The week Grant and I returned from New Zealand, I met my best friend for coffee at her new house. She made a pot, poured me a cup, then poured herself an ice-cold glass of…water. Before I could say anything she started explaining, “Ok ok. The reason I am not drinking coffee is because I’m pregnant. I wanted to wait a while longer before telling you, but I knew you would be suspicious that I wasn’t drinking coffee”. Ok. I just assumed she was all “coffee’d out” for the day, but was happy enough to hear the news. Congratulations!
EIGHT MONTHS LATER, THEREABOUTS
Let’s just say the little one was quite comfortable and in no hurry to meet this cold world. Despite waiting as long as they could, an induction was finally ordered, and the new due date set. After celebrating my dad’s birthday early on Wed, my parents drove me up to their house 15 hours into A’s labor, and I waited for news. The next morning, with no news, I carpooled into the hospital with my mom, who is a doctor there, so I could have her car for the day. At 0830 my mom walked me over to the birthing center, buzzed me in with her badge (I know. That’s cheating), and as we were looking for a nurse to ask about the labor, out walked the beaming Dad, proud grandparents and uncle pushing a cart. They whispered “look at the new baby”. I looked down and the little one took my breath away. The tears caught in my throat as I slowly began to comprehend who I was looking at. They invited me into the post delivery room to await Mommy. An hour or so later, after recovering a bit from the emergency C-section, in wheeled Mom, who just erupted into tears at the sight of her child. That brought Dad to tears, and everybody else in the room as well. They took the baby out of his pajamas, and laid him on her breast where he immediately went to work. It was the most intense, beautiful moment I have ever witnessed, and it will be with me for the rest of my life.
A few hours after the delivery, I left them with the promise of coming back later when they had time to rest and settle in. My dad called, who’s actual birthday was also that day, to say my uncle Jimmycakes had flown in with his four-year-old granddaughter to the local airstrip. We met for lunch, and Dad mentioned that I should go for a plane ride with my uncle. My first reaction was “Hell yeah, that would be awesome!” So after finishing my celebration beer, it was off to the airstrip to hop in a tiny Cessna with a person who’s skills were perhaps dubious, but hell. My cousin lets her child fly with him, so he must be a good ‘nuf pilot. So off we went. I was really excited as it was bringing back old skydiving memories. Plus, I had never seen my hometown from a low flying plane. Talk about a totally different perspective. I thought that this was the perfect way to celebrate life, and I got some pretty cool pictures too.
Anacortes, Rosario Strait, San Juan Islands
Swinomish Channel, North end looking south
LaConner, WA my home town. Rainbow bridge, south end of Swinomish Channel. Left side is the mainland, right side is Fidalgo Island.
Deception Pass Bridge
The landing was pretty good, though my uncle said that the alarm just before we touched down was an indication we were going a touch too slow. This caused the landing to be a little harder than usual, not that I noticed. I don’t usually ride down with the plane anyway. Without further ado, they put the child car seat back up front, strapped my cousin’s daughter in, and flew off into the sunset.
Back at the hospital, my friend looked a lot better. The baby was still guzzling from his nature-provided “juice box”. When he was done, they let me hold him for about an hour. He just slept, all swaddled up like a mummy in my arms. What felt like a small little bundle at first, soon grew heavy, and I was utterly amazed all 9lbs 9.8oz, and 22inches had been residing inside my best friend 9 hours earlier. Boy is she tough! Toughest lady I’ve ever met. (Her husband didn’t pass out, so he’s pretty tough too…for a guy.)
I would consider January 28, 2010 one of the best days of my life, so I can only imagine how my best friend feels. Never having been a baby person, I was totally unprepared for the waves of emotion that came over me that day. I feel privileged to have been there, and thank A and J for letting me into their lives that day.
Here’s to living the good life!
p.s. Happy Birthday Dad!