Monday, July 1, 2013

A dad's letter to his daughter's first birthday

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At this very moment on the 1st of July last year, your mother was experiencing excruciating pain. She asked me to hold her hand so we could take a walk. Every step or two - we stopped. She wanted to scream. Her hand grabbing my hand was tight. I could feel her strength. My bones felt like they were being crushed. I know it sounded over the top, but that was exactly how I felt.

Before the sun went down that day a year ago, your mom was uneasy. Fear of what may transpire was evident on her face. My way of cheering her up proved futile. So many things rushed into my mind. So many questions. So many worries.

Around 10 pm that night your mom can't hold it anymore. Her breathing was becoming faster as well. I told her it was time to go to the hospital. She was in "real deal" pain ergo she could barely walk. But she said "yes" anyway.

We arrived at the hospital and was immediately greeted with the staff, and right away escorted your mom to sit on the wheelchair. She declined albeit in pain saying, I wanted to have a short exercise

A little while later your mom was led to the labor room. Every now and then, me and the rest of your godmothers as well as your grandmothers from both sides, took turns in giving your mom words of support and encouragement. We knew she can make it - but of course we can't help but worry. I could see how difficult and painful it was for her. Once again, her hands grabbed me. This time however, the grip was at its tightest.

Every hour during the course of four hours, the doctor checked your mom's cervix. Unfortunately, the opening was small and the doctor advised us it would be impossible for your head to pass through once the pushing begins.

I could see your mom losing her strength and the tedious battle was taking its toll on her. When everything was just too much to handle, your mom asked me to call a doctor to have you delivered through Caesarian section. As much as we, especially her, wanted to have you delivered normally - things didn't go as planned.

Your mom was then transferred from the labor room to the delivery room next door. My request to be admitted inside the room so I could be with your mom was refused for the umpteenth time.  The doctor saw my worried face and advised me to keep my cool. Me and some of your godmothers decided to wait for your mom outside instead. 

The operation lasted for an hour. Your mom, as the sedative worked its wonders on her, was lying unconsciously on the bed being pushed by an "orderly" straight to the recovery room. I felt sorry seeing your mom in that state. I felt helpless.

A few hours later your mom emerged as we waited in the room assigned to her. She was already awake but too weak to make movements. She smiled, and that simple smile made me smile back, slowly taking my worries away. Where's Loureese?, she asked. Yes, she was instantly looking for you and wishing for you to be beside her, disregarding her condition. I simply smiled and told her we will see you a bit later just as the doctor had promised. 

When you emerged lying on that crib sleeping with occasional movements, oh my, you have no idea how happy so much we were. You have no idea how great an impact it was having you near us. It was heaven. I felt compelled to carry you and lightly hug you as you made little funny sounds from time to time. 

Today, as you celebrate your first year being a gift from God to us, we both wish you a happy birthday full of love, hope and promises. May you grow up as the child we want you to be - a child who fears the Lord, obedient to HIS commands, and a loving daughter to her parents.

I love you so much, anak!