Little Miss Eliana has arrived!
Eliana Caroline Lepore
Born July 15 at 1:21 in the afternoon
Weight 6 lbs. 13 oz.
Length 19 inches
It’s hard to believe it’s been a week since I last wrote. To say that a lot has happened over this past week is an understatement. The littlest Lepore has finally joined our family. We are all thrilled and feel absolutely blessed that she’s healthy, happy and busily growing!
Prepare for Arrival!
Ellie’s arrival was it’s own unique experience for Chris and I. There’s something about showing up at the hospital at a set time and eventually walking yourself to an operating room. I must admit, as we proceeded down the long, shadowy hallway, thoughts of a plan B for getting Eliana into this world whirled through my mind. How else could I get her into this world besides enduring surgery? What if I wasn’t strong enough to have a spinal tap? Would I feel the entire procedure? Maybe I could have them put me to sleep so that I wouldn’t wimp out. No -- not an option because I had to be awake for her arrival…
To be honest, my strength and resolve came from Grandma Lepore. I knew that she was in Ohio lying in a hospital bed. The next day, she would be undergoing open-heart surgery. If she could undergo such a strenuous procedure at 75, certainly I could endure a simple incision in my belly. This one’s for Grandma and Ellie!
Chris seemed a bit apprehensive about the entire experience as well. He knew there was no way he could watch the procedure – just be there for me and baby. I had to convince him before we departed for the operating room to take the camera – he just didn’t think he could take photos. He was focused on not passing out…
Somehow, Chris and I found the strength to thrive through it all.
After walking into the brightly lit, sterile operating room, the anesthesiologist and nurses had me sit up on the table with my legs dangling down and lean forward to hug my legs. They numbed my spine with some kind of solution and then injected the medicine.
I felt a warm wave wash through my lower body; the warmth started with my belly and rapidly worked its way to my feet. They immediately had me help put my feet and legs up on the table before I lost sensation. The next thing I knew, I could feel nothing from my belly down. Mentally, I felt a dulling sense of awareness. I certainly knew what was going on, but my sensations and focus were fuzzy – quite a strange sensation. To be honest, this is what I don’t like about strong medication, the surrendering of control and focus…
Once my body was numb, they put a bluish colored sheet-like curtain up that separated the lower half of my body from the top. Chris and the anhestheologist talked to me behind our side of the curtain to discuss what was going on as the doctors worked their magic with my belly. It was so odd listening to the doctors converse about their daily lives as they operated. Just another day at the office.
Just ten minutes into the procedure I heard, “Look at all that hair.” But no sound from baby. Where was that first breath?
I guess it takes a bit longer when a baby is gently removed from mama’s belly rather than pushed out over a period of time as happens in regular labor. I remember Dominic’s first cry upon his arrival. But this time was unique for us in every way. No baby cry at first.
After what seemed like minutes but was probably only seconds, Eliana let out her first little cry. At that moment, tears swelled up in my eyes and the delightful smile of a new mama appeared on my face. Chris leaned over and kissed me. Joy.
After that initial cry, Chris was beckoned behind the curtain that was separating us from Eliana. There, he helped the nurses as they washed her off a bit before giving her to me. I got to hold her for about 10 minutes and then she and Chris were whisked away to a warmer room so that she could have her initial checks and I could be sewn back together. Those moments belong to Chris and Eliana alone.
Eventually, I was wheeled back to join Chris and Eliana. Once thy put Eliana in my arms, I didn’t want to let her go…
Life begins as a family…
I’ve been thinking of words to introduce this new chapter…
Delight (noun) Great pleasure.
Joy and Delight are the only two words that even come close to describing my initial reaction upon meeting Eliana – funny, I felt the same joy upon meeting Dominic. I must say that I worried about this bond throughout my pregnancy. How could I love another being as much as Dominic? Well, that intense bond of love appeared upon little Ellie’s arrival . Wow, now I get to adore two little beings. Blessed.
Things I love…
Holding, holding and holding my sweet baby girl and feeling her warmth…
Brushing my cheek against her soft head of fine dark hair. Her hair feels as soft as the fur on the underbelly of a kitten – so soft.
Those itty, bitty feet and her feminine, fragile, sinuous fingers
All variations of those cute baby squeaks
High pitched hiccups (Did Dominic have such high pitched hiccups?)
Watching her little legs kick
Cuddling with her curled little body on my chest
That sweet baby smell and her soft, warm, smooth baby skin
The warmth and sound, rise and fall of her belly as she breaths life
The way Chris cuddles and gently talks to Eliana
Watching Chris as a Daddy
Dominic’s absolute delight in “his baby “
CIRCLE (noun) a closed plane curve consisting of all points at a given distance from a point within it called the center –
I would say at the center of the circle is life.
Throughout the past week I’ve been thinking about the circle of life its’ circular relationships. At times the circle expands, and at other times it contracts. A series of circles overlap representing the different sets of circles that we are a part of in our lives.
Through it all, we have one another to lean on… For Chris, Dominic, Pogo and I, our circle just expanded. It feels so complete. Eliana has aso expanded the realm of our larger family circles.
But as we all know, life itself is also circular. It can be so sweet but at the same time sad and sometimes bitter. For what it’s worth Eliana and grandma Mary now share the birthday in our family circle. So sweet.
However, over this past week, the circle of our Lepore family is simultaneously celebrating the joy of Eliana’s arrival while praying for the health of Grandma Lepore (Chris’s mama). The day after her 75th birthday, and the day after sweet Ellie’s arrival, Grandma Mary went in for open-heart surgery. We are still praying for her rapid, healthy recovery. So far, things are slowly progressing forward.
Family and friends certainly unveil the reality of the circular relationships of life. Life receives meaning because of the way we depend on one another for our survival and the way each little piece of the circle contributes so much joy to our lives.
It is our circle of family and friends that make us feel so alive, so complete, so absolutely blessed… We cherish this circle of our family and friends. To borrow from Emily Dickinson, our friends (and family) are our estate.
The birth of each of our children has made us pause and embrace the circles in our lives...