Sunday, June 1, 2014

Hazel Autumn

November 29th. 3am. I did not wet the bed. My water broke. My world is about to change in ways I would never imagine. The day before was an unusual Thanksgiving Day. I was hoping to have given birth already, so I had enjoyed my Thanksgiving feast in the weeks prior. Tad and I enjoyed a turkey chicken dinner at home, along with our oldest, Annabelle. Later that evening, we ventured out to people-watch, and kick off the Christmas shopping season. I was hoping against all hope that I would somehow magically induce labor by walking all over Wal-Mart and Target. All I got was hungry. We pulled into the hospital parking lot shortly after 6am, after enjoying a small breakfast. It was too early, I was too anxious, to eat. Twelve hours later, Hazel was still cozied up inside, not wanting to make her grand entrance until she was good and ready. Her grand entrance finally arrived around 8pm. After a few pushes, the doctor instructed me to stop pushing. Stop pushing? Are you kidding me? I have waited too long to stop pushing. I want to meet my baby girl. The cord was wrapped around her neck. I was paralyzed with fear. Don't cough. Don't sneeze. Don't tense up. Don't breathe! I was afraid that any wrong move would tighten the cord. I prayed. The cord was clamped, cut, and loosened from her neck. My sweet baby was placed on my chest, and I was flooded with emotions. She was perfect in every way. 7 pounds, 15 ounces. 18 inches long. Beautiful. A full head of reddish hair. She was silent. No screams. No cries. Nothing. My heart raced. A lump the size of a basketball formed in my throat. Why isn't she screaming? Why is she purplish? Why are they taking her away? After what felt like an eternity of back-thumping, suctioning, and oxygen, tiny gurgle sounds came from her. Hazel Autumn. I was heartbroken when they had to take her back to the nursery immediately, rather than being bundled up to cozy up to my chest. Hours later into the evening, my squeaky clean, chubby, perfect bundle was delivered to my room. Hazel Autumn. I looked at her. Her button nose. Her chubby thighs. Her chubby arms. Her large head. "I forget how short babies' arms and legs can be," I remember commenting to Tad. Also, "She's a full pound heavier than her sister was. And a few inches shorter." We would later find out just why she was so short. Why her limbs were so disproportionate compared to the rest of her body. Why her head was large. We would later find out that Hazel has Achondroplasia. Dwarfism. Hazel is little and loving it.

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