Saturday, June 25, 2011

The survivor

I've been having a hard time these past few months with something. My sister was expecting her third child the second week of July. She would be having another little boy, to join my other two nephews. I had been doing OK around other pregnant people, but this one hit a little close to home, and a little close to Everett. I gradually came to grips with the fact that she would be having a little bundle of joy to bring home, while my arms are still empty, and still aching. It's just the way things worked out.

The plan was for my dad to come out and be here with her during labor and to help out with caring for the little guy afterwards. My mom wasn't able to get off of work, so she would be staying home. My sister was scheduled to start the induction process on Monday June 27th. We would all go visit with her and the baby after he arrived. But Mr. Jack, my nephew, had a different plan. I got a phone call Friday (June 24th) the late afternoon, asking if we (hubby and I) could pick up my dad Saturday instead of her and her hubby. I said, sure, but why? Her water broke and she was headed to the hospital. I asked her to let me know if she wanted me there or needed anything.

Later that evening, after she got checked in, I got a text to come on over to the hospital. So I did. She was still in labor, but would like for me to be there when Jack arrived. I was honored, but worried. I felt sort of like a glutton for punishment. Was this stupid for me to go? Did I have any business being there after loosing Everett less than a year ago ? Was this going to bring up my "baggage" and would I fall apart? Or pass out? That certainly wouldn't be beneficial to anyone! I got in my car and made the drive over to where she was. Thankfully, she wasn't delivering at the hospital where I did! When I got there she had been placed on some oxygen and was relatively calm. That made me calm.

Labor went very quickly and it was time for her to push. I helped on one side, while her husband helped on the other. Next thing we knew Jack West was entering this world. I know, kind of sounds like a cool movie star name! I can't believe how calm everyone was. No yelling, no crying, just peace and calm in the room. The doctor had to unwrap Jack's cord from his neck and placed him for a second on my sister's belly. He was purple and he wasn't crying. Then she pulled the rest of his umbilical cord out and there was a knot. It wasn't tight like Everett's, but it was still a knot. I thought in my head, 'are you f-ing kidding me'? I lost it when I saw the knot and briefly broke down crying. The nurses quickly whisked little Jack off to his warming station and worked in a calm, but driven manor to get him breathing on his own. My sister was very concerned, and had a look of terror on her face. A look and feeling I know all too well. I tried to block her view of what was going on and reassure her that he was going to be fine. I had to believe he was going to be fine. I could see his belly moving up and down. I started praying (quietly) to God and to Everett, to let this little boy be fine. I prayed to not let another tragedy happen. Not to this little boy! They had to bag him, and probably worked on him for about 10 minutes, until he finally started breathing on his own. His skin pinked up and the room returned to calm.

After some more checking, apgar testing, temperature taking, and making sure Jacks' well being was stable, my sister was able to finally hold her little boy in her arms. He is perfect. He self soothes, by sucking his thumb or on his fingers. He was starving and ate almost 3/4 of an ounce his first feeding, in about 2 minutes time. I remember it would take Lilli 1.5 hours to eat that amount. She'd always fall asleep! After I was certain all was well, I hugged everyone and said my goodbyes and headed home for my bed. What a night. What a survivor. It's the happy ending I needed to see. Now if I could just experience that for myself, minus anymore drama...


~Steph

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