Yesterday afternoon at about 4:40, Caitlin called to say that she was on her way to the hospital; she thought she might be in labor. The rest of us had gone out to eat lunch and explore the town some more, so we went back to our hotel and waited. After impatiently waiting for an hour, Robby sent Kevin a text message and he said it was the "Real Thing"! With excitement in the air, we set off for the hospital.
I arrived to find that Caitlin's water had broken when she got there and she was in active labor. As that labor progressed I did what any other mother would do...I put aside any feelings of my own and got to work. With Kevin on one side and me on the other (And Robby observing from the couch across the room...), so began the process of having a baby.
With each contraction that Caitlin suffered through, I held a cold compress to her forehead and we both encouraged her to breathe. I told her it was like riding a wave; she kept her eyes closed as she rode those waves until the anesthesiologist came to administer her epidural. I had continued to tell her that if she could just make it until he got there, things would be better; it didn't quite happen that way. One side of the epidural didn't take and the pain continued. How long could she suffer through those pains and how long could I continue to watch it? The doctor was called back and readjusted the epidural and finally she found relief.
Labor progressed quickly and around 1 a.m., the nurse told us it was about time to push. I thought, "YAY...It won't be long now!" I couldn't have been more wrong. For the next 3 hours, my baby girl pushed. And with each push, I held her head in my hands while I also held my breath and found myself pushing in a united effort to get that baby out into this world. As she rested between contractions, I began to worry. Worry that something would go wrong with the delivery. Worry that they would have to do a C-section after all this. Worry that the baby would go into distress. I wondered why I was even in the room because I was older now and knew all of the dangers involved in childbirth. Caitlin's face was red as I continued to bathe it with a cool cloth and she rested while regaining her strength to push some more. Kevin looked at me once and asked, "Does this bring back memories?" Caitlin asked, "Is this too hard for you?" I replied honestly, that I had never pushed this long; apparently I had a very easy deliveries. Was it too hard for me? I couldn't answer that question right then; I had a job to do, I could "Think about that later" (Out burst my "Scarlett Attitude"...)!
Although I had given birth four times, I had never actually "seen" a baby being born and I wasn't sure if I wanted to actually "watch" it happen. Into the second hour of pushing, I decided I could handle it. Caitlin's doctor was not on call for the delivery and the doctor that was on call had been called to perform a C-Section; there was a mid-wife on duty...and of course, Kevin. I instantly liked the mid-wife and she was on a mission to help Caitlin get little Holli out into this world; that is when I decided I wanted to "watch" the birth of my grand daughter. It was the most wonderful miracle to see...the miracle of a new life being brought into this world. Was it "too hard to watch"? It was difficult to watch my daughter go through the pains of labor and birth, yes. However, it was so worth every minute of being in there. It was yet another bonding experience between mother and child, this time across generations.
Holli Reese Jarrell was born at 4:15 this morning, delivered by her dad and a mid-wife. The minute she entered this world, she was screaming. And oh, how I loved hearing that sound! I ran over and took a few pictures and then was back at the side of my daughter, holding her hand again. What an awesome invitation for a grand mother. An invitation to allow me to watch my daughter give birth. I am so thankful for the invitation because it is memory that I will cherish forever. Now...Meet my second grand daughter...