Lessons from Rebekah!

I'm an aunt again! Well, not by blood, by as my therapist tells me, family is more than just the people you're related to.

I've alternately dreaded and looked forward to the blessed event since August, learning to work through my infertility and abandonment issues with the help of my wonderful therapist, and I'd gotten to the point where I was impatient and excited to see the little one.

Monday morning S & J went in early to the hospital to be induced, since dear little Miss Stubborn hadn't put in an appearance yet. Which was good, better an orderly advance than a panicked one. I started my morning with a dead battery. Thos had to jumpstart my car, and I hied me to the Toyota place. Well, it was time for an oil change anyway. S had said the baby would most likely arrive between 12 and 6, so my plan was to stay at work as long as I could stand it, then go by the hospital.

During the day, my agent called and we discussed marketing my first novel. I assured her I'd email her a marketing summary that night after getting home from the hospital.

Lesson 1: Unborn babies do what they want to do when they are ready to do them.

Hoover Toyota was quick, and by 8:30 I was back at work, $115 poorer, but with a new battery, fresh oil and a car wash. I settled down and got some work done. S called me somewhere around lunchtime to report on the centimeterage, saying it would be a few hours yet. The family was waiting in the labor and delivery waiting room.

As the afternoon went on, though, I was able to concentrate less and less, but made it until 3, when I dashed over to Brookwood Women's Center. I'd brought with me a new crochet project (an afghan for Rebekah in shades of blue) and Jim Butcher's Small Favor, prepared to sit for a couple of hours. I found the correct waiting room and joined S's mom and aunt and J's parents, sister, brother-in-law and nephew.

Lesson 2: Shared purpose can make for comradery and family feeling.

We had quite the jolly time. At first the room was crowded with people awaiting newborns, but as the afternoon wore on, the crowd thinned. I crocheted quite a lot and compared Huntsville experiences with J's mom. Still no Rebekah. S's brother showed up at one point. At last, around 5, S came out and had dinner with us in the hospital caf. He was obviously worn out, but J made him come eat.

I kept up posting at least every 30 minutes on Twitter so people in the outside world would know what was going on.

Lesson 3: Wi-fi in waiting rooms is EXCELLENT.
Lesson 3a: I MUST be connected at all times.

About 7, I think, S reported that they had begun pushing. We watched an episode of How I Met Your Mother and I continued crocheting. As the evening wore on, everyone grew more and more anxious for news. S reported when he could, but during the pushing part, he was needed. His chaotic aunt went in search of answers behind doors marked "Authorized Personnel Only." Still pushing.

Lesson 4: S's aunt and mother are definitely chaotic good.

At like 10:30, S, looking on the verge of tears and beyond exhaustion, reported that they were deciding between forceps and C-section. Then, not 15 minutes later we got the glad tidings:

"7 pounds, 7 ounces, curly red hair."

Much, MUCH rejoicing. I was so happy, but really numb by that time. I made some calls, posted the news. We expected it would take about an hour for anyone to see Rebekah, and I was so tired by that point, I was preparing to leave.

Then S called his mom and said we could all come back and see her.

Oh, she was so beautiful. Tiny, and indeed with red hair. J looked beautiful, S looked tired but so happy. He held his little daughter as if he'd always had her, and they looked so natural. Made me feel so good inside.

But hot. The room was so hot. I started feeling faint and low blood sugar-y. I sat on the floor and snagged S's Coke and fortunately critted my Will save not to throw up. Five times in succession. A miracle, that. I could tell the room got really quiet. I was upset too about having any attention focused on me, but S was calming, as usual. I soon felt better. I think it was a combination of the adrenalin, the late hour, the emotion.

Lesson 5: I do not function well past 10 p.m.

It was an amazing experience. I got home at 1:30 a.m. Had to go in to a meeting 12 hours later, feeling a lot of bleary.

I'm so excited about my new niece. Looking forward to seeing her again. And watching her grow into a fine and (I hope) geeky young woman.

Lesson 6: My therapy has been well worth the money.

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