I'm so happy! I was awakened this morning at about twelve thirty in the morning by my mom; she said that my cousin Amanda was in labor at the hospital and that a birth was imminent, did I want to go see her? We had gotten several calls from Grandma earlier in the evening saying that Amanda's water broke, she was going in to the hospital, etc. Yes, of course I wanted to go! Amanda and I grew up together, I caught the bouquet at her wedding, I had to be there for her first child's birth. What was there to lose, a couple hours of sleep?
I threw on some clothing I had laid out last night and hurriedly scrambled to get everything together. A few lights in the house were on and there was the familiar excited tension in the air that comes of a night's joyful alarm. We got together some snacks in case we should get hungry, then Grandma picked us up in her car and we went to her house to get steaming travel mugs of reviving caffeine.
The drive in was peppered with the sort of stories that one always hears around the time of a birth. How hospitals have changed since my grandmother had her first child! Back then fathers weren't allowed to go into the delivery room (much less other visitors), children under twelve years old couldn't even see their hospitalized mothers, and they put you to sleep to give birth. Nowadays you can cram just about as many people as you want into a delivery room and no one cares! I heard stories of births among family and friends, the complications, the dangers, the funny stories.... It was so much fun driving through the deserted streets, headed for my first live birth!
We got to the hospital after half an hour, and then found the front door locked! We finally figured out that we had to go into the emergency entrance. When we walked in we saw several workers behind a desk. The woman took one look at our thrilled, expectant faces and said, "You've got a baby on the way?" Yes indeed! We hurried through the maze of corridors (literally running, lest we be too late) and eventually found the maternity waiting room where my uncle sat all alone. The rest of the small family group was watching the birth. So we sat there in that comfortable, attractive room, talking intermittently and watching the ARTS channel on the television. Every now and then someone would come down the hall and give us an update.
At 2:30 the word finally came: Ava Roxian, seven pounds, eleven ounces, full head of dark hair, beautiful. We gave the parents a few minutes of one-on-one time with the baby, then surged down the dim hallway to the delivery room in a determined group of family solidarity. The darling was cuddled up with her mama, giving out weak cries and eating her fingers. All six of us huddled around the bed, watching every movement of the little red face, questioning Amanda, hearing all about the past five hours, rejoicing, praising God in our hearts for this miraculous little being, safely delivered into the world.
After a while we left a couple of exhausted parents with their precious treasure, the three of us driving back home through the darkened countryside. Swapping stories, laughing, talking over recent happenings, we arrived home safe, sound, and tired. I kissed Mom good-night and slipped into pajamas, crawling into my nice warm bed. Looking out the window I could see the moon hanging just above the western woods, looking like a large white easter egg tipped on its side. A new soul had entered this world. This hard, cold, dangerous world of pain and sorrow. But at the same time a beautiful world. A world of color, music, and God's gracious hand at work. What a blessing to have been there, to have seen the immediate aftermath of one of the greatest miracles known to man.
Tata for Now,
P.S. If you're a little hazy on
genealogical relationships, take
a look at this: http://www.genealogy.com/16_cousn.html