In order to talk about Day 365, I have to go back to Day 0.
You read that right. Not Day 1 but Day 0.
The day before.
It was early in the morning, much earlier than I wanted to be up and somehow longer than I had wanted to wait. It was a Monday morning and after a nervous and sad goodbye to my angel Ella and my mom, Matthew and I headed to the hospital. Since I had a c-section with Ella, the doctors at my practice wouldn’t induce me for a VBAC and they didn’t want me to go past my due date. But I was desperate to avoid another c-section, the painful recovery still pretty fresh in my mind. So what was I supposed to do? They assured me that there were other things we could do to help me go into labor. A sort of mechanic dilating process and then breaking my water, for starters. And then if those didn’t work out, we would have the baby the next day by c-section. That was the plan, that was the deal. My mom flew down to take care of Ella, we packed our bags, and got ready.
I was confident this birth plan would work and excited that I wouldn’t have to have another c-section. With Ella it had been an emergency, so I had accepted it. But I knew I never wanted it to happen again.
Matthew and I were in the bright lobby when my midwife showed up, only steps in front of the nurse who was finally going to take us to our room. We greeted her excitedly, both of us letting go of the breaths we’d been holding in anticipation. But somberly, she sat us back down. “There is some disagreement,” she said, looking really hard at both of us. Like she’d been trained to keep eye contact in difficult situations. We had been dealing with midwives for most of my pregnancy; we developed our entire birth plan with this midwife. She’d been our favorite. But there was some disagreement among the doctors, the medical director too. Men we had never met. My birth plan was not allowed. The dilating, the water breaking, none of it was allowed. They would concede to breaking my water if I was 4 cm dilated but we all knew that I wasn’t, that I couldn’t be. This very midwife had checked only a couple days before and I was barely 1cm. But the alternative was to go home and come back for a scheduled c-section in the morning and at those words, I lost all composure. So in complete desperation, we walked across the street to the practice and went through the painful process, a pathetic charade really, of checking my cervix. I could not stop crying. At the pain of the midwife’s hands and the reality that was sinking in. I was going to have another c-section. After all my hopes and plans, I was going to be cut open again. I said goodbye to my daughter a day early for nothing. My family was anxiously waiting for updates that wouldn’t come. I wouldn’t be meeting my son that day, this long hard pregnancy wouldn’t be ending.
This wasn’t Day 1, it was Day 0.
But, of course, this story has a happy ending.
Jack. Jacky Boy. Bud.
Mistakes were made. He was not one of them. Hopes were dashed. He was not one of them. I did not want a c-section. But I always, always wanted him.
And in the history of great silver linings, one of the greatest moments of my life occurred during that c-section. I’d asked them to lower the curtain as soon as he was out and as soon as I saw him, I had two thoughts simultaneously. Not even thoughts really, more like revelations, like someone whispered them in my ear: He looks just like Ella and He’s Jack.
Matthew and I had been fighting over his name ever since we found out he was a boy. I had my heart set on a name, I even referred to him as this name. But Matthew, from the beginning and even early on in our marriage, wanted a son named Jack. He never wavered, even through all my bargaining and maneuvering. For all my “What about George?” and “What do you think of Max?” and “The next boy can be Jack.” Matthew always, always wanted a Jack. But I wasn’t convinced that was his name. Throughout my pregnancy, I worried that I didn’t know this baby. I’d felt such a connection to Ella when I was pregnant with her but I could not figure out who this baby boy was. I didn’t even know his name, how was I supposed to know him?! How was I supposed to love him just as much as my angel girl?
Pregnant women can be pretty silly.
Jack is the sweetest, most perfect little boy. He has brought so much joy to our family and peace to my heart. I was so worried I couldn’t feel for him all that I felt for Ella and I’m so happy to have been proven wrong. I’ve captured lightning twice.
All pain from Day 0 was completely washed away by Day 1.
And now, on Day 365, we celebrate our little miracle boy. Our revelation.