Just in case you wanted more Ian stories, and to complement Karen's account....
Thursday, February 21, 2008 was like any other day. I'd been mostly packed for Ian's arrival for two weeks. The day before, I had fully packed before heading to Waco, just in case Karen went into labor. She didn't, but I'd kept everything in my bags, only pulling out my toothbrush and face wash. As I prepared for my marketing class on Thursday morning, I contemplated taking my things with me. But, since that involved two overnight bags, one camera bag, one video camera bag, plus my laptop for class, and since I would basically pass right by my house on the way to Waco in the event of labor, I decided to leave everything at home. Of course.
I made it to UTA at about 9:00, made the trek from the parking lot (where I realized I had the wrong parking tag....maybe they won't notice....) to class, and settled in and started taking notes from the first powerpoint slide. At 9:30, I could see my professor start to gather his thoughts for lecture. Then my phone rang. It was John! "Hi. It's time. We're at the hospital." Just about as deadpan as they come. Like this moment wasn't the beginning of the biggest challenge Karen had ever faced, like this wasn't going to change the rest of their lives. "What? Are you serious? You're kidding me!!" After he reassured me that he and Karen had been in the hospital since 8:00, I gathered all my stuff in my arms--not taking time to put my notebook or pen away--and started down the steps of the lecture hall. I dropped my phone, the battery fell out...sheesh.
With all my things still in my arms, I scrambled for the battery and phone pieces. As I rushed out the door, I explained to my professor, "My sister-in-law is in labor. I have to go!" He yelled a congratulations as I swept out the room. As I headed to the car, I put the phone back together to call John back. Karen answered (she was as calm as he), but handed the phone to John because the nurse was putting in an IV. Oh my gosh! It's really happening! I hung up and called Jon to let him know that I was heading out of town. At that point, I made it to my car...only to realize I'd left my purse in the classroom. Dang!! Forcing myself to calm down a little, I stopped and put my notebook and pen away, then headed back to class for the purse, passing the campus policeman writing tickets. I hoped he wouldn't make it to my car....
But he did. Back in my car 10 minutes and one ticket later, I called Mawmaw, who told me I needed to sit down, get something to drink (preferably not caffeinated) and calm down! I did decide to be responsible and not call anyone while I was driving. I felt the same way I felt after I was in my car accident--jittery and a little surreal. I had no idea I would be such a flake when "go time" came!
The trip to the hospital was uneventful, and a good time to calm down. By the time I got to the hospital, I was excited and ready to cheer Karen on until the baby came. By the time we made it to the 5th floor, the passengers in the elevator knew I was going to be an aunt! I got out, made it to the waiting room, and waited. And waited. And waited.
You know, after all that morning's excitement, it was a little anticlimactic. I didn't even get to see Karen (evidently searing labor pains don't make people very social) except for a brief hello. John was doing his duty well in keeping us out. It wasn't until 3:00 that we got to fill the labor and delivery room. Karen's parents, my parents, me and the nurse....with Karen feeling much better with the epidural, we had a good time visiting. Still...as lovely as that was, I think we were all wishing Ian would come! Karen's fever was a concern, and the time between her water breaking and the delivery was getting longer, meaning more chance of infection and complications.
At 9:00, the nurse decided, even though Karen wasn't quite fully dilated yet, that it was time to push. And push we did! The men left the room (John stayed, of course), and the women all held our breath as Karen pushed...willing the baby to come! It was so exciting, and Karen was a champion pusher. My birthing hero! Despite the different techniques and our efforts at "willing," Ian just wasn't coming.
Enter the doctor! With the skillful use of the forceps, and an epesiotomy that still makes me cringe, Ian came into the world. (I'd like to mention here that I was the only one that cried at this momentous occasion. That obviously means I love him most.)
He was beautiful, with a good hearty cry. And he wasn't nasty and bloody like I'd expected. I've always had a fear that I wouldn't want to hold my baby right at first, because he/she would be nasty, but this was not the case with Ian. After Karen got to hold him, a nurse transferred him to the warming table for cleanup. We all oohed and ahed from a distance until the nurse said we could take pictures. And that we did! Then we set down our cameras and each took our turn holding Ian--so tiny and precious, and so loved. What a blessing to come into a family that has loved you for 9 months, that will drop everything and drive anywhere to see you arrive, and that will pray for you and support you as you grow up.
Ian, that's exactly what you have.
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