Dear Big Sis,
I never did thank you for saying “stay”. That one simple word changed me forever in so many different ways and I owe it to you.
You may be wracking your brain, trying to determine when you told me to “stay” and why it affected me so much, so let me explain.
There we were on a very early morning — you were laying in a bed, excited and probably terrified for the near future, and I was in a chair probably asking a thousand questions about how you were feeling. We were anxiously waiting for the doctor to give you the green light to bring Baby Girl — your first born — into this world. I was fully prepared to exit your delivery room when it was time for you to start pushing, and join the pacing marathon with the rest of our family in the waiting room. But then, it was go-time, and you looked at me and said, “STAY.”
That one simple word caused blood to rush throughout my entire body and stirred a conversation in my head, “Stay!? Yay, she wants me to stay! This is so exciting! I’m going to watch my niece’s delivery! OMG wait, what? She wants me to stay? Is this a good idea? Does she know what she is saying right now? Maybe it’s the meds speaking. Am I going to faint? I’ll just stay in the background, it will be fine. Oh goodness, I hope I don’t get sick.”
The nurse interrupted my internal dialogue and told me to come stand on the right side of your bed and continued to explain that I would be helping lift your legs during contractions. “There goes my plan of staying in the background,” I thought.
But then and there I decided there was no more room for nervous thoughts and our good friend, adrenaline, showed up. I was ready, and the word “stay” was beautifully captivating me, teaching me, and changing me, simultaneously.
“Stay” taught me 4 things:
1. You are so strong.
By you telling me to stay, I witnessed strength like I had never seen before. 3 hours of pushing and you didn’t stop to complain once. You had a mission and, by God, no one or no complication was going to stop you from completing that mission. Your eye was on the prize. I had never seen such commitment. I could tell you were exhausted, had nothing left, yet, you continued onward. I’m still in awe.
2. I am so strong.
By you telling me to stay, I learned a lot about my own strength. I didn’t think I had it in me to not only witness a birth, but to be right up in the thick of it. Not only did I have it in me, I got so into it that I started shouting the countdown with each of your contractions for encouragement. Never once did I think to myself, “when is this going to be over, I’m tired of standing. Is she really still pushing?” Not once did I feel like I was going to faint. Not once did I doubt the success of Baby Girl’s delivery. I had a mission and I wasn’t going to let complications or the ticking of the clock scare me. I was there to help you, no matter what.
3. Baby Girl is so strong.
By you telling me to stay, I learned how amazing new life is and how much work it takes to actually enter this world. Baby Girl wasn’t coming out the right way and she put you through hell, but she had a mission and she wasn’t going to let anyone or any complication stop her–even if that meant making a swan dive into this life! 🙂
4. Love is pure and strong.
By telling me to stay, I witnessed and felt different kinds of love and was introduced to the purest of love. I watched as your husband’s loving eyes encouraged you through each push, and I loved him for that. I felt my own love and admiration for you grow with each passing hour, in awe of your unwavering endurance and strength (I have obviously always loved you, but this was different — a more powerful/adoring love).
And then BOOM — Baby Girl took her first breath and we were all hit with the purest love that none of us had ever felt. That moment witnessing her birth, was the most intense form of love I have ever felt in my twenty-eight years of existence.
Then I looked at you. Doctors were swarming you, pushing on your stomach and you didn’t notice any of it. You were staring, with the purest of the pure love, at your new daughter, and that was a magical, unforgettable sight. She was perfect, she was breathing, you created her, and I knew at that moment that all of our lives had changed.
“Stay” changed me because all of these experiences from those 3 hours of labor opened my eyes and made me realize there is more to life than traveling, partying, and living life moment by moment. It taught me that there was something truly beautiful in having a plan for your life, having a family, and having a little person that you created; it is pretty magnificent.
It changed me because it taught me what strength looks like, what pure love looks like, and showed me that I have an inner strength that I never knew existed. I matured in those 3 hours and can honestly say that it played a huge part in me wanting to pursue a career in nursing (not to mention developing a huge interest in the Labor and Delivery sector).
It changed me because I witnessed new life, and there is nothing more life-changing than that. You can’t help reflect what this new life means — what it means to you and your family — and what is means to me. I am now an aunt. I have someone who is going to look up to me and I want my first niece — your daughter — to be proud of her aunt. There is a sense of responsibility that I have now.
So from the bottom of my heart, thank you for saying, “stay.” That one simple word allowed me to learn so much in such a short amount of time and I am forever grateful for that amazing, life-changing experience.
Your Little Sis