Dear Zoë

Zoë 4 months or something

Zoë 4 months

Hi Baby,

I don’t know what happened but what I know is that time just flew by real fast that you are now 16 weeks old. We are now 16 weeks old. At this very moment while Mama is typing this letter, I am very, very sure that I love you very, very much. And Papa loves you just as strongly the same. That the world knows that you are the best thing ever was, ever is and ever will be for the two of us.

You are just so beautiful.

Mama has always wanted to write to you a love letter, maybe something that you will read on your Sweet 16 Birthday, or on your 18th Debut. Whichever you choose to celebrate, it doesn’t matter. For Mama is sure that you will be the sweetest and the prettiest of them all.

You are a love child. Oh yes, we wanted you. We were not together for a long time but we know deep in our hearts that you will compelete us, and will seal this wonderful love.

We need you! You are Mama’s antidote to pain. You helped me schatje.

We did not expect that we will be seeing you real soon baby. Mama was just on her 1st week of Maternity Leave when you decided that it is time for you to finally rejoin your parents in the outside world. Maybe it was already getting too busy inside Mama’s belly for you, I am not sure. Our midwife found out on the 2nd of May that Mama’s blood pressure went skyrocketting high but you were perfectly fine. I was relieved and terrified at the same time. Our midwife told us that the next day they will be calling Papa for our appointment to the hospital. They want to get a second opinion regarding Mama’s blood pressure.

The next day was Mama’s Birthday – May 3. Papa received the call while we were still sleeping. I think it was still around 8am. We found out that we have to be at the hospital by noontime. I was trembling. I started to cry. I did not want anything to happen to you.

You are an extension of my life. Of me. You are my life.

Mama started calling her family in the Philippines telling them about the possibility to come. The hospital advised us to already bring the bag that has your things. Mama’s things. I was real scared.

You might be arriving soon.

At the hospital the good nurses connected me to a machine that will monitor Mama’s blood pressure every 5 minutes for an hour. The result: Mama has preeclampsia. A sudden rise in the blood pressure that could endanger Mama’s life, and in the long run – your life.

Mama was then transferred to the care of the hospital’s Gynecologist. She advised for induction that very afternoon. You were only almost 37 weeks. But they all told me that you were ready to come out. You were a big baby. A typical Dutch baby, our midwife used to say ever since.

Mama was inducted that same afternoon. Before that – Mama, Papa and Oma had Mama’s birthday lunch/dinner at the hospital canteen – devouring on sandwiches.

The OB-GYN had to jump start your coming out. Mama was still able to joke about it. They had to insert a rubber balloon with water inside Mama that if will work successfully, will burst and will come out the next morning easily. Papa stayed in the hospital with us. Early the next morning, the balloon came out easily. As early as 7am on May 4, they pricked your home for the past 8 months. Mama’s water was broken.

Contraction started at 9am. By 11am, the pain was really too much already. Mama was 3cm on the way. By 3pm, the pain was unbearable but Mama was holding on thinking that this is the way it should be, and a lot of other mothers to be before me experienced the same pain. By 3:30pm, I was crying. Mama decided on Morphine. It was supposed to ease the pain of the highest contraction. It did nothing.

By 4pm we decided on Ephidural. But there will be a risk. Ephidural should only stay the body for 5 hours, for another hour more than that Mama’s temperature might go up and it will be risky for your health.

You had been so amazing this whole time while Mama was undergoing all of this. Not even once did your heartbeat fail. You were my strong baby. My silent hero.

We still decided on Ephidural. Mama was only almost 4cm dilated that time. I don’t know what happened but from 11 I was supposed to dilate 1 cm every hour. 4pm. 4cm. 6 hours more, in other words. High fever.

By 11:30pm, Mama’s temperature was 38.1. High fever. They started us on antibiotics. You and me. Mama was painless and was in a kind of trance from the Ephidural. By 12 midnight, we were at 10cm. I stopped using the Ephidural. Pain came back past 1am. May 5.

I started pushing for every 15 minutes. But you were too big you just refused to come out yet. At 2am, Mama had had this strong urge to go to the toilet, and I held on to the doctor to not leave me anymore. I pushed and I pushed but you just go back in. By 3am, after 2 hours of pushing, I was in too much pain.

They used vacuum to suck you out. The supervisor of the doctors approved. He did it himself. You were out at 03:16am. Mama’s favorite Bible Verse. You were born on the day that the Netherlands was finally freed from Germany. You are an epitome of independence.

While everybody was celebrating that a beautiful baby has finally been born, Mama’s uterus collapsed and the placenta that was with you your entire life in Mama’s uterus refused to come out. Mama was just really, really tired. They started massaging Mama’s belly to let the placenta out. It did not work, instead, Mama was losing a lot of blood. Mama lost 1.5 liters of blood in the delivery table. Cold enveloped me. They stitched me up to stop more blood from coming out.

I was happy still. You were very healthy and okay.

They rushed me to the operating room. There they opened me up again. They used anesthesia but they had to operate me immediately and take the placenta and the blood out. I was drowsy, cold, and can feel every teeny bit of thing that they were doing to me in the operating table. I was still able to talk, and in my dizziness complained that what they are doing was painful. And that I was really cold. They tried to comfort me but nothing. I decided to bite my tongue instead.

At 5am I was at the recovery table. Papa was there. They said I was safe. I had blood transfusion. Mama lost 3 liters of blood. A couple of minutes later I started hyperventilating. No oxygen. I can see an alarm sign go on inside my brain. I needed oxygen. I can’t breathe. With everything attached to my body and just fresh from delivery and operation, I sat down. I was hysterical. I asked your Papa to embrace me. I was really cold. I saw a lot of doctors surrounding me. They were all confused. They didn’t know what was happening. A second later, I saw one doctor pull Papa away from Mama. I saw him sat in one corner crying. A doctor was talking to him. I pulled on every reachable doctor and begged for them to help me. I felt somebody taking the ephiral from Mama’s back.

Then, I passed out.

I woke up at 4pm that same day. I felt like I was drowning. There were tubes in my nose. In my throat. I shouted. No voice came out. I was afraid and thirsty. I started pulling on the cords and banging everything that I can move. I passed out again.

At 5pm, I opened my eyes again to see the smiling face of your Papa. Opa and Oma were also there. Mama was at the Intensive Care Unit. Papa said they declared me safe around 10am that morning.

Mama was safe. Alive. Reborn. We have the same birthday.

Thirty minutes after, the Nursery brought you to me. The happiness I felt when I saw you. You were the most beautiful thing ever.

I almost did not see you.

Mama recovered really fast. Even the doctors were amazed and scared at how fast I was recovering. 5 days later, we were both home.

You were really healthy. Still is. We are very proud of you.

Mama had had her share of postpartum blues. A whole lot actually. It took Mama a month to be able to go to bed and pull her legs up alone. I did not understand why. Seven weeks later, Mama was diagnosed with Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction. Mama’s pubis did not heal from the shock of the delivery. Instead of attaching themselves again, they are now 3cm apart. They said it will take 6 months to 12 months to heal. That means a whole year of pain.

Again, I was devastated. I did not dream of this. I wanted to take care of you and Papa the way a Mother and a Wife has to take care of her family. Mama was almost always sad.

You were my only strenght. And Papa too. He was really amazing, is still is, always. He was there to always remind you and me that we are the most important in the world for him. He has proven to us that he is one of the strongest man alive.

You are very lucky to have an angel as your father.

I did not write this to remind you about the struggles Mama had to undergo to send you to this world. No. Not at all. I want you to know that if I have to do the same things again to have you and to save you, I will. I really will. I will give my life for you.

Now Mama is about to start her life as a working woman again, starting next week. Despite the back pain that is constantly making Mama tire easily. I was driving myself crazy by thinking that I will be separated from you. It is painful. More painful than the physical pain. It really hurts. I want to be always there for you every second of every day. To see that you are always safe.

Oh, the struggles of a working Mom. I salute Mothers who have to be away from their children to work, and fathers alike, to make sure that they give them what they need. For a brighter future.

Mama is lucky that I don’t have to do that. I don’t think I can bear to be away from you. We have Papa to thank that for.

You are my daughter. Our daughter.

You are very beautiful.

And we love you so.

Friday, Aug. 24, 2012 at 11:48PM

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2 thoughts on “Dear Zoë

  1. Pingback: Dear Zoë « Family, Books and My Cup of Steaming Capuccino

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