Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Jelly


Whoops, it seems like more than a month has gone since this blog had any updates. Laziness? Ennui? Preoccupation with other matters? A combination of all three, or maybe more? Not the first time that it's happened, not likely the last. But this blog is here, a record of close to ten years now, and it's hard to let go.

Today my niece came into this world. For sure that's something worth writing about. There had been some confusion as to when she would actually arrive. The doctor said the second week of November, but it could have been earlier. My sister preferred the last week of October but emphatically not during the first or second of November. The dates whizzed by, and yesterday the family had gotten to wondering when.

And then this morning, I called my sister to tell her that our classes had been called off on account of a storm, but would she still like me to drive my nephew to school? This was at 7:30AM. "We're getting ready to go to the hospital," she said matter-of-factly. I think I was more shocked than she. "We'll be there," I told her.

I woke up my wife. "It's time," I said, attempting an air of mystery and gravity. She opened one eye, looked out the window, and said: "It's raining! And we're going jogging?"

"No! She's delivering the baby today!"

Unlike the first time, with my nephew, my sister was in labor only a few hours. Still, time trickles by when you're waiting. While my brother-in-law accompanied my sister in the delivery room, my mother, my wife, and I sat outside. We exchanged stories, we fed the vending machine, we exchanged some more stories. I dozed, I paced, and I dozed again. From time to time we'd get updates from the nurses: 5cm...7cm...9cm!

And just when it seemed we'd wait well into the afternoon, a nurse burst out of the room. "The baby is out!" I was nearest the door when she announced it, and she would have led me right in if I let her. But no, the privilege couldn't have been mine. I called my mother, who went in with my wife. And I paced around some more.

When I finally got in, I saw her, my niece, pink, smooth, eyes shut tight still, yowling between breaths, but otherwise in good health.

Joy. Much joy.