Starting from the age as a kindergartener, when the time was approaching to 4:59 pm on July 3 each year, my daughter, Amber, came to remind me:
“You must have started pushing really hard!”
“I couldn’t push, the doctor was grabbing your little feet and pulling you out of my tummy.” I told her.
July 3, for most people, is just a day before the Independence Day. But it is the time for me to recount every detail of what happened on July 3, 2004.
It has been 12 years!
After one miscarriage in summer of 2003, another baby was conceived in the fall of the same year.
Around 4:00 am, July 03, 2004, my water broke, my husband, Ron, drove me to the hospital. A nurse started injected some kind of liquid into my veins, I laid there and felt pain taking off, the nurse told me that epidural be applied only after the entire bag of the liquid finished. For couple of hours I was staring at the bag while applying all meditations I learned through my yoga practice to ease the pain, but none of them worked.
Finally the bag became empty, by that time the pain was so severe that I grabbed on Ron’s arms and felt my fingernails pinched into his muscle while I was pushed into another room. I could hear one of the nurses called the anesthetist to let him / her get here ASAP since the patient (that would be me) was very “uncomfortable”. An anesthetist came in to apply epidural and I felt relieved, laying on the bed waiting for dilation to reach to whatever level required to delivery.
Just after noon, the dilation became big enough, and I started to push as directed by doctor / nurse. But not much progress was made, the doctor noticed that the contraction was too weak to push the baby out. A nurse reduced the intake of epidural with the hope to increase the contraction strength.
Immediately I felt being attacked by pain again, but the level of contraction stayed the same. For 3 – 4 hours I pushed fruitlessly and got weaker and weaker. I begged to bring the epidural to the previous level, and was told that only anesthetist could put it back in. By the end of fourth hour I became extremely fatigued and began to throw whatever swearing words picked by my unclear brain to doctors, nurses and Ron.
The heart beat rate of the baby turned to abnormal, and doctor provided two options: use some sorts of metal tools to pull baby out or c-section. I couldn’t think straight at that moment, and Ron told the doctor to perform c-secton.
I was then pushed into a surgical room, in which through my blurring eyesight I could see piles of metal tools laying on the tables, doctor, nurses and Ron all gowned up and looked serious. In the middle of the room, I was scared, crying and wondering whether I could see the sunrise again next morning. Feeling numbed, I suddenly heard a sound as a little kitten coming from other end of surgical bed, a nurse leaned to my ear and said “it is a girl!” It was 4:59 pm.
A little while later, a new born with full head of dark hair was placed on my chest by a nurse, I gently held one of her tiny hands and looked at her little face. She tried hard to move her head, opened her month seeking around hungrily. There was still tear in my eyes, but this time due to excitement!
Her arrival led us into a parenthood, which has been filled with joys and challenges.
We remember her first night at home, crying nonstop. I was comforting her in my arms and staring at her toothless mouth making a delicate voice while Ron were busy filling bottles and searching for the reasons of crying baby from books.
We remember her sleeping in the carseat like an angel while we were driving her to doctor’s office for checkups, to the daycare, or to the stores for baby supplies.
We remember her laying in her crib one morning, staring at us and lifting the corners of her lips to squeeze into her first smile, when she was four – week old.
We remember her waving both hands and legs in order to turn onto her side and find balance, planting her face into a pillow after flipping on her tummy, then raising her head up to laugh proudly.
We remember her crawling on her hands and feet towards her favorite toys, repetitively holding the edge of table to stand up after falling down, and finally walking the first step without help.
We remember her commanding the cats stop bitting by yelling “Dou!”, which actually meant “No!”, then learning more and more words through “denouncing” mommy’s “unfairness” in front of daddy.
We remember her following daddy around in our yard during spring and summer to learn different kinds of small animals and to help filling their feeders.
We remember her standing tall in the front line of her class during graduation ceremony at preschool, lovely smiling and blowing kisses to us.
We remember her happy face after the first day at kindergarten, and her eagerness to show off new Chinese phrase and dance “屁股扭扭” (shaking your butt).
We remember her combining 10 fingers and 10 toes together to count, add and subtract while working on her math homework.
We remember her overcoming the difficulties in reading (dyslexia) to learn two languages at the same time, and eventually becoming comfortable with both of them.
We remember her loads of curiosity during the first trip to China, and her braveness to communicate with local Chinese in Chinese.
We remember her enthusiasm to correct mommy’s English pronunciations by opening her month widely to present where the tongue should be while saying “sink” or “think”.
We remember her putting on helmet for the first bicycle riding, waddling, progressing, and finally riding besides us without training wheels attached.
We remember her passion and patience when taking care of a guinea pig who lost a front tooth, and her decision to become veterinarian after growing up.
We remember her willingness to do her chores at home and her proudness while telling the stories of helping others at school, sometimes by sharing her lunch money with the kids in need.
We remember her spending hours to design cards by hands for our birthdays, making fruits’ plate for me on mother’s day, and cooking breakfast for Ron on father’s day.
We remember her learning independence by making decisions on what to bring for summer camps and then preparing every single item by herself.
And we will always remember her reading “Dork Diaries” and other funny stories for mommy or daddy before the bedtime every night, simply to show her appreciations.
That is our little princess.
Happy 12th birthday, Amber!