Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Five Years Ago Today (part 2)

She ran out of water in there. Lingered and swam and rolled over until there was nothing left in there but her. And she still wouldn't come out.

The doctor told us it would be soon. They lied. Jill struggled and suffered and waited too long for the really good pain stuff. I tried my best to keep her distracted, playing Yo-Yo Ma cello music softly in the background, reminding Jill to breathe and cracking inappropriate jokes at appropriate times.

We laughed a lot and kept the doctors generally confused.

But that baby wouldn't budge.

Then, after what seemed like an eternity, everyone got in a big hurry. Her heartbeat was growing faint. The doctor looked scared, and I readied myself for the possibility that I might not get to see her after all.

Suddenly we were whisked upstairs into an operating room. I had scrubs on, and they were cutting Jill wide open -- going in after our little girl who will forever be remembered by the scar she made on her way out. She still prefers to do things in her own sweet time.

I remember holding her for the first time. I didn't have words. Sometimes I still don't. She had that big ridge on her head from where she was stuck. Bobby McFerrin's song "Common Threads" was playing in my head.

I introduced her to her mother. Jill said, "I think I'm going to throw up." I said, "Turn your head the other way so you don't throw up on our new baby." The doctor said, "Hey, John, you wanna see your wife's ovaries?"

I've seen parts of Jill she hasn't seen.

It all seems like a far away memory of a dream now. Everything was slow and fast all at the same time. We had no idea what we were in for. You blink, and she's five.

Oh, Time, slow down, please.