Happy 7th Birthday to my little Sister Emily Joy!

Happy Birthday Emily Joy:D

 It's not very often that a twelve year old girl would have to seriously consider the idea that she might never have another chance to be held by her mother. Hear her mom's sweet voice coax away her daily fears. Smell that familiar Oscar perfume. To know that her mom would be there when she turned sixteen, graduated, went to college, or got married, might not even happen. Such thoughts ran through my head as I waited in an empty hospital room on August 23, 2006.
Today was the day! My family had waited nine whole months and it suddenly came down to these final moments. I had jumped out of bed and got everything I needed nearly an hour before my alarm clock even went off. I didn't have time for sleep- my newest sister was to be born today! Emily Joy was going to be six weeks premature, but we were all so happy that she even made it this far. As the eldest of four, I was given the chance to accompany my mom and dad on this eventful day.
I dragged my mom out of the house at 6am on the dot. My mother had done this before, but I was still amazed at how serene she appeared. We happily drove to the hospital passing only the cars crazy enough to be up this early. Excited as ever, we checked her in and waited while the nurse gave her an overall checkup. I winced only for a moment as a tight rubber band was wound around her arm to check her blood pressure. My mother chuckled at how I thought that was the hard part. I quickly declined at the offer to watch my mom undergo the procedure, knowing that seeing blood was not going to help my already queasy stomach. I watched my mom get wheeled into the surgery room as my dad showed me the way to the waiting room. He told me it would all be over soon and they would come get me in an hour or so. I nodded and found a comfortable seat near a bat cage and a tank of fish.
One hour passed. Two hours. Three hours. Four hours. I suddenly began to feel anxious. The little girl I had met in the waiting room waited for her new baby sister, but left nearly two hours before. I wondered why my mom's surgery didn't end as fast. I focused nervously on the bat in the cage while another half hour passed. Finally, a doctor walked in with my dad. I immediately noticed the nervous way the doctor was holding his clip board and the wrinkle between my dad's eyes that he got when he was worried. Something was wrong.
My dad sat down beside me and put a comforting arm around me. The doctor kneeled down beside me and told me a bunch of medical terms I couldn't hear. All I could hear was the pounding of my heart and the tick of the clock as each second passed by. He finally said, "We took your mom to another surgery room, so I'll show you and your dad the closest waiting room to her. It shouldn't take too much longer. Sorry for the inconvenience." I don't remember if I nodded or muttered anything in response, but I took my dad's hand and followed the doctor through a maze of halls around the hospital.
The new area of the hospital was no longer the calm, easy-going, environment of the other waiting room. It was totally packed with other patients who had severe medical issues. I eyed the doctor, obviously letting him know that I did not want to wait around all of this chaos. He immediately got the message and led us to an empty room nearby. He left as he soothingly said he'd check up on us in a little. Now the only thing to face was the unknown future and a cold, semi-lit room with two stuffy chairs, and my dad.
He didn't have to say anything. I understood something was off. I climbed into his lap and cried. I just let it all out. All my fears of what was unknown came down in little drops of salt water. I thought of all the times my mom had been hurt by past choices I had made. Every time I had gotten frustrated with her seemed so pointless now. My dad rubbed my back and I suddenly realized I was not the only one crying. That was the first time I'd ever witnessed my dad cry like that.
A different doctor came in and told us how fragile both the baby and my mom's lives were at the moment, but that they both made it through the surgery. My mother was in a surgical recovery room that she would have to wait in for another few hours, while Emily Joy was in the NICU. I immediately requested to go see Emily, so this doctor led my daddy and me to yet another room in the hospital.
The NICU was a bittersweet area that took care of newborns that faced major difficulties. I passed pathetic tiny babies that were hooked to cords and often in a temperature controlled container. I silently prayed that none of the severely sick babies was my Emily. A nurse brought us to a baby bed where the most beautiful little girl lay silently attached to a few cords. I asked if I could touch her and after given permission grazed my hand across her precious head. She was perfect. In that moment, nothing else mattered. I subtly noticed how small she was compared to a normal baby. My hand could entirely caress her entire stomach. She was no longer than the length of my lower arm. My dad put his hand on my shoulder and together we watched the newest life God gave our family.
We stayed in the NICU for hours. I softly sang her lullabies while the nurses gently urged her to eat. Reality hit when the doctor from before told us that we could go see my mom in the ICU now. We slowly made it through the halls of the ICU that reeked of death and sadness. Every room we passed had a curtain or contained an elderly woman or man who appeared as if taking their last breath of life. My mom's room was in the complete back- figures. I walked in and immediately had to fight the urge to run away and cry. I held my dad's hand tightly as we approached her pale, weak body. She looked pitiful. Her lips were bluish silver, and she had a blood pouch attached to her neck that I had to avoid looking at. After I got over the shock, I told my mom all about how great Emily was. We showed her pictures, and she responded with what enthusiasm she had left. She fell back asleep, and we went back to see Emily. Later on we went back to my mom and she didn't remember our last visit at all, so we showed her all the pictures again.
I said my goodbyes, as it was very late and she needed to rest. My dad stayed overnight, while I lay in my bed going through what had all happened that day. I realized that I couldn't live without my mom. Everything she does for me finally came into perspective. In the hospital she said that she had been scared to die, but knew that dying was not an option with as many kids that needed her love. I will never forget this experience. You never realize how precious a mother is to have until you almost lose her. She lives for her family, and I'm so thankful to be her daughter. She taught me what real love is, and I'll keep that with me for as long as I live.