do whatever we can for you. ”
“And, Carrie, we almost lost you, too.”
I remember returning to our empty house, walking into Bella’s room, and curling up in a ball at the foot of her crib with the new Pottery Barn floral bedding, sobbing and wondering
“will I ever bring my daughter home?”
Mostly – I remember that I was never, ever truly alone.
Nor was Bella.
As we celebrate Bella’s 11th miraculous year of life, I am remembering.
I am remembering the outpouring of support by friends and family that continues to this day.
I am remembering the pebbled pathway we’ve journeyed – of small stones and large stones of the inexplicable and miraculous.
I am remembering the times where I experience such overwhelming joy in the sound of laughter or the breath of sleep on my chest.
I am remembering that Bella’s birthday falling on Good Friday this year is a poignant and powerful reminder to me that::