27 hours. I was in labor for 27 hours and at the time, it felt like an eternity. I remember telling my husband Mike about 12 hours into it that we would just have to adopt if we decided to have another child. Simple as that. I was not about to go through it again.
And then, about 14 hours later, in the wee hours of the night, she finally came. I was delirious; we all were. There were all kinds of people in the room because they were preparing for an emergency c-section and everyone seemed to be making noise and bustling about. But when I saw Madeline, everything else disappeared. The seconds started to stretch like the truth in a tall tale, and all the noise was drowned out by the sounds of my daughter. My living, breathing human that I created; I was positively captivated by her existence. And in that vast moment, all was well in my world. It was like a million summer nights where the wind is just right, the stars all make an appearance, and you've got the perfect someone right next to you.
And then suddenly, it was over. The next few days were a steady stream of friends and family coming to visit, and nurses coming in to check this or that. Finally, they said we could go. We loaded into the car, the 2 that had become 3, and thus began our journey of sleepless nights, infinite diaper changes, and a long list of firsts. First smiles, first crawls, first steps, first words, and best yet, the first time she said "I love you."
As the days became months, and the months added up to years, I forgot that moment in the hospital. That moment when time stopped and the only people that existed were me and my newborn baby girl. Perhaps it wasn't so much forgotten as buried underneath so many other magical moments.
A while back, a friend of ours put together a video for us using footage he had taken in the hospital the day that Madeline was born. Included in the video was a clip of that very moment, captured forever in this handy little digital file. I have never been a huge fan of seeing myself on video, but being able to relive that moment again, that precious instant that came and went as instants do, was extraordinary. There it was, on video, no longer just a memory that will eventually fade into a hazy recollection and then be whisked away with time. Because of that video, I will have that moment forever. And that, is pretty cool.