Tuesday, April 16

i don't remember the first part of the morning - when i got up, what i ate for breakfast. i do remember it was a beautiful day. april days were usually gorgeous in beit sahour. i was off work, so i probably at some fried eggs, pita bread, hummus, and maybe some fruit. maybe some red peppers or tomatoes. i was trying to eat all the healthy things i needed. i probably sat out on our balcony, drinking nescafe, thinking that i would never have this baby.

i went for a walk in the mid morning. a long walk. my favorite grocery store was probably a mile or so from our house - but a mile up and down and up and down hills. i walked by myself, but i made sure to have my cell phone, with good reception. just in case. i walked to the store, bought something - probably chips or something like that. i clearly hadn't needed to go to the store, i just needed to walk. because i was never going to have this baby.

i did some stretches and exercises in the afternoon. i think i did jumping jacks. and squats. i probably watched some tv - i think i was into lost at that point. or maybe gossip girl. something super awesome. it didn't matter. because i had all the time in the world to watch tv, because i was never going to have this baby. 

by mid afternoon, i felt some contractions. nothing consistent. nothing strong. jason got home from work around 4 and i was about to lose it. i was 8 days past my due date. and i was never going to have this baby.

he told me we'd go out to dinner. anywhere i wanted. anywhere. so i picked a pasta restaurant in jerusalem. we hardly ever went out in jerusalem, at least not just the two of us. but pasta sounded so good. i had to iron clothes, because my only decent shirt that still fit over my massively pertruding belly was a wrinkled button-up shirt. i took a shower (which made all contractions stop all together), got dressed, dried my hair, and was ready to go eat. before we left, we measured my belly. it was the same length around as my armpit to the floor. huge. i was never going to have this baby.

we got in the car, and off we went. i don't remember which way we went out. however it was, there were no problems at the checkpoint. 6 o'clock jerusalem traffic wasn't the most fun thing to drive in. but we had time. because i was never going to have this baby.

we arrived at the restaurant, joking about what to do if my water broke at the table. israeli waitresses are, well, less than polite most of the time, so jason assured me that he'd spill some water and say it was him. i laughed. that only happens in the movies. we passed the restaurant and there were no good parking spots. i told jason that was ok, because it would be good for me to walk. because i was never going to have this baby.

it was 6:30 p.m. we were almost to a place to park. and then - pop...GUSH. contractions immediately picked up. luckily, traffic was dying down, so it didn't take too long to get back towards bethlehem. we had to go the back way, because it meant no stopping at the checkpoint, but it also meant lots of bumps, turns, and speed bumps. it hurt. i couldn't believe how much it hurt. jason was honking, driving as quickly/carefully as he could, yelling out the widow in arabic, "my wife is having a baby!".

we got to the hospital about 7:15. i could still walk and talk, so i knew it would be a while. jason got me quickly checked in and then went to go get my hospital bag i had left at home. you know, since i was never going to have this baby.

after what seemed forever, he got back. it was only about 45 minutes later. but i was hurting. this was hard. i was quite sure that i would not be able to make it. in between contractions - in the whole 30 seconds i had between them - i told jason i couldn't do this. i needed the drugs. he asked me if i was sure, and i said yes. he said great. he was on it.

the midwife came in, to see how far along i was before calling the anesthesiologist. her response literally made me lose my breath.

"it's ok. you don't need the drugs. you are about to start pushing. she's almost here".

just like that. i remember a moment of sheer panic. how was she almost here? how did God think that i was ready for this? didn't we have a little more time?

but we didn't. from there it's a blur. nurses rushing in. jason rubbing my back. inhaling laughing gas to help me breath. mixtures of arabic, french, and english. pain. exhaustion. fear. a cold wash cloth on my face. one last push.

and then.

hiba.

gift from God.

her long, gangly legs.

her big, blue eyes.

her daddy's face.

my life. changed forever.

in that moment, i had no idea. no idea how much joy this girl would bring. no idea how much i could love her. no idea how much she would help jason and i  love each other. no idea how much frustration she would bring. no idea how much laughter she would add. no idea how many tears she would bring. no idea how much i would fight for her. no idea how much i would need her hugs. no idea how hard it would be to remember life before this moment.

hiba.

my gift from God.

happy birthday, hiba bear!

2 comments:

Jerusalem Greer said...

oh I love this. what a great story! happy birthday Hiba!

The Bishop's Wife said...

Happy BIrthday HIba! And Happy giving birth day, Sarah!