We decided to have MacQuinn in San Francisco, and we relaxed into the idea of a c-section after concerns about my uterus ruptering and his being in the breech position. We decided to have him in San Francisco partly because San Francisco is just hella cool and he’ll get to say he was born in San Francisco – yay! And partly because the people in the hospital were friendly and smiling and fun when we were touring it. We liked the vibe.
My Mom took Micah and Moxie up to stay with my brother Dana in Humboldt County for a few days, so Mikey and I could focus on meeting our new child.
And it felt like a date! I wasn’t in labor or contracting or anything – I was just supremely huge, uncomfortable, eager to meet my little boy.
The weather was perfect. Stunning in all its Bay glory. We drove over the bridge to San Francisco, parked the van in long-term parking, walked on up and said we’re here to have our baby! We laughed – hard! – when the staff seemed to think we were first-time parents. We joked around and played scrabble and just enjoyed one another’s company. It was pretty great.
They moved us with surprising speed from the waiting room to my own private triage, a lovely room with high ceilings and bright sunlight. My nurse wore birkenstocks and was kind. My next nurse wore danskos and was also very kind. She helped me into the operating room and through the spinal.
I want to stop a minute and talk a little about the operating room.
They are always FREEZING – something about bacteria? – and this was no exception. But it featured floor to ceiling windows of San Francisco, the water, the bay – the whole shebang. It was GORGEOUS! And since the sun was shining that day, I was sitting there on the operating table, looking out onto the city and the bay, looking at sunshine and just feeling happy, even with all the pain from the spinal (- have you seen those needles??? No?? well, you don’t need to). Those windows made all the difference. Just…wow.
The staff were also wonderful – convivial, chatting in merry tones (- I couldn’t hear what they were talking about. Maybe that’s just as well). There was definitely a point in which the drugs started wearing off and I began to FEEL things, like the tug and pull and stitches and such. It didn’t hurt but it was infinitely strange to feel people messing with my inner organs. I told Mikey that I could feel stuff, I’m sure he thought I was just high on drugs because he was like, ‘oh…really?’ – and later, he was like, “WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY SOMETHING?”
And then my boy was there.
Sweet, old soul that he was from the moment he was born. He just opened his eyes and looked right at me. Gulping me in with those precious blues.
There is a world held in those first moments of meeting a person you have cradled inside your own body for months. Love can explode right then and there, an affair of the heart instantly created between people.
For Mack, I felt a recognition.
Hey – it’s YOU!
Finally. It’s you! I am so happy to meet you. I’ve waited so long.
The next few days were simply a blur. Standing, walking, moving, healing. Trying to nurse, figuring things out. Getting to know my boy. Looking at the clock. Gazing out across San Francisco through the windows with the incredible view. Drinking gallons of coconut water. Healing. Nourishing tea, herbs. Healing. It all ran together in that way that time does when it is suspended, fluid, held in a room.
Mac-Q (pronounced “Mac-Que”)’s birth was sweet, a deep red velvet bow on the gift that I’ve received of childbearing. He is our final child. I am intensely grateful for the beauty that was his birth, given that it was in a hospital, it was a c-section and all of the other variables that can usually sum up to be negative.
But it wasn’t negative at all. It was bright. It was perfect. It was an endowment from the universe.
Just like he is.