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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Random Hospital Story # 3 ...

Isabela being sent to the far off neonatal intensive care unit less than 12 hours after she was born, that broke our hearts and sent us both into the deepest pits of sadness and depression. We were quiet, sad, crying, moody, and both complete wrecks, the both of us, for all of about a day. After that Natasha decided to come back from the c-section in record time, allowing us to go and see her. And little Isabela, whom we haven't even kissed or held or fed and who we barely touched, made it HER mission to get better in record time just like her mommy so that we could do all those things. And she did just that. Every day we'd arrive bright and early to the Nick-You and they'd tell us something better ... THIS tube was out, THIS was brought down, she stopped doing THIS and she's not even needing THAT anymore. It was awesome to see her transform from the baby in the airtent to the baby that had her huge eyes open and was crying and squeaking and dancing. It was amazing.

One day, probably four or five days after she was born, we were told that she was doing so good that it was only going to be a few more days and she would be able to go home. Then she told us that if we wanted we could hold her today. Natasha looked at me in silence and I said that it was all her, that she should be the first one who gets to hold her. She tried to contain her happiness and her tears but if you can read Natasha like I can then you knew that deep inside she was crying like crazy.

And here's the strange thing about the first time Natasha held her ... before, when they told us we would be able to hold her, I walked back to our wheelchair and our backpack so that I could get the camera and take pictures. As I walked through the Nick-You I heard the most beautiful music coming from the first ward. The first ward was filled with preemies and other worse off babies. When you get your orientation, they tell you not to look or take pictures of any of the other babies. Of course you can't help looking at and getting to know the babies around you, but still every time I walked past the first ward I acted very Soup Nazi, head down, expressionless, not looking directly into anybody's eyes. So I didn't see what was going on in the first ward. I just knew that the most beautiful music was coming out of there. I figured they'd just brought in a CD player or something and just blocked it out of my memory.

Five or so minutes later, Natasha sat down in one of their rocking chairs and got handed the baby, the first time that either one of us held our new baby ... and then the harpist came in from the first ward, the unexpected answer to where the beautiful music was coming from. And she set herself up right behind Natasha and started playing the most beautiful music, the most beautiful song ever, the "Natasha Holding the Baby" song, a song that was only ever played once and will never be played again. I cried. I openly wept. How many people can say that they held their baby for the first time while being accompanied by a harpist?

And we've got the picture to prove it ...

A harpist. An Irish harpist. That is so awesome.

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