The exciting undercurrent woven through the holidays this year was this: Charity announced last summer at our reunion that this should be the year that everybody who possibly could, should come home for Christmas. Our kids, many of whom have young families have found it harder and harder to transport their families home along with all their Christmas paraphernalia which we totally understand, but Charity who is still single and living in Palo Alto wanted, understandably, a family to come home to for Christmas!. Although it was impossible for many to come, some did come. Twenty came three days before Christmas and fourteen stayed on through Christmas and beyond as shown in the past few posts. In addition Charity was bringing her boyfriend home to meet us on December 29th which we were so excited about.
This was all delightful except for one small hanger in the works: Our son Eli and his wife Julie gleefully announced at the end of the summer that they were due to have their first child…..on December 26th in Washington DC! Of course we were thrilled because that meant that, because Julie’s parents are serving a mission for our church in Brazil, I was going to have the great privilege of being the caregiver for that all-important first birth.
That was the good news. The bad news was the I might have to miss the Christmas celebration at home with the ones who were able to come. I bought all the Christmas food early and froze what wouldn’t last just in case I had to leave the week before Christmas in the event that the baby came early. Every day we expected a call saying that the baby was on her way at which time I would be on a plane within 24 hours to help. Julie was being cared for by a midwife and they usually only allow a 24-48 hour stay at the hospital after delivery.
Then the plot thickened! The baby was breech and all their attempts to turn her failed. They tried everything from acupuncture to Julie standing on her hands at the bottom of a swimming pool to see if the baby would turn to a huge audience watching two experienced doctors who were known as pros in turning babies around in the womb sweating over the attempted turning for about an hour before they realized that stubborn little girl was NOT about to change her position.
We thought that meant a sure C-section which would mean several days in the hospital after giving birth. BUT after much deep consideration and prayer as well as many talks with several doctors and midwives and after a successful breech delivery of another baby a few weeks earlier by a team of doctors and midwives experienced in breech deliveries, they decided to go ahead and try to a natural delivery…breech with a backup team to do a cesarean immediately if that didn’t work.
Thankfully we made it through the festivities leading up to Christmas, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day without a call although we did call them every day to keep updated. Thanks goodness for skype!
Then the day after Christmas, the due day, we started to worry that the baby would be getting bigger and be overdue which could bring on added complications. Then what? As the situation grew to a crescendo on December29th, Charity’s boyfriend landed at the airport just as Eli and Julie texted that her water had broken and they were on their way to the hospital.
In the end that baby (much more about her coming soon) arrived at exactly the perfect moment! I had 24 hours to get to know Ian, Charity’s boyfriend. We had a lovely dinner and great conversation at The Farms at the Canyons Ski Resort. What a great young man!
The food was pretty terrific too!
That baby was born, little toes first with an incredible team. A doctor, a midwife and a doula kept Julie going but she was absolutely heroic in giving birth with absolutely no anesthesia because she had to move around during the delivery and couldn’t be “wired up” while laboring to let gravity help with the pushing and delivery. I can’t even imagine how she did that especially with about ten interns and professionals watching this extraordinary birth in the darkness of the wings. She is a full-time nurse herself which I think helped her cope with this incredible delivery. The stars had to line up in just the right way, measurements had to be just right for mother and baby and professionals trained in breech births had to be available at just the right time in order to make this happen. This is not something they would recommend in anything but a perfect situation. Still, I’m going to ask Julie to put me at the top of her fan list! That took a lot of faith and fortitude! Incredible!
We haven’t prayed so fervently in a long time! We were pleading for a safe delivery as we good texts and updates from Eli as the labor progressed….to a point. Then nothing for about an hour until we got the great news: She’s here!
She was born at 3 a.m. on Sunday December 30th and I flew out early in the morning on the 31st to help bring the happy little family home 36 hours after Julie gave birth. They were all simply amazing!
That’s about as much excitement as we can do in a couple of weeks, but much more to come as we welcome this new little girl into our family!