I’m trained to read the rhythms. I used to follow the P waves and find the rates and rhythms of the heart. I was familiar with counting the boxes and monitoring for contractions and fetal heart rate. It has been years since I was in the place of needing to call on this knowledge, and yet seeing that pink strip, listening to the ebbs and flows of your heart, I remembered.
It was so surreal, giving up on ever holding you in my arms, and then finding myself in the labor room, waiting to hear your cry. It was a long day, we arrived at the hospital at 10 am, and hard labor didn’t start until midnight. For 14hours I watched the rhythm of her contractions, and the steady pump of your heart as you climbed your way into the world. I held her leg, and helped her count, as inch by inch you made your way into my world, and into my heart.
Your first cry brought me to my knees, but my hands were steady as I cut the umbilical cord that I never thought would be. I turned, tears in my eyes and streaming down my face, and looked at your daddy, beckoning him to “Come, meet your son.” Words I never thought I would whisper. And in that moment, when I no longer heard the rhythm of your heart, you singlehandedly changed the rhythm of mine.
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