Alternate title: The Labor of Relinquishment as Parents
She told me days before their arrival to Bolivia to serve a three year term as missionaries, “We are pregnant!” I had a hunch. So these months as her belly grew so did our expectations. Their baby room closet filled with pink things, soft and sweet smelling.
Then just weeks before the birth of their daughter a surprise came to our lives. She would come to be known as Jolee. Once a scrawny scrapping infant fighting to live on a doorstep now a plump and doted upon big sister cuddled every day. A most beautiful family has been born.
As they cared for the one we still waited for the little girl all curled up comfy in her mommy’s tummy. Graciously these brave parents gave me permission to attend the birth.
Finally, the day arrived. Plans set in motion as we all headed to the clinic. My mind flashed back to the birth of my own son in the same place some four years ago. Antiquated though it was these halls held hope. What an honor to introduce my friends to this inexplicable experience of labor and delivery.
The afternoon and evening of Saturday, March 26 was passed with contractions. As the night fell we all wondered if this child would come exactly one month after the birth date daddy had given some days ago to his eldest daughter: February 26, 2011.
They told us it was time to move downstairs. The minutes turned into an hour as this new mama pushed. Old fashioned aid was given as the anesthesiologist climbed on the slender table and planted his knees next to the laboring woman’s shoulders. He placed his hands on the bulge. At the next contracting of muscles they all pushed together.
Daddy and I were made to stand at the open door a few feet away from the action. We spoke out encouraging words, “You can do it. You’re doing great! Keep up the good work!”
The doctor motioned for us to come in, he could see the head. We rushed to the side of our dears. How odd the birth that hurts so much as we push our babies out of us. This pushing begins the lifelong painful push to relinquish our children to the world. Instinct bonds us tighter than superglue. Instinct also tells us teach, prepare and train this being to live a life away from us.
Just minutes before the stroke of midnight beautiful Jalynne Miranda Gore was born to this earth. The doctor made quick work of untying the cord that had wrapped itself tight twice around the little neck of this new girl. Breath filled her lungs and her first cry brought relieved sighs and smiles throughout the room.
The first words of this mommy after releasing her child from her body, “I miss her.” Then she saw her daughter and made the observation before laying her head back to rest after such work, “She has eyebrows!”
Oh yes, the child has eyebrows, and ten tiny toes, and ten large fingers. And she is strong! The pediatrician had to replace the little oxygen mask three times because little miss flailed her arms around and yanked it off with one arm while grabbing other instruments with the other.
As the custom goes she gets a quick rub down with a blanket, diapered and then is bundled up in many layers and handed back to mama. She will get her first bath late in the next day.
We return to the laboring room with the precious girl. She suckles as the parents adore her. A quick visit with a doctor who looks as though he just won the world cup, so happy! Then I slip out and drive home in the twilight hours. I fall asleep so tired yet with the same smile I have had all night, fully aware and overwhelmingly grateful that I was a part of a miracle.
The next day I returned to pick up the threesome and bring them home. Later the sisters would meet. Here are some pictures of this blessed event. I love it!