My blog post today is going to run a lot closer to the mommy side of me than the author side. I completely forgot about my December blog post because quite honestly, I was very caught up in trying to be a supportive mother and grandma: both of my married daughters were due to have a new baby within 10 days of each other during the 2014 holiday season.
|Levi--a cornucopia of sweetness|
|Ammon: A stocking full of joy|
Originally, the babies were due December 5th and 15th. My older daughter had been having issues most of her pregnancy and had extremely uncomfortable contractions for weeks—we spent several hours on 3 occasions thinking the baby may come way too early and then thankfully, just a little early. It was a worrisome time. As you all know, every day a baby has in utero to grow is a good thing—no matter how uncomfortable the mom is.
During that time, I gained a greater appreciation and remembrance for the sacrifices moms make: my daughter was very uncomfortable, more so than I had been during my eight full-term pregnancies.
Being near Thanksgiving, I counted the extra days that my first grandson could stay in utero among the greatest blessings I knew at the time. After dinner on Thanksgiving Day, my daughter did the last of her Christmas shopping. Her water broke as she carried the gifts from the car to the house. At my home, I had just put away the last of the Christmas gifts and was sitting down with a cup of cocoa when I got the call: “It’s baby time! Meet us at the hospital!”
What a fun way to end a Thanksgiving Day. J My fourteen year-old daughter and I drove to the hospital to help (I as a labor coach, my younger daughter as a cheerleader.) We arrived around 11 pm. My other pregnant daughter and her husband showed up to visit and encourage my laboring daughter around midnight. I marveled at how things changed from when I delivered my first child almost 27 years ago when you could only have one person in the laboring room, to now, when anybody the mother wanted could be there.
During the actual delivery, the room was cleared to just the parents, the medical staff, and myself—as the labor coach and “mamarazzi.” I took a hundred pictures after little Samuel Levi arrived: being weighed, bathed, checked out, bundled, cuddled by everyone, his first bath, the first family photos. What a marvelous occasion, the arrival of a baby. Life has a way of fading away the crazy moments and focusing in on what is really important when you hold a newborn in your arms.
|My birthday twins and me|
Fast forward a week later to Levi’s actual due date, Friday, December 5—which also happens to be my youngest son’s and my birthday—my other pregnant daughter is feeling “weird.” She was due Dec 15th, but would deliver no later than Dec 8th. My son-in-law, daughter, and I decide to do a little 4-wheeling to a site on some back roads where my son-in-law likes to shoot soda pop cans for target practice. I held out a small hope that her baby would come on my birthday, but it was okay that he didn't.
Fast forward to Monday morning—induction day! As soon as I dropped my youngest five kids off to school, I hurried to the hospital to see how my daughter’s labor was progressing. All in all, well. Water broken, Pitocin introduced, discomfort rising. Then relief in the form of a professionally administered epidural. This daughter had witnessed the birth of her youngest brother and had marveled over the years: “Mom, you made childbirth look so easy.” On the day of her first delivery, she made a comment about feeling a little deceived. The world was righted when her epidural kicked in. J
In a few hours my second grandson, Ammon Ryder was welcomed by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins from both sides of his large extended family. His arrival made me marvel at how people who used to not know one another, could come together to share the great blessing of welcoming a new member—further uniting strangers who have become friends... and family.
|Ammon on Christmas Eve|
Because I am writing this post at the beginning of a new year and featuring two sweet little boys who have a lifetime of wonder and possibilities ahead of them, I am reflecting on new beginnings.
Each of us has been gifted a new year with 365 empty pages to fill with meaning and purpose for our loved ones and ourselves. Go forth and make the most of them!
|Ammon as "Sully", Levi as "Mike"|
Make choices that bring joy to those you love. Embrace your dreams and GO for them! Time will pass whether you actively pursue your dreams or whether you do nothing and just let life pass you by.
Be the wind blowing the leaves of your book of life toward a grand adventure, a new romance, a new friend, or new skill, rather than the leaf buffeted about without your permission or input.
Laugh lots, love much, write on!