June 12, 2008 was a day that changed our lives forever.
At 7:59 pm Marley Anne Dillon was born by C-section at Hillsdale Community Health Center in Hillsdale, Michigan. I'd been in labor since 7am that day, and I was never so glad to see an operating room in my life! Even with an epidural, it had been a long, harrowing day. This had been a pregnancy full of complications and a very scary incedent about halfway through, and I remember that Jim and I were so impatient to meet our little blessing. The doctor had told us to expect a big baby- maybe 9 pounds- so imagine our surprise when he held up a tiny 6 lb. 14 oz. little girl for us to see! I'll never forget that first glimpse of her as the doctor raised her up above the sterile blue sheet after he had removed her from my body. She was a mess and squalling like crazy, but she was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. I never understood unconditional love until I saw her. In that split second between when I heard her first cry and first saw her face, I knew there was nothing on this earth that I wouldn't do to take care of her and keep her safe. After a quick kiss on her precious face, she and Jim were whisked away to another room and Dr. B returned to working on me. I'd lost a lot of blood, so I was woozy and more than a little loopy, but I remember feeling such huge relief that she was finally HERE. I also remember feeling more than a little irritated that I didn't get to hold her right away. I had to go to recovery, and I wanted my baby!
And then it was MY turn! Since I'd had a C-section, Marley and I had to stay in the hospital for four days. Those were the most wonderful four days I think I've ever had. Even though I was in considerable pain and could hardly move, I've never felt so blessed. Being adopted, I'd never had the joy of sharing similar physical characteristics with my family. I was so overjoyed to discover that she had the same hands and feet that I do. As a newborn, she looked so much like her daddy, but these were characteristics that were mine. And I had her all to myself. With the exception of a few hours the first night when I still couldn't walk, I got to spend every moment with her. There were no chores to do, my meals came to my bedside, and all I had to do was hold this precious tiny little thing. I couldn't stop looking at her and I couldn't put her down.
She was a dream come true, an incredible answer to prayer, and God chose to give her to Jim and me.
That was a really good day!