Evan and I, like all parents, wanted to choose just the right name for Zoe. We spent Thanksgiving with family running down lists of potential names. Annaliese? Natalia? Madeline? Brynn? Evan settled on the name of Zoe before I did. But it became clear that Zoe was the right name for our baby and so we decided to name her just that.
We hung her stocking at Christmas in anticipation of her arrival. She arrived the day before my birthday and in between two large snow storms. I had been preparing for the big day working hard mentally to come to terms with the pain of childbirth. I had wanted to deliver my first child without medication but lost my confidence to manage the pain during the delivery process and asked for an epidural.
Determined to have Zoe naturally I talked with several friends who had delivered naturally themselves. It was doable and I had to figure out what was going to work for me. Moving around, deep breathing and distraction were especially helpful.
Prior to going to the hospital Evan and I took some time with Maya to explain to her that Baby Zoe would be arriving soon. We let her know that when the phone call came we had to go to get Zoe. Soon after Evan’s mom went into another room and called Evan on the phone and Evan spoke where Maya could hear him. “Zoe is going to be coming soon? We need to come to get her now?” Maya responded, “Bye, Mommy. Bye, Daddy.” Then she looked around and called out in a loud voice, “Zoooo-eeee!” as if Zoe would appear at any time.
In hindsight I guess she could have. Evan called the nurse on duty to ask how long we could stay at home safely as I had been having contractions for most of the day but they had just settled into a rhythm a few hours prior. The nurse spoke with the doctor who had delivered Maya and who exuded the calm that comes from delivering thousands of babies. He said that we could stay at home until contractions were 3-5 minutes apart. Trying to stay out of the hospital for as long as possible we arrived for check-in when contractions were 2-3 minutes apart. Cutting it a little closer than we had intended things moved along quickly from there and Zoe was born four hours later.
She was bright eyed and incredibly alert upon delivery. When our eyes met I could tell she knew me instantly and we fell in love. She took to nursing naturally. And so began our relationship.
Zoe flew through her well-baby check-ups and her pediatrician was so happy with how she was doing. Her color was great, she was calm and easy to soothe and she was a solid eater. No weight loss issues, no problems with jaundice, etc.
Evan and I were so happy to have our family intact and healthy and talked of so many dreams of the future. We discussed family trips, holiday rituals we wanted to establish, books we wanted to read together and movies we wanted to watch during family night when the girls were old enough.
And then that nasty illness moved through our household and the rest of the story is history. And so here we are. Very grateful Zoe continues to fight and very grateful we chose a name that means “Abundance of Life.”