Five days that changed the world. Day one.

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This is you, moments after birth.

Dear Cora,

In your five short, but sweet, days not many met you. Now I work to introduce you to the world and all the family and friends who feel regret for never holding and cuddling you. Let’s start with day one.

See the thing is, as Daddy always points out, you weren’t just in our lives for five days. We thought about you, worked for you, and took you along with us everywhere from that Easter Sunday morning when we found out we were pregnant until you were born at 9:25 p.m. November 30, 2009. But, I think I’ll write a different letter someday to tell everyone about the 39 weeks we spent together before you were born.

Back to my memories of you after birth.

I remember the instant you were born. After about an hour and a half of pushing, I got your little head half way out and remember the look on everyone’s faces when I said I had to wait until the next contraction. You weren’t going to come yet. Then the next one came, and you were here.

I’m not going to lie to you or anyone else. It hurt. I remember thinking, “everyone says the pain instantly goes away when you see your baby, but this hurts really bad.” I worried I wasn’t a good Mommy.

It really hurt. But, then they laid you on my stomach. And, it still hurt. But, we were instantly bonded together. A bond indescribable. Only other Mommas can understand that bond.
I looked down at your little face and became confused. I thought you were my baby sister. You looked exactly like Megan to me. In the coming days, I would see Daddy’s face in yours, and then my face too.

You were a crier. The nurses and doctor said that meant you were healthy. They gave you nines on both Apgar tests. If only.

You cried for about the first hour or two of your life. I was relieved in a lot of ways to hear your beautiful little cries. I had worried I might get irritated by your crying. Whenever I heard babies and children screaming at the supermarket I would become so annoyed. Your cries were different. The way a baby sounds to her mommy is again beyond words. Not even worth trying to describe. The mommas will know again.

I didn’t let you out of my site as grandparents came back to see you about an hour after you were born. Daddy even went with the nurses to watch you get cleaned up and to run tests. I wish they’d run more tests on your heart, but that’s a story for another letter. That’s the letter we’re going to write to save lives.

We moved rooms and settled in for the night. I couldn’t stop staring at you. Soon midnight was here and Aunt Megan, whom I thought you looked so much like, was arriving to meet you. She too fell in love. I’ve never seen Grandma so happy.

And, so your first day ends with you surrounded by so much love. At the end of that day I had instantly transformed into a new person. You changed me forever. Soon, you would tackle the world.

Love,

Mom

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About Kristine

I answer most proudly to "Cora's Mom." After losing Cora in 2009, I've become a passionate newborn health advocate. I'm also an author and speaker. Cora's story is also my story, as I carry her with me everywhere I go. Her memory will never die.