The house is amazingly quiet, there is only the steady breathing of my children filling the air with sweetness and unbelievable joy. My mother is somewhere in my home busying herself with the things that mothers do. The love is bursting at the seams, spilling through the front door, creeping out of the rooftop, finding its way into every nook and cranny. Thinking back on the birth of Maxine only four short days ago, truth be told, I didn't see myself here. Her birth, though miraculous, all births are nothing less, was scary. The speed at which she came to this earth shook me to my very core, 4cm to birth in less than 18 minutes will do that to you. There was no thinking, no calm smooth room, no dim lights, just...life, as if someone flipped a light switch. When I held her in my arms for the first time, it took me a minute to process what exactly had just happened.
I've faced death more than the normal person probably should have. An adrenalin junkie at heart, I've taken risks, lived life to the fullest, driven faster than any road in the U.S. will allow...but that's another story. After having had my children, caution guards me, life is precious because they are.
When the moment where you've just brought life into this world for the second time, and are now facing your own mortality arises, fear is so tangible you can cut it with a knife. The room deafens, faces change, and husbands crumble.
I developed, preeclampsia sometime during the last few days leading up to, or possibly during delivery. I watch helplessly as my world turned to a place of confusion and terror. I watched my mothers face break as she spoke the words every mother is trained to speak, "you're going to be ok." I lay there as my body shook uncontrollably, as my speech became twisted and slurred, as my head began to pound. I stared at my mother, trying to read her face as I asked again if I would be alright, to promise me... I'd be alright. I looked down and the little beauty I had just ushered into this space, at my husband who sat helpless, holding our oldest daughter closer than I ever thought possible. I looked at the screen displaying my Blood Pressure, 200/106, and thought, this is happening...right now...the minutes blurred and I chose to hold on as long as I could, to breath as long as I could, to spill all the love onto a child that I just met, because I didn't know if she would ever know me.