Ive been sending out birth announcements this week. Its seems a little silly to do over 6 months after Virginia's birth, but we cant help wanting to celebrate her birth, homecoming and share more photos. Initially I simply gathered our christmas card list, a list full of our biggest supporters, but then started to make a list of other people that were involved in our story. I started from the beginning and as I played out the last year in my head the list of people who affected us got longer and the memories of how this amazing story developed flooded my head.
There are my obstetricians, specifically my doctor who was there the day of my regularly scheduled ultrasound when we realized that I unknowingly was having symptoms of preterm labor and my cervix was giving way. Weeks later this same doctor held my hand as they tried several times to give me spinal anesthesia and so calmly performed the cesarean section to safely bring Virginia into the world.
There is the ultrasound tech at my OB's office- I will never forget her scanning my belly and sensing my fear; she gently grabbed my hand and told the baby on the screen "hang on; let your momma know you are going to be ok." It was what I needed, those words never left me.
There are the nurses on the 14th floor of the Smilow Cancer Hospital and the nurses of the Maternal Special Care Unit. I stayed on the 14th floor of the cancer hospital from October 1st until October 13th, thankfully I was naive enough for the first few days to not even realize that this was a holding space for pre-viable cases. At 4am on October 13th they gave me my first round of steroid shots to help mature Virginia's lungs and it was officially a new fight. I was moved to the Maternal Special Care unit with new rules, new monitoring and the knowledge that when our baby was born we would be having the NICU team's assistance. The nurses of both floors celebrated with us that day. It was a day of new hope and a new fight for our family.
Then there is the Fairfield Police dispatcher and a rookie cop from the Fairfield Police Department- On October 18th I was getting ready for bed after a great day.... I hadn't had any contractions (that I knew of), I had lots of visitors, there was a delicious eggplant parm special for dinner, and I had skyped with my nieces. Much to my shock things went bad quickly. Before I knew it I had a resident in my room and 2 nurses attempting to put IV's in my arm. One nurse asked where my Husband was. I replied that he had class that night and was at home. She suggested that I call him. I was trying to remain calm and positive and told her that I would give him a call once we were on Labor and Delivery and I knew what was going on. She was quite frank with me and again suggested that I call him right away so that he doesn't miss our baby's birth. I started calling, but it was close to midnight. I called home, I called his cell, I called home again, all while being wheeled through the hospital and signing surgical consent forms. I must have called 20 times before I started to call neighbors. Finally I decided to call the Fairfield Police. I knew that there was no other way to get in touch with Heath. A very kind but confused dispatcher sent a police officer to the house to awake him. Heath woke up confused and initially didn't go to the door. The police officer returned to his cruiser to turn on his lights and then made a second attempt at knocking on the door. I assume this is when Heath really woke up. He answered the door as the police officer was backing up. He was a rookie cop, but he knew well enough to be at a distance when pounding on someones door in the middle of the night.
About 30 minutes later Heath arrived at the hospital, in his dress clothes no less. I assume he threw on the business clothes that he had just gotten out of that evening and sped to the hospital. It was 2am and he looked like he had just walked out of a meeting at business headquarters. Virginia was not born that night. She continued to keep us and the doctors on our toes for 4 more days.
Virginia, there are some amazing people that have a very special part in your special story.