How a Pudgy Muffin is Born (Skip the Words and Look at the Pictures)

I dread nighttime labor.  I truly do, so every time I wake up in the night with contractions, I use my superpowers to will myself into relaxation and sleep, rather than looking at the clock and losing beauty rest, which I clearly need.  Millie's our only child born in the wee hours, and I've always blamed that on the interfering midwives back when I didn't know enough to advocate for better.  Skylark, alas, revealed that my prided superpower is, in fact, NOT THERE.

A few days before she was born, I had regular contractions 2-3 minutes apart for nine straight hours.  After we tucked the children into bed, John drove me to the hospital, and then we sat in the hospital parking lot until midnight.  I walked around waiting for pain to double me over, but it never did, so we went home, after first stopping to buy John medicine because he was at the beginning of a nasty, 2-week digestive bug.  This man hasn't called in sick to work in years, and he was completely bedridden for the next 3 days and more miserable than I think I've ever seen him .  A few of the children caught it, too, and while I cleaned up after pale girl-ghosts while the house slept, coaxing sips of liquid after 2 days of them not eating, I prayed that contractions wouldn't stick around.

God was gracious.  John's folks had been planning to visit us that Friday, and by the time they arrived, John was just regaining the skill to walk upright without fainting.  I flopped into bed by 10:30, completely wiped out, and then woke up 2 hours later with the immediate, sinking knowledge that I wasn't going to get any more sleep.  Oh, noooooooOOOooooOOoooo!  But then, the knowledge that the baby who was a heckuva a lot more "overdue" than my doctor knew was finally on its way kicked in, too, and that more than made up for the disappointment of learning that I'm not really a superhero.

A few hours later, I woke John up and hurried him along.  The contractions were already at the optimal "hospital parking lot" point, but we hadn't yet left, so I was hoping they wouldn't speed along too quickly.  John told his confused, sleepy parents that we were going on a date, we left (them still sleepy and confused about where he'd be taking me on a date),  and-- zoom!-- arrived at the hospital before 5 a.m.  Skylark made her entrance less than 45 minutes after he dropped me off at the emergency room door, so the timing was pretty much perfection, as far as I was concerned. 

Such relief.  She was safe and beautiful, and God allowed yet another natural delivery to proceed without intervention or fearful complications.  Knowing that I do not control a thing, I don't ever take this gift for granted.

A few of the children and Owen grandparents visited a few hours later, and all were smitten, most especially this baby-loving boy.

 This is the first baby since Mildred that John's parents have been able to hold so soon after birth, and it was wonderful to share her newness with them.  (Good timing on the visit, Dude and Dude-Mom!)

In a stroke of serendipity, Mildred dressed Cadence in a vest that matched the hospital gown impeccably.

 Cadence was mostly confused by this living doll and tubes coming out of her mama and wanted us to stop pestering her about trivial things like kisses and recognition of a baby sister when she had Fancy Hospital Water to drink. Priorities, people!

Aidan came with the next batch of visitors, and he was as smitten as Zeke had been.  These little girls are lucky to have such softies for brothers.  He STILL can't stop kissing her, and the kisses always have to come in rounds of ten.  He's a conveyor belt of kisses.


(No picture of Piper here because she was sick at home, poor thing.)

After all visitors vanished, I was left to my own devices with a Kindle, a plate of Mildred's traditional we-have-a-new-baby coconut candies, a baby, and an entire afternoon stretched out before me. 

John was able to come and say goodnight, and the next morning he arrived to break us out of that joint.  I am so thankful for him-- the best man to walk beside as we raise these little ones and send them skyward.


heidiann(e) said...

These are all THE BEST.

But really, the BEST THE BEST BEST is the last one of John holding Skylark.

Abigail said...

I know. I never photograph the rare John creature because he's skittish of cameras, but I ignore this when he's holding a new baby. Two pictures! The best best best.