Thirteen years ago today was September 11, 2001. Thirteen years ago today I joined most of the world glued to the news updates in a mix of terror and despair.
Like most of America, I wasn’t in New York. I was watching in helpless horror from afar.
Like many Americans, I was at work that day. I was doing a terrible job of trying to balance between actually working and keeping up with the news.
But, there was something unique for me that day. On that September 11, 2001 I was enormously pregnant with my first child. I woke up that morning thinking only, “Could this be the day?” and soon my safe little world was shattered by those terrorist controlled airplanes.
That September 11, 2001 I had my first REAL labor contractions. They were strong enough to take my breath away, but not happening often. By late afternoon my coworkers were concerned enough by my moaning to send me home. I spend that evening and the next day glued to the news reports showing death and destruction and being physically mauled by early labor.
On the evening of September 12, 2001 I went into the hospital. I was fully well into labor by then and suddenly I panicked. I was in tears; the ugly kind. My nurse let me know that I could get an epidural soon to help the pain but I confessed, “I’m too scared to have a baby now. I’m so devastated by what is happening in our world. People are still lost in the towers and now I’m going to be a mom?”
The nurse firmly said, “You need to only think about what is happening right now in this hospital. You can do nothing about what is happening out there. You are bringing a new life into this world and that is something to celebrate. We are only thinking about this being YOUR day, YOUR moment. Do this for YOUR baby.”
In the very early morning of September 13, 2001 I gave birth to my 6# 13oz Boy Child. He was perfect. My miracle. My blessing. My promise of a beautiful future.
I refused to allow the news to be on in our home after bringing him home. I couldn’t balance new motherhood and terror. I didn’t know how to care for this precious life that seemed so fragile and needy under normal circumstances. I certainly didn’t know how to do it under threats of terrorism and anthrax. So, I watched a lot of MTV. I watched talk shows. But mostly I bonded with, and cherished, the most precious gift I had ever received.
I still grieved for New York. I grieved for America. I grieved for humanity.
But I also celebrated and rejoiced in new life. Blessings. Miracles.
I will always remember 9-11. I will never forget.