Early in the morning, about eight, I got the call. Our daughter was in labor and headed to the hospital. I told my son-in-law I would be there, as soon as I could get a ride. My daughter lived half a continent away, and I had flown in several days earlier. I had stayed with my sister while waiting for our fourth grandchild to arrive, and I had no car. I was dependent on others to get where I needed to go.
At this moment I needed to be at the hospital, to be close when the little one made her first appearance. That's what mothers do. My baby was going to have a baby. I knew she was in good hands. I trusted the Lord and the medical team. Did my daughter need me? No. Being a private person, she had expressly said only her husband was to be in the birthing room with her.
My sister had the day off from teaching. We went to the hospital. As sisters and grandmothers, we agreed it was important. We wanted to be close to her while she labored. We looked forward to some quality sister time while we waited. We took up residence in the waiting room. The staff let my daughter know we were there, and asked if we could come back. I hoped she would have changed her mind, but it was not to be. So we sat. Both of us armed with a current reading project. She had papers to grade. The morning passed, and the waiting room emptied. We checked with the nurse on her progress. It was going to be a while still, so we went to lunch.
We returned to our corner in the waiting room, and got comfortable. The afternoon passed while we talked about faith, family, fun times, and fears. It was the sweet sister fellowship I desired, and missed because of the miles that separated us.
Evening came. The light faded. Another trip to the service desk to see if we had a baby yet. No. Not even close. Go home and get some rest.
We opted instead for supper, again in the hospital dining room, staying close. After supper, we came back to the same corner, but the spirit was different. My sister became fidgety and impatient. She had to work tomorrow, and it was close to bedtime. I pleaded for her to wait a little longer. Hopefully the baby will make an appearance soon. It had been more than 12 hours.
Nine came and went, and we sat.
Ten o'clock. Sis grew sleepy, and grumpy. She napped. She needed to be home, an hour's drive away. Logic said to leave, to come back next day; but my heart was there with my daughter. I was close enough to be by her side as soon as they allowed. Another hour passed, and Sis became quiet. If not for me, she could have been in bed by now. Would she feel the same if this were her grandchild? I don't know, but I was determined to stay until they sent us away.
Another half hour. Text message: we have a girl. Photo attached. Good! The baby is here, and we'll go see her, then head home.
Not yet. They needed to settle in a bit before the little one started receiving visitors.
Nearly midnight. My sister, my driver, became angry. She said my daughter was selfish for not letting us in for a few minutes. She went to the car to wait. I would have spent the night in the waiting room, if the staff approved. My sister could go home, and someone else could pick me up the next day. I was staying.
Finally, 12:30 in the morning, after promising to be brief, I was allowed in to see the little family. I had only enough time to hug and encourage. Most importantly, I had to hold that baby. Mommy hesitated to release her, even for a minute. She finally realized I wasn't leaving until I held the child, and handed her over.
I held that precious, swaddled bundle for a few seconds, and my son-in-law took our picture. My granddaughter was looking up into my face (it's true!). She appeared peaceful, content in Grandma's arms. I handed her back, retrieved my camera, and bid them good night. Rest well. See you soon.
Finally, this day was over, and it was perfect, complete.
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