At 4:55 a.m. on Thursday, September 15, my son, James, his girlfriend, Jaylyn, her parents (Jay & Lori) and I arrived at Washington Hospital. This was the day that my new grandson, Ryan James would greet us.
Jaylyn was set up in a birthing suite (this was a totally new concept to me since my sons are 35 and 33 years old).
The day began with excitement and anticipation.
By 9:00, contractions were two minutes apart and quite intense. Then, they gave Jaylyn an epidural which eased the pain but also slowed the contractions. We were permitted as many visitors but only three in the room at a time. The four of us took turns, chatting, trying to distract Jaylyn, napping and watching the clock. Jim felt so bad for the pain that Jaylyn was enduring that he crawled into Jaylyn’s bed and was rubbing her head and her back. He felt pretty useless at this point and was trying to do something, anything to make her feel better. Lori told him to forget about it, there wasn’t much he could do.
Throughout the day, Rochelle (staff Member) and Chris (National Physical Education Director) and I kept sending text messages so they could update the staff as to the progress of the day.
Finally, at 3:00, Jaylyn was dilated to a 10 and it was time for the pushing to begin. At this time, I realized that I got to stay and witness the birth!
Lori was on Jaylyn’s left and Jim was on her right. Jim’s nose kept running so initially, I supplied him with tissues. Eventually, I got to wipe Jim’s nose and then wipe the sweat and tears from Jaylyn. But, I was a tad queasy and struggling to be in the room. I looked over at Lori and she was also pasty white. She came over for a drink and commented that she was having hot flashes. I gently told her that neither one of us was having a hot flash, we were both simply nauseous. I sent out a text to my friend, Joe, and he gently reminded me that I could not bail and that I wanted to do this.
Jaylyn was quite the trooper and had to push for only 45 minutes (easy for me to say!). Ryan wasn’t quite ready to leave his comfy environment so it took a bit for the doctor to get him out. By the time, this beautiful little boy emerged; all four of us were in tears. The doctor showed him to Jaylyn, asked who was going to cut the cord. I said Jim; he said, “I can’t.” I then asked Lori; she shook her head so the doctor handed me the scissors and showed me where to cut. They then took Ryan over to be weighed and measured. Ryan weighed an even 8 pounds and was 20 inches long. Lori stayed with Jaylyn and I went over with Jim. I was in awe as I watched the nurse clean Ryan and wrap him in a blanket. The nurse then handed him over to his anxiously awaiting dad to hold for the first time. Jim took him over to show him to Jaylyn again. I was dying and asked if I could hold Ryan and of course, Jaylyn said yes. I got to hold this new bundle of joy when he was only minutes old!
Giving birth and witnessing a birth are two totally different experiences and I have to say that I am a very fortunate Mom-in-law in that Jaylyn was happy to have me in the delivery room with them. After a couple days in the hospital, Ryan came home.
Jim, Jaylyn, and Ryan live with me and I have to tell you that I am so enjoying having this new baby in my home to enjoy. It is wonderful to come home and spend time with this new little guy!