A slight and soft creature, a tender 7 pounds in weight, with thick dark hair and an angel kiss on her forehead lay still in the crib beside me.
Hubs matched her exhausted, motionless state in the spare bed of the postpartum room at Naval Medical Center San Diego while I absorbed the moment.
After hours of chaos, it was silent.
A nurse walked in quietly and presented a tray of food. If I could have, I might have lunged at him for what amounted to very bland hospital fair.
I ate greedily adding up the hours in my head of my last meal: about 35. The makers of Jell-O would be wise to get hungry new moms to write their ad copy.
With my tray sufficiently scarfed, I turned my attention to the gentle sleeping face of my new little girl eying every strand of hair, her tiny finger nails, the curve of her mouth knowing all that grew within me.
I laid back in bed trying to rest but it was hard. Everything about her fascinated me.
Just as I was about to drift off, she began to cry in hunger. Hubs hardly stirred as I pulled her crib to me and feebly, awkwardly lifted her out.
Once cradled in my arms, her soft eyes opened and I felt the first of many awesome waves wash over me: I’m her mother, her teacher, her life giver.
We lay embraced for some time before hubs stirred and the spell was broken with the interruptions of nurses and doctors caring for her and me.
Sunday, I celebrated my first Mother’s Day with hubs, my mom and sis, and of course, my Baby Bird.
As I got ready for our celebratory brunch, I thought of a Mother’s Day several years ago when I attended Skyline Church service alone in the midst of our infertility struggles. Countless women filled pews wearing corsages, holding hands with their children, dressed in their Sunday best.
Rev. Jim Garlow began to bless the service with a special prayer for all the women who longed to be mothers and were dealing with infertility. Painful tears streamed from my closed eyes.
The road to motherhood since amounted to as much pain and sorrow as that enormous joy payload in those first precious silent moments alone with Baby Bird.
One day in the midst of my pregnancy, hubs caught me in thought and asked why I was shaking my head to myself.
“Even now, I know that it happened, but I still find it hard to believe.”
He smiled and said: “Everyone keeps saying it’s because we stopped ‘trying.’ But we stopped when we started the foster care process. Maybe it happened because we were finally ready.”
In life, some seeds of happiness just won’t grow no matter what we do.
While they might not be what you expect, life just might surprise you with something (or someone) greater than you ever imagined.
My first postpartum nurse came in to wish our little girl a happy birthday and write a note up on the wipe board for her. She asked how to spell her name and as she began writing with her back to me, she turned around with a confused look.
“Did you make that up?’
In the weeks following our ultrasound, we slogged through the girl’s section of a baby names book several times over. One night in bed while reading “Atlas Shrugged,” hubs was rebuffing my latest name suggestion and I jokingly said gesturing at the book: “How about Dagny?”
He looked it up in the baby name book sitting bedside. Old Norse meaning “rebirth.”
In the months that followed, we “tried it on” to see if it fit and sometimes I wasn’t sure until hubs brought her to me for our first collective snuggle.
She lifted her head, opened her dark and stormy eyes and looked at me.
At 34, my life started anew.