Thursday, October 27, 2011

Emily's Birth- According To Grandpa

Every month, my dads side of the family (which is a large amount of people) write emails to update everyone on what's new that month. Last month for our family's big news was obviously the birth of my parents first grand-baby! I loved what my dad wrote about his version of Emily's birth so I got his permission to post it on my blog. Enjoy!! 
BTW, Billie is my mom.
"As Billie already let you all know, our first grandbaby was born on September 25, 2011.  A beautiful little girl born to our beautiful daughter, Shelley, and her fine husband, Michael.  I figured I'd let you hear my view of her birth. (with a few corrections by Billie afterwards).
Shelley, with good reason, was ready to have the baby.  She was already a few days late.  Billie was also ready to be the grandmother.  She decided that she had a mother's/grandmother's responsibility to help out even before the baby was born.  She went to stay a few days with Michael and Shelley because Shelley was overdue and Michael was working nights and had a long commute.  I was even talked into going over to their house on Friday night, September 23.  What could I do to help except to cheer on the real workers?  We spent a nice Saturday together doing odds and ends around the house.
Around 4:00 PM we had another talk about how long Shelley might have to wait.  She was a bit discouraged that the schedule was being delayed. We had decided to go out to dinner together and Billie suggested Shelley go and take a very long shower (It may be her last for awhile) and relax. We encouraged Michael to go do his workout at the gym, Billie went to help out somewhere in the house, and I decided to be productive and pulled out a science fiction to read.  By 5:00 PM Billie told me, with some deliberately held-in-check excitement, that things were starting to happen.  Let the games begin!
Michael was called at the gym to come home.  The women raced around getting ready.  I read a few more pages of my science fiction.  Michael lost a few points by being a little slower than Shelley wanted him to be in coming home.  By 6:00 PM Michael and Shelley were off to the hospital.  Michael made up some points by his speed to the hospital.  We left a few minutes after Michael and Shelley but arrived well after they did.
Needless to say, we didn't get dinner. Better for Shelley, bad for the rest of us.
It has been over 19 years since I had any first hand observation of labor.  I had forgotten how difficult it is for the women.  Who invented that system?  As a husband there is little you can do to assist your wife during labor.  I went to all of the training classes, and did the routine that was in vogue at the time our children were born.  You know, La Maze.  "Breath, Sweetheart!  Hee, hee, hee, bloooow.  Hee, hee, hee, bloooow."  I tried to be supportive of Billie during this time.  "Yes, Dear.  You are doing fine.  I don't know where the doctor currently is.  I am rubbing your back as hard as I can!"  As a father there is almost nothing you can do to help, or appear to help, or pretend to help.  For Shelley, my daughter, mostly I sat in the waiting room.  I dropped by once into the delivery room and said hello.  When I went back a second time I was told to wait in the hallway for a bit.  I waited and waited.  After awhile I could tell that I should come back later.  I wandered around the halls of the hospital to keep myself awake.
Shelley was doing the work.  Although everything was progressing well, it still takes time.  Michael was doing what he could to be supportive.  No La Maze, but he still had his chance to sympathize with his wife and help out in small ways as he could.  Billie was there off and on as the night moved on.  Shelley was a trooper.  She did her job well.
At 1:14 AM, on Sunday morning, September 25, 2011, Emily Joanne was born.  Shelley and baby were doing fine.  
I was able to see Shelley and Emily about an hour later.  Emily was beautiful.  There is something sublime about holding a very newborn baby in your arms.  To see all of the delicate features.  To see and feel the softness.  To feel her move in your arms.  To think of where her spirit had been so recently.  To think of her endless possibilities and the wonderful life that she will have.  I was very happy to just sit there and look at her.
How do I feel as a first-time grandfather?  I feel good.  It isn't a "I won the game" type of feeling good.  It isn't a "This is fantastic Rocky Road ice cream" type of feeling good.  It is more like an "All's well in the world" feeling good.  Satisfied.  Complete.  Content.  Life is good.
Emily is a beautiful baby.  Yes.  I know I'm biased.  That is OK.  I'm also right.  She is beautiful.  Like her mother, she was born with a full head of hair.  She has a beautiful face.  I think Michael is already figuring out how to keep the boys in line that will be paying her attention in a few short years.
I went home after the delivery.  I even got a few hours sleep before I headed to my church meetings.  I was surprised that people at church already knew that Emily had been born.  I believe that Shelley had already let many of her friends know via Facebook.  Those that didn't read about it in Facebook heard about it as it was announced from the pulpit in both Shelley's and Michael's original home wards.  I must have heard, "Congratulations, grandpa!" twenty times that morning.  I just smiled my contented smile.  Thank-you.  You are so kind.
Shelley and Emily stayed in the hospital for a few days while Billie and Michael tag teamed. Michael spent most of his afternoons/evenings/nights/early mornings at the hospital. Billie did the reverse at the house with the dogs. They traded so Michael could get some sleep at home and dog time and Billie got to be a mom and grandma at the hospital.  Before going home Emily developed jaundice, which is where the baby has a yellow tint as her liver hadn't kicked in completely,  She was treated with UV light in the hospital and once home Emily was given a futuristic ultraviolet light blanket to wear. It wrapped around her torso, held with 2 tiny Velcro strips, had a heavy vacuum cleaner type hose that snapped into a little canister with a long plug to the outlet. Very neat device. We could still hold her.  The ultraviolet light helps break down what the liver hadn't yet started to break down.  Emily had that on for a few days.  The doctors had to take a few blood samples from Emily to see how she was progressing.  It was difficult for those involved to see her have to have these samples taken from her foot.
Billie stayed to help for a few more days.  However, with Michael allowed off from work for a month to help with the baby, they decided that Billie could go home.  Frankly, Billie was a little disappointed that she couldn't help more.
The following Friday night, Michael and Shelley did come to our house with Emily.  They even let us babysit while they went out for dinner.  It was our first chance to babysit Emily.  What a blessing!  Unfortunately, Michael and Shelley went fast, ate fast, and hurried home fast to get Emily.  They were only gone for an hour.  Emily was asleep the whole time.  We want a redo.  I'm sure we will get one or two.  We are looking forward to it.
We were asked how we wanted to be called as grandparents.  Should I be "grandfather" which I believe is what I called my grandfather?  Grandpa?  Opa?  Or a multitude of other variations?  I said Grandpa would be fine.
Grandpa has a nice ring to it.  I like it.
Grandpa Ron"


Meagan said...

Oh my gosh! So sweet! I had to grab a tissue!

~Momma to Twin Girls~ said...

That is such a neat letter! :) What a neat thing to print off and save for her later! :)

Nicole J @ Pampers & Pumps said...

What a sweet email! It's nice to thik that someday Emily will read this and know how special she is to grandpa!

Courtney B said...

Aw, this is the sweetest thing ever!! I just got news that my grandad is going down hill so fast and may only live for another week (he's 97 and has lived such a good, full life. But the idea of him being gone still breaks my heart.) so this is especially touching today :)

Annie said...

What a sweet letter!! Save that for Emily for sure!!

Krista said...

that is too sweet. isn't it awesome seeing your dad with your own little girl? heart melts.

Wendy and Neal said...

So cute, Shelley. Emily will love to read that one day. Hopefully she will be close with her "Grandpa Ron". We did the same thing with my parents - tried to figure out what the kids should call them. Funny thing is, after thinking and thinking and thinking and then deciding on names, Mckenzi came up with her own for them! The first person she named was my Dad. She ever so lovingly calls him Papa, although it sounds more like "Boppa". Melts his heart, knowing it came from her. She finally named Grandma (Grandma was the last to get a specialized name). Plain and simply, she calls her "Ma". Uncle Jared is "Pa Jaro" and Auntie Jaime is "Ma Jaro". Very cute what kids come up with!

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

What a sweet letter! What a memory to save. I hope you are all doing great!

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