In about 10 minutes, I will be discharged from labor and delivery for the last time. In these final moments of silence, I continue to feel deep gratitude for the privilege I have had to house and birth five beautiful souls.
There is something special and pure about the labor and delivery floor. The silent comradery that exists between new and seasoned mothers as they pass each other on the way to the nursery or on a lap around the nurses' station is one I can hardly describe. It's as if we know each other, even when we don't, but you don't have to know someone to feel excited for this new adventure.
Over the past two days, I have been the recipient of so many caring hands and warm smiles. The nurses at TMC have loved me as family, and they have cheered on my success as I relearn to nurse and change a boy's diaper. This has been the best birthing experience I have ever had, which will help me as I reflect on these days in the future. I am grateful to Courtney, who was with me through the early hours of labor, strapping oxygen to my face and silently praying for the baby's heart rate to rise. I am grateful to Jessica, who helped me in the actual birthing process. She was more like a midwife than a nurse, and she made my stressed heart calm leading up to those final moments when I heard Timmy's breath. I am grateful for Jaden and Kayla for helping me roll over, bandaging my wounds, giving me my pain medication and letting me sleep through the night to prepare for the days to come. And I am so grateful for Meghan and Lacey who watched over Timmy for most of my stay at the hospital. I could not have asked for kinder and gentler hands to be in charge of such a tiny man.
I guess it's time to go. I hear Tim near the nursing station. I'll consider this my early retirement from this floor, and I'll wait until I can return to visit friends and especially my daughters someday.
Goodbye labor and delivery floor.