By: Kerrie Olejarz
Cailyn…our daughter had a name.
It was settled and sorted and shortly after finishing our meal we packed a bag of nice things for Cailyn and headed back to the hospital. We took a beautiful muslin blanket and a few onsies. She looked so small so we opted to take a few sizes to ensure we would have one to fit her. Upon arriving at the nursery, the nurse invited us in, one at a time. Mark let me go first and he had the video camera and digital camera all ready to capture my first moments with Cailyn. The nurse requested that I put on a hospital gown and sterile slippers before seeing her. As I walked toward my baby the nurse stopped me dead in my tracks with a large bottle of Chlorhexidene hand sanitizer. She gave me a ginormous squirt and motioned for me to rub rub rub my hands until they were dry. I rubbed at the speed of lightning and took the next steps to Cailyn. There she was, perfect.
There she lie in her little bed, all curled up on her side, swaddled in a hospital-issued blanket. Her little arm peeked out from the blanket with her hospital bracelet on it saying “Baby Kerrie Olejarz”. I turned to look at Mark in disbelief. The nurse motioned that I could caress her, but not pick her up. Who cared…she was here in front of me and I would have a lifetime to hold her. It was at this point I had my meltdown. The reality of this little miracle hit me. She was perfect, her eyes blue, her hair wavy and her colour beautiful. The nursery felt 5000 degrees, but I am sure my adrenal system was in overdrive contributing to the immense over heating going on!
Cailyn started to cry and the nurse brought a bottle to feed her. Cailyn would have no part of taking a bottle so the nurse got a stainless steel grooved spoon to spoon feed her. She took her formula nicely this way but it was a sin to see her not take the bottle. I felt bad for Mark so I told the nurse I would switch with Daddy. Mark came in, put on his floral gown, slid on the slippers and headed to his daughter. I caught this on video and took loads of pictures. This was such a precious moment for me. Finally, Mark was a daddy. Finally. Mark was fortunate to be in the nursery when the nurse put on the clothes we brought for Cailyn. Well, the nurse didn’t put on the clothes but she put them on the baby. She took our muslin blanket and swaddled Cailyn so nicely. Mark spent a long time with her, and then motioned to me that it was my turn again.
We quickly swapped positions then the nurse said visiting hours were over. It was so hard to leave Cailyn, but we knew tomorrow was a new day, the day we could finally hold her. It was now 8:30 pm and pitch dark out. Delhi looks very different at night and it was so great to ride a rickshaw home, seeing the night sights of Delhi after meeting our baby. We ordered in a bit of food and followed up with some Skype calls and emails. It was truly the most exciting time of our lives!! We updated the blog now that we had a name. Our blog land friends quickly responded with wonderful wishes of congratulations. Some blog friends skyped, some emailed, and most left an endearing comment on our blog. Our family and friends were overjoyed now that the reality of what happened had set in.
August 17, 2011…the best day of my life!
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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