By Sarah Sprague

It’s 4:30 a.m. on October 22, 2016. I’ve always loved the number 22; my birthday is June 22. When I was little, I remembered the date because I loved ballet and ballerinas wear tutus, or as my three-year-old self viewed it, 2 2s. Now 22 was coming back to me as the date when I would finally get to see Easton’s face.

I was so excited and nervous. I got up early and put on mascara because I wanted to look nice for my first time holding my baby and slipped on my shirt that said, “Champagne and Game Day.” I was really trying to hype myself up because as excited as I was to hold my son, Easton, I was scared to death of having a caesarean section

My mom and dad took me to the hospital. For some reason, my dad took the longest route possible. By the last light, my mother and I had questioned him so much on what he was doing that he ran the light while it was red. He immediately said, “I know the light I went through was red and both of you are mothers, but you’re not my mother so leave me alone.” Bless his heart.

This was my second time at this hospital. Just a week ago I was here on an inverted table with a doctor and a nurse trying to turn around the little baby crowding my belly. Easton had become quite comfortable in the cavity just under my rib cage and had zero intention of ever coming out. The nail marks impressed upon my stomach from the nurse in her efforts to turn him had finally vanished, but after today I would have a scar that would never fade. It’s a scar that I love.

Since Easton remained stubborn and breached (he was taking after me already and had yet to take a breath of oxygen without my help, I had to have a caesarean section. Caesarean section is the process of cutting open a person, removing intestines and any other organs in the way, extracting a baby from the womb, placing all the organs back like a jigsaw puzzle and sewing the moer up like nothing ever happened. I was pricked with so many needles and given a healthy number of numbing agents; my mom scrubbed up so she could be in the delivery room and hold my hand.

After listening to Easton’s heartbeat and monitoring mine, it was time to retrieve the little fella. Admittedly, I was frightened. I had caught a glance at the scapula and needles they were using on me and I felt like I was in a horror movie. With that, they filleted me open and I felt the pressure and movement of everything. I wanted to crawl off the table and try again another day.

After what felt like much longer than 15 minutes of pulling and prodding and wanting to die, I heard a tiny voice full of frustration and irritation. It’s my son! It’s my first time hearing the voice of the culprit making my heartburn unbearable and living under my rib cage.

He was here. After they cut his umbilical cord, washed him off and swaddled him, the nurse asked if I wanted to hold him on my chest while the doctor sewed me up. I blurted out, “Yes!” immediately.

I think it was my heart beat that calmed him down and it was his 5-pound, 14-ounce body that comforted me. Thus, began the start of my little family.

Sprague is a public relations senior