>I remember the call at 7:53 AM: “You can come to Connecticut get your baby girl.” I remeber not breathing. Then chaos. Getting the last two seats on the next flight, throwing dirty clothes into a suitcase, packing a baby bag. I remeber looking at one of the diapers — could anything really be that small? I called Victoria from the car to tell her we were on our way. She sounded tired, very tired. I sounded frantic, giddy.
At the airport I clutched the baby bag, I wouldn’t let it out of my sight. On the plane Demetri and I held hands, skimmed a book about babies, made a list of names. We stopped in Chicago and split a turkey sandwhich — lettuce and tomato on my half, onions and hot peppers on his. We flew on. Demetri’s mom met us at the airpirt with a car seat. She had tears in her eyes. Our rental car smelled like smoke and we drove with all the windows down.
We got to the hospital at 8:04 PM. It was big and brick and had smoke satcks. On the 5th floor behind the glass in the nursery there were two babies . . . Calls were made and we waited waited waited. Then they turned a baby to face us, our baby. She was there, inches away from us — pinched face with red cheeks, eyes squeezed shut. The nurse picked her up and plucked off her tiny striped hat and Oh! the hair! Lots and lots of straight back hair. Then the nurse peeled away the blanket so we could see our little girl’s tiny hands, chicken legs, and fragile little belly.
Later they brought us back to a room. I remember washing my hands and feeling responsible — like a parent. They wheeled her in. I wasn’t sure how to scoop her up out of her little plastic tub. But then, there she was, the little burrito baby in my arms, sleeping. She rested her head on my chest like she knew me.
The nurse taught us to feed her from a tiny tiny bottle — we looked for little air bubbles to see if she was drinking. I tried to burp her by gently tapping her back with my index finger. The nurse smiled and laughed and told me I wouldn’t break her. But didn’t the nurse know? Didn’t the whole world know? This was the most precious, most important thing I had ever been given.