Recently I became a grandmother again. Number 15! Fifteen grandchildren and I still have 2 unmarried daughters.
I was privileged to be present at the birth of Elliot James. He is number five (fourth boy!) for my daughter Alice and her husband Brian. I had been invited to the other four births as well. Now that’s something! I’m not sure I would have been comfortable with my mother being present for my births although she would have loved it. And of course back in my day it was unheard of to “invite” people to a birth, especially in a hospital. Husbands were welcomed of course but the line was pretty much drawn there.
I never tire of the miracle of birth. God’s incredible design. Two single cells unite and the DNA is set in motion. From those two cells a unique person becomes … one unlike any other human being anywhere or at anytime in the whole history of man. Looking at this tiny little boy I marveled again at how he came to be in the miracle of life. And I wonder what plans God has for him. What will his life look like? What will be become? Who will he be?
Elliot arrived in the normal way babies arrive beginning with everyone’s sleep being interrupted. The call came minutes before 2:00 AM. When the phone rang I groaned inwardly. I should have gone to bed earlier like I said I was going to do, like my husband urged me to do. And which I did not do.
My husband had grand-kid duty. He would be holding down the fort, keeping the home fires burning, making sure everyone would be fed and cared for, while the rest of us were involved in birthing. Along with Alice’s doula, Daddy Brian was indispensable. Younger sister Molly, was the main photographer. She was there to record these precious moments and has done so for several other families as well. Not many 22 year olds have seen as many births up close and personal as she has. And youngest sister Anna was there to witness the miracle of birth, to be part of an experience she won’t long forget.
But of course it was Alice who did the actual birthing.
Labor went well. Before 7:00 AM Alice was holding Elliot in her arms. Such a tender moment.
All it took was about one half of a push and he was with us! Quite the contrast to her first birth in which the pushing lasted close to two hours. The midwife remarked that her job was made easy! He is a little pipsqueak of a boy weighing in at 6 pounds 13.5 ounces and just 18.5 inches long. And, much to Alice’s delight, he seems to favor her side of the family, unlike the other four who are essentially clones of their daddy.
The hospital staff was amazing! Such family centeredness, such encouragement from every single one of them. But then, OB nurses are unique, witnessing these miracles on a daily basis. Once upon a time, in a past life, I was privileged to be one too.
Later in the afternoon the big brothers and big sister were formally introduced to their younger brother. To say they were enthralled is an understatement. I’d say it’s pretty fair to say they’ve fallen in love with him.
That is all except 2 year old Peter. He hadn’t had a nap that day and wasn’t sure he was on board with the new addition.
He may need a little time to adjust to his new status of Big Brother.
And now I need to get busy crocheting a blanket for Elliot. I have the yarn all purchased and the pattern in mind. I just want to wait until it cools down a bit to begin. Fortunately he won’t be needing a blanket for awhile yet so I have time.