Baby Jude, minutes old, inching up to meet his Mama (author's own image)
Jude Austin Auger was born on Thursday, February 16th at 11:11 a.m. He was born via Caesarian section, and it was an indescribably beautiful experience.
Yes, there were metal tools and whirring noises and machines with ominous green and red lights. There were diagnostic blips on unreadable machines and blue paper masks and a cold, fluorescent light. I was scared going in, I’d had time to let my imagination run wild. What would happen to my six-year-old if I died of a rare anesthetic complication? What if something went wrong and I didn’t die and my legs were paralyzed and I became Corey’s burden?
The admitting nurses couldn’t get the drip needle into my right hand and I choked back terrified tears more than a few times but, in the end, this is what mattered: Corey’s hand squeezing my fingers, his eyes locked on mine as doctors cut into a lower body I couldn’t feel. Here too, is what stands out: the soft-eyed anesthesiologist, who startled me with her age ("I’m not that young,” she said when I expressed surprise at her youth, expecting that all anesthesiologists should be serious-faced men in their 50s. "I’m the same age as you.”) and her calm thoroughness. I remember the scrub nurse in her yellow flowered cap, reassuring me with smiling eyes and distracting little jokes.
The gentle words, kind explanations and the warmth of my husband’s hand far outweighed the fact that I was lying splay-legged on a cold table, a doctor’s signature scrawled across my abdomen.
Here is what I will never forget: the jagged cry of my baby as he first met life outside my womb, and the powerful thud of my heart as I watched the man I love carry his son over to me, tears moist in his eyes.
I experienced one of the most vivid and powerful moments of my life as my minutes-old son was placed on my chest by my heart. The room was suddenly silent, the machine beeps muted, as my infant son struggled to raise his head to look into my eyes. I instantly recognized him as part of my soul, as part of Corey's heart. That’s when I really lost control of my emotions and started crying with joy and gratitude and with the heaviness of having experienced firsthand what can only accurately be described as a complete and utter miracle.
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