These last few weeks have been very strange. Ever since Aria passed, I feel like I look at the world from the outside looking in. I feel like I live in my own little world. My own little bubble. A bubble where I watch people move around me at a million miles an hour. Where as I’m stuck in grief, I feel very out of place, an uncomfortable outsider. Losing Aria was a lifestyle that I was thrown into, something out of my control. Something that I never wanted, but, is now my reality. I can’t help but correlate my feelings with social distancing and quarantine with the isolated world I already live in. For a moment, the world has stopped, just like it has for me since February 6th, 2019. I think this is Gods way of telling us we all need to slow down. During this time, remember what’s truly important, what’s truly essential for us to survive. A lot of the reasons I started this blog in the first place was to talk about our busy, hectic lifestyles. How important it is to be intentional and present everyday with the people we love and care about. This quarantine is forcing us into that. Even if that means contacting our loved ones only by Facetime because of certain vulnerabilities. Its reminded us just how fragile life is. Its also put a mirror in front of all the broken systems we have in this country. Hopefully, from this experience, we will all chose to be better. To want better for our kids, for our families, for our communities and for our neighbors. Since, we truly are ALL in this together!
I have been very weepy lately. Tomorrow, March 21st, Aria Joy would be 15 years old. I’m heartbroken that I can’t celebrate her birthday with the people who love her most. However, her celebration is on hold, it will happen. I imagine all the things Aria would want to tackle being 15. Definitely drivers ed and behind the wheel classes. We lived a block and half away from her future high school and she wanted to drive to school. Hahaha……silly girl.
I’ve just been very sad, Yet in a sense, I have been relieved. I am grateful she doesn’t have to experience this chaos. Being the empath that she was, this all would be very scary for her. So there is peace knowing she doesn’t have to worry about all this.
March 21st is my favorite day in the whole wide world. Each year as her bday arrived, she would want me to tell her birth story in detail. How the night before, I was nauseous at the smell of pizza(which never happens). I had an upset stomach that felt like nothing more than gas. Rico and I spent the night at his friend Steve’s house. Rico took my car to work in the morning. I was home alone at Steve’s apartment in Maplewood with no car. At around 10:00am I went to plug in my hair straightener. By the time I started using it, I had horrible back pains every 4 minutes that were clinching my stomach. I knew this was it. However, I was terrified to call my mom, because she would be mad at me for letting Rico use my car. So, I hesitated for about 20 minutes. I called my Dad, he was picking my uncle up from the airport and couldn’t pick me up. I called Rico and the Burches, no answer. They lived the closest. My dad begged me to call my mom. As the contractions grew more intense, I knew I had to bite the bullet and call her.
I was right, she was pissed, but I could now count the contractions down to the second at every 3 minutes. My mom lived in Edina, it would take her 45 mins to get to me. She called my Grandma who lived in Oakdale to see if she was home and left a message. Divinely, my grandma just happened to come home for lunch from work within 5 minutes of my moms phone call. My grandma was at Steve’s apartment in 10 minutes. My Nana drove me to Abbott Northwestern as I laid in the back seat. She would comfort me while counting down to each 3 minute mark. The ride felt long, but, we made it in about 25 minutes. When I got there I was already 5 centimeters and 80% effaced and in active labor.
I only requested one thing in the delivery room, that was my fan!! My mom brought it. I elected to not get an epidural right away because I felt the contractions were manageable. As the news spread that I was in labor, friends and family started to show up. I was laboring well, sitting on the ball, letting people come in and talk to me, until everyone started bringing McDonald’s in my room. Back then there was a McDonald’s in the hospital. The smell of it, was grossing me out. I labored for a few hours, my doctor broke my water. Then the nurse came to tell me the anesthesiologist was on the maternity floor. Back then, there was only one for the whole hospital. I was at 6 or 7 centimeters. She stated that this might be my last chance to get one, so if I was considering it at all, to do it now. I did it! Let me tell ya, I was not expecting to not be able to feel my feet and my toes. That freaked me out and I instantly regretted it. Although, it gave me time to relax and “rest.” At around 8:00pm, I was alerted by the monitor that Aria’s heart rate was dropping. I immediately freaked out. However, the nurse said, it could be because I was at 10 centimeters and she was in the birth canal. She checked me and that was it! It was time. She called my doctor, who wasn’t there yet. I laid there for 45 minutes waiting for my doctor to arrive.
At that point, all my immediate family was there, all of Rico’s immediate family was there, along with our closest friends. We had about 30 people in the waiting room. Finally, the doctor got there and it was time to push around, 9:45pm. In the room, was my mother, Ashlee, Amy(my step mom), Rico, and my dad who stood behind the curtain pacing. I pushed for about an hour and Aria was born at 10:52pm, Monday, March 21st. It was the only day in our large family pool that no one picked. She picked her own day. People were waiting outside the delivery room and ran in as soon as they heard Aria make noise. The doctor yelled and kicked them all out.
She was perfect, 6 lbs 9oz( just like me) and 21 inches. I remember putting her in front of me and studying her. Counted all her fingers and toes. Looked at her perfect little ears, nose, and lips. She was finally here. She was alert from the second she came out. Bright eyed and checking out the world. She didn’t cry, she just squeaked. Life was brand new. I immediately forgot what life was like prior to her arrival. She was everything……
She would then want me to go on to tell the story about how she named herself. I’m pretty sure I told you all that story already.
Aria Joy, you are so missed and I celebrate you everyday, but, March 21st will forever be the day I received the greatest gift in the world. I hope Jesus can tell you your birth story from his perspective. I miss you so much. I wish I could spend tomorrow with you more than anything. But, I know you will have the best 15th birthday party up in heaven. I love you!!