I have purposely not posted for many reasons your birth story mostly because I wanted to ponder you and your birth close to my heart and let it be mine to savor and remember especially the first week after I had you. I wanted to simply just enjoy holding and looking at you. And I did. I sat for hours and admired you.
I went to Dominic's baseball practice Wednesday night at 6:30. When I was sitting there, I felt the first pains of real contractions, but thought initially that you were just sitting in an odd place. They continued throughout the evening. There is a certain seriousness that comes over me when I realize that it is the real event. I begin my goodbyes mentally and physically. I look at each child in their bed one last time and realize that life as we know it will be changing very shortly. I looked at little Vianney and cried. I looked at big Dominic and cried. I held each of your siblings one last time while they were sleeping and knew that tomorrow they would be meeting someone new. I love telling John that "It is time. This is real." We called Dr. McNeely at 9:15 PM with the report and he recommended to wait a couple hours and let him know if things picked up. By 10:15, the contractions were strong, hard, and about two minutes apart. I called him back and said we were headed up to the hospital.
I've never gone in at night. It was such a different feeling driving to St. Elizabeth's at night time. As most people were heading off to sleep, we were getting ready to welcome you...a whole new person into the world. My heart was filled with excitement. Time is an odd thing. Eight months ago, we first knew of your existence and predicted that around July 21st we would meet you. And we did. We went to the hospital on July 21st. We checked in and got settled in our room.
I was already at 6 centimeters and the nurse asked if I wanted an epidural. The contractions were very tolerable at this point and I was hesitant to get the epidural so soon, but I quickly remembered what being dilated to a ten felt like so I quickly agreed (if I had not, John said that he would have taken the epidural). I remained at a six for the next three hours. The epidural made my contractions slow down and your heart rate drop. They gave me some medicine to boost your heart rate. I remember asking every five seconds if you were okay. The nurses noticed a huge drop in your heart rate and assumed it was time to start pushing. After pushing a while, Dr. McNeely noticed that the cord was wrapped around your neck. After that, I saw you for the first time. There is never words to describe the first time you see your baby. You wonder for months who is moving within me? Who will this baby look like? Will we have another girl? And then, I see you. Time stops. It is so overwhelming. We cry every time.
This isn't your first photo. When they layed you on me you weren't breathing. You couldn't have been more purple. I can't look at those photos right now. It felt like minutes, but they said you cried shortly after that. Every time I think of your birth, the fine line of life and death is every so present. I thank God you took a breath. I thank God I heard you cry. The gift of a healthy baby is something I will never take for granted. Each and every life is so purposeful by God. Each time I meet our new babies is as if it is the first time. I gaze for hours.
I gaze at beauty. I gaze at the wonder of who will you be? Who will you become? What does God have planned for your beautiful little life already? I gaze at someone who has been gazing at God for nine months. I gaze at the little legs I felt for months. I truly feel them and look at them and think, "That was you. Those were the little legs rolling around. This is my little friend who has accompanied me around life for the last nine months." It was so nice to meet you.
Who are you, my new friend?
And then, you met Him.
Next to seeing you, I will always remember your Papa in the delivery room.
I love sharing the excitement with him. I love looking for his eyes to connect with mine to see if everything is okay. I always hold his hand. When they were giving me the epidural, John was bent in front of me holding my hands and I was looking at him.
He said to me, "I John, take you Lindsay to be my wife." I will never forget that. The nurse stopped and looked at him and said, "That is the most beautiful thing I have ever heard in the delivery room." I love looking at him right after you were born, and our eyes connect after we heard the words, "It's a Girl!"
Next to your father's hands, I will always treasure these hands.
I love our doctor. I love the fatherly love he shows in the delivery room. I love the care he gives to each mother and their new baby. He acts as though each baby was his. He is wonderful.
After you were bathed and all was quiet, we had a couple hours just with you in the delivery room because our room wasn't ready. You were born at 5:20 AM so the sun was just coming up.
I kissed you 1,000 times and thanked God for your life again and again.
I said to John after it was all over, "What just happened? How do we understand this? Who did we just meet?" He said, "It is a mystery. It is supposed to be a mystery." As we were riding the elevator up to the fourth floor, I realized how short this wonderful time is in our lives. The whole process of pregnancy, appointments, preparations, contractions, labor and delivery. One day, it will be our last time to check into the hospital. We will never ride the elevator again with intense excitement about who we are about to meet. I am so thankful that we have cherished you and your siblings. I am thankful that I know that this time of our lives is such a gift.
We thank you God, for Clairvaux. Thank you for letting us get to know her. Thank you for each other.
Clairvaux Marie Frances Boever
Born: July 22, 2010
Time: 5:20 AM
Weight: 7lbs. 10.4 oz.
Height: 20 3/4 inches.
Siblings to love her: Dominic-8, Lillie-6, Rose-4, Zellie-3, and Vianney-1