You were born on a clear blue day with a nip in the wind - somewhere, your Mommy has leaves gathered from the trees that day. I badgered your poor father into running out into the hospital parking lot that night to get them. You might understand as you grow older how important it was for me to have something to hold onto that day, something familiar and expected.
We were there the second time to be induced, and for the second time they did whatever they had to do....and nothing happened. Nothing. I was heavily and hugely pregnant (I will not lie; 42 weeks looks ugly on everyone) and as uncomfortable as all get-out - you, on the other hand, were happy in your tadpole haven, lazily kicking me and dancing on my bladder. We sat in a small room - your father, me, two nurses and a student, all staring at my belly and the machines hooked up to it, waiting for something to happen.
After about forty minutes of this, I sent your Dad for a Coke and told the nurses I'd holler if anything happened.
I remember petting the curve of you and telling you that everything was all right - it was just time to be born, that was all.
And three minutes later, you decided that this 'inducing' idea was for the birds and set off all the bells and whistles when your heartrate plummeted. (I was screaming for the nurses - 'It says fifty-three!' I yelled into the wall speaker. 'I'm hoping that's me!')
By the time your Dad got to the cafeteria someone told him to come back and he arrived just as two nurses flipped me over onto my side and made me wear oxygen.
We were suddenly scheduled for a c-section - we had time to call everyone and let them know and I got to kiss Nana, and they wheeled me in.
A side note: Your Dad doesn't like vomit and poop, much less the unzipping of his wife like a big Ziploc bag. That he came into the operating room with me and stayed there the whole time is a true testament of how incredible a man he is, and how much he loved you from the moment we knew you were coming.
The rest is kind of a blur (I threw up from the epidural - twice - there was no sensation worse than knowing I was going to vomit but not remembering how) and there were a lot of people in the room. (No one told us, but the doctor was really worried about you. [You have to watch Dr. E - he's dead calm when things are wrong.] So there were ten people in the tiny operating room - a doctor for me, a doctor for you, the anesthesiologist, two nurses, a surgeon, the student doctor, and the public health nurse. And me - the giant slighty-loopy whale on the table, and your Dad, sweating and trying not to look at the reflection of the surgery in the lights.)
And then your heartrate went down again and they couldn't get it back up, so they ripped you out and you squalled like an ferociously angry wet cat and you were so beautiful....
And now you are everything I could ever want.
And still beautiful.
Happy, Happy Birthday, sweet Cassidy.