Oona's Second Album: PAGES 5-8

Our first family picture! I was so stoned. I was near blacking out while the doctors were cleaning me and Oona up. RF hovered. I thought Oona was going to drown on my boob. I was aware of fractured sounds, images and thoughts...I don't know what they gave me but I was higher than high. I was fighting it for all I was worth but the drugs, the exhaustion and the physical exertion was too much for me.

Oona and I roomed together from the get go. I still don't know if that was a good idea or not, but all I know is, I couldn't have let her out of my sight for a second. Although St. Luke's is a good hospital, I've heard too many horror stories of babies getting switched or kidnapped. Or maybe it was the drugs working on a new mother's paranoia. Nevertheless, the nurses and our new pedia (we acquired one between the delivery room and the post-op) gave us all the attention and care we needed as a new family.

I was still racked up with pain and RF was desperate for sleep. I don't know where we got the strength we had that day, but seeing Oona, holding her frail little babyness was an incredible experience.

She was so sweet! So tiny! So incredibly ours!

She looked like a burrito, swaddled in her blankets. RF was afraid to hold her because she looked so fragile! He was afraid he'd drop her but the nurses insisted he learn ASAP. I wanted to laugh so hard but all I managed was a dry chuckle. Pain. I was also so very thirsty from not having taken any liquids or eaten anything for over twelve hours.

Looking at Oona's pictures now, I can tell you straight away that at first I was struck at the absence of the intense feeling you kept reading in books. I understand now that it's a romanticized version of parenthood, although it does happen.

For me, I had the certainty that no matter who this little person would turn out to be, she was mine. Not in a possessive, I-own-you kind of way. . . She is a part of me I gave to the world. A part of my body, my soul. She is her own person, but she is as my own.

You know what they say about having children.

It's making that decision to have your heart walk around outside your body.

She was it.