While this post is long overdue due to various reasons, the memory of this special day will forever be carried with me.
On 27th April I received a call from my dear sister in law to tell me that she thought her waters had broken. There was great anticipation as she headed for the hospital and the family were all alerted to the fact her baby would be born very soon. For me, it was most exciting as she had requested that I be there as a birth companion for her.
Once it was established that she would stay in the hospital, I made my way there to be with the expectant parents. It all seemed so surreal that the day had finally come and we were going to meet this long awaited precious little person. Time marched on and there was not much progression of labour. I left the hospital to have lunch with friends and as it turned out, the little baby was perfectly happy just where he was, so it was decided that my sister in law should sleep for the night and would be induced in the morning. As you can imagine, there were plenty of calls and updates to be given to the other excited family members and aunts and granny. (My poor brother had four "mothers" when he was growing up!)
On the morning of the 28th, we knew we would be meeting the little person for sure. I made my way to the hospital, bright and early, expecting that by lunch time the baby would be born. My dear sister in law was coping well with the induction and she was allowed to walk around the unit. My brother was full of questions as he awaited the imminent birth of their first child. Having qualified as a midwife and having had three children of my own, I was able to reassure and encourage them and we had a good time enjoying the excitement of it all together.
As the labour was still slow in progressing, the drip was turned up and it was a long hard afternoon of intense labour. My heart reached out to her to see her going through such intense labour. It was finally decided that a cesarean section would be necessary. This little baby was not budging! My sister in law could then just wait quietly until the operating theatre was ready and thankfully the drip was stopped and the intense labour subsided.
At that point it seemed I may not be able to accompany them into the the operating theatre and I was going to wait outside until they returned from theatre. Her Doctor came in and my brother asked if I could go with them to theatre........I held my breath as he made a call to the theatre.....he came back to us with the good news......YES I could go with them!
There was great excitement as I donned the green theatre garb and went in with them. Everything happened so fast from there. In the theatre were doctors, nurses, the same paediatrician that was there for the birth of my own three precious children and me! It was such am amazing privilege for me. I still remember the day my parents told us that my mum was pregnant with my little brother....I can picture the scene as we sat at the kitchen table eating our pudding. I was so excited and I remember spilling tears of happiness into my bowl as I was so pleased with their news. On the day my baby brother returned from the hospital with my mum, I sat staring in wonder at this sleeping infant all afternoon and now I was about to witness the birth of his first child.
As the doctor made the incision, we saw this tiny little nose and chin peeping out...the baby was lying face up and that was the reason the labour had not progressed. In a flash he was out and onto the the baby trolley. There were some pretty scary moments then as the paediatrician massaged his little chest to coax him into letting out a cry. His apgar score was fairly low due to medication given to his mum. I held my breath and watched in silence as he worked efficiently and quickly with the nurses help to get rid of the effects of the medication on the baby. Thankfully the perfectly formed, beautiful, little baby boy recovered fast. All was well and the baby was taken over to his mum.
I was able to capture precious moments such as these.
The new mum and baby.
When my brother handed their precious little newborn to me in the theatre, I was overwhelmed with emotion. The tears flowed as I held him for the first time. It was an honour to be made a part of their baby's birth experience.
All the while, my dad had been waiting outside the theatre and was there to greet the proud parents and see his new grandchild. Phone calls were made and everyone was thrilled to hear the news of his safe arrival. Hubby needed to come and fetch me at the hospital and so I suggested he bring my daughter so she could meet her newest little cousin.
K holds her newborn baby cousin.
The days that followed were wonderful. As I returned from visiting the hospital on the following day, there was a strange car outside my house and I wondered who "that woman" was outside my house...it turned out to be none other than my sister from the Free State! I stared in disbelief! I had been speaking to her children on Skype that morning and had wondered why she had not come to say good morning to me. Her children are champion secret keepers!
I welcomed her into my home for a week and it was wonderful to have her here.
We spent time with the new parents and had fun showing them how to bath the little baby and taking numerous photos of him to send to family members that are far away. She knitted furiously on a baby blanket until the wee hours of the morning and on her last day here, she was able to give him his special blanket. It was with heavy hearts that we said goodbye to one another.
19 days old and draped over aunty's arm to soothe a grumbly tummy..
Well, that was three weeks ago that this sweet little baby came into the world. I have the privilege of living nearby and so I get to see how they are all doing regularly. Early this week the poor mum had a night with little rest and the little man was not his usual content self. We enjoyed having them both here for the day so mum could get some much needed sleep while we babysat.
He has crept into our hearts!