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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Gaur

The Birth Story (part 1)

The weeks following the news about the severity of the baby’s brain condition were met with an endless list of questions, scribbling brain measurements on post-its following each ultrasound, lots of appointments and missed work, as well as much uncertainty and fear. However, there was also great anticipation for her to make her entry to this world and a strong urgency to hold and cuddle our sweet girl. We were blessed with family, friends, and church family who were holding us up in prayer and encouraging us along the way.

At 39 weeks, Chris and I sat back in Dr. V’s office in the same seats we had a few weeks prior when we received the news. This time, I asked and answered questions through huffy breaths and had to stop the conversation every few minutes to time my contractions. “I would bet big money you have the baby tonight,” Dr. V claimed, and suggested we go downstairs and get checked out in labor and delivery before heading home. Well…no need to share a gruesome birth story– I’m not trying to one-up any other strong mamas out there, or traumatize any moms-to-be. Let’s just say that twenty-four hours later– yes, 24– I was able to hold my beautiful, perfect baby girl on my chest.

“Oh… my baby… she’s so perfect,” I managed, tears streaming down my cheeks. “Hi Brooklynn. Happy birthday sweet girl.” A sense of relief enveloped me as I got to hold her in my arms, against my beating heart. I ran my fingers along her velvety cheeks and studied her face– the button nose, the curve of her lips, the folds in her ears. I kissed the top of her head and nothing else mattered.

I am so grateful for the few minutes they let me hold her before the NICU team took her away to take her vitals and start to monitor her. I urged Chris to follow her and told him not to leave her side. An hour later, I was wheeled into the NICU alongside her clear plastic bassinet. She was, by far, the biggest baby in the room at a whopping 8 pounds 8 ounces. The little pink card affixed to her bassinet read, Baby Girl Gaur.

The nurse carefully lowered Brooklynn into my welcoming arms. Holding her proved to be difficult as she was hooked up to monitors and had wires everywhere. Each time I moved her in the wrong way it would disconnect something and sound alarms; my eyes would shoot to the monitor to check her vitals. I quickly learned how to reconnect her wires but never really got used to the alarms– my heart was in my throat each time they went off. The first time I nursed her, she latched right away. I was so grateful that it had come more easily for her than it had for my older daughter– benefit of being a second-time mommy. As I relished in the sweet moment of nursing my baby for the first time, I noticed a tall doctor walking toward me in a button down shirt, slacks, and a while lab coat. He introduced himself as the neonatologist in charge of her care for the duration of her NICU stay, and commented that he was glad to see that she was swallowing and breathing on her own. I was taken aback. I didn’t know that was even a possibility for her. I pulled her into my chest just a little bit tighter and kissed the top of her head.

Two days later I was discharged from the hospital without Brooklynn. As I walked out of the hospital doors empty handed– something no mother should ever have to do– I spotted another mother, baby carrier in hand, taking her newborn home. I sunk into the front seat of our car, red-rimmed eyes, and sat in silence as we pulled away.

Though leaving Brooklynn at the hospital was unbearable, I was grateful for the distraction and joy that our oldest, Mila, brought to us in those moments. She had no idea what was going on, she was just happy to have Mommy home again to tuck her in and kiss her goodnight. Her deep belly-laughs were the antidote to my aching heart.

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As always, I can’t wait for the next installment!!!



Loved reliving this beautiful day when she was born ❤️



Your writing always has me tearing up! I love you and little Brooklynn so much!

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