I’d like to dedicate the next three posts to the three people who stood beside me as I labored with Eliot in November.
Last night as I rocked him back to sleep around 5:00, I thought back to that day, to the back pain that I can hardly remember now; the presence of my mother, husband and sister-in-law; the Hugo’s burger and Coke I devoured between contractions.
Melissa could have been in Haiti. She could have been in Kansas delivering babies, working hard like she always does, harder than anyone I know.
But she was with me.
She came on Friday, Eliot came on Sunday. She stayed close, encouraged, laughed, advised. She was midwife and sister. She was expert and friend.
At the hospital we looked to her for everything. “Is this a good idea? What should we do?” We were exhausted, our minds were broken, and we were fragile. She was strength and cognition, the wise woman and guardian over us.
When they put me on Magnesium, she made them turn it off. We spoke to a doctor, and we proceeded through scary moments, scary side-effects, Magnesium turned back on and pumping through my body. She kept me turning on my sides as I stayed glued to my bed, glued to monitors, glued to the IV tower. She kept me working hard so Eliot could progress toward life outside of my body, life in my arms, life with Travis.
She rubbed my back and comforted me as I breathed. She told me I could do it. She was there, fully encourager, fully aware.
I could not have done it without her.
I wanted to be like the Hatian women. I wanted to work hard, handle the stress that fought my body. I really wanted Melissa to be proud of me, surprised by my strength, encouraged that I could do it.
She never left my side.
And I could not have done it without her.
We are bound together now by something that will never be undone. We are bound together by the beautiful miracle of Jon Eliot, and I will cherish that bond forever.