Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Waiting for you, babe


We never thought she’d get here.

This wasn’t labor for 8 hours, like when I was there for my friend Kristin.

This was 24 hours of labor.

Actually 24 hours in the hospital, in a bed, hooked up to monitors, waiting around.

I was there with her husband, Daniel, the whole time, waiting.

Waiting for my first niece.

The niece from my identical twin sister, Joy.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


For nine months, I wondered if she’d look like me.

For a month straight, I waited with my phone NOT on silent, waiting for the call that Joy was in labor.

We waited as her due date crept up.

Once we were at the hospital, we were all ready.

And then she made us wait an entire extra day.

It was really fitting, I suppose, all this waiting because there hasn’t been a baby in our close-knit family for 35 years, since when Joy and I were born.

No one had ever changed a diaper.

This baby was significant.

Especially to me, because it’s my first time being an aunt.

(Well, OK, I suppose it was significant to Daniel, too.)

But she was also significant to Daniel’s family, because it was the only girl in that family for years.

A tribe of boys all on that side.

We waited.

We waited for our whole lives to be different.

From midnight to 5 a.m., things were slow and uneventful. 

Then after on-and-off naps from 6-9 a.m., it remained...slow and uneventful.

At 10 a.m., we got news that she was halfway to the point of delivery.

We put out the word to friends and family.

And then we all waited.

“I feel like she’s never going to get here,” Joy said at 1:22 p.m.

We talked and chatted. We told jokes and watched bad television. We perked up whenever the nurse came in, hoping she’d magically birth the baby.

Everything was ready and in place at 7:30 p.m.

But still, she didn’t want to come out.

COME ON, BABY! I wanted to scream. DON’T YOU KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE WAITING FOR YOU, WAITING TO LOVE YOU??

The candles that were distributed to close girlfriends to light during Joy’s labor had long gone out. (Haha...HIPPIES.)

It was now 20 hours in labor.

At 8 p.m., the nurse said we were done waiting for the baby and told Joy that she had to push this baby out on her own, with no help from the baby who was apparently allergic to the birth canal.

Joy had to make it happen.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever spent 20 hours in labor, but imagine competing in a Strongman competition that you didn’t at all train for.

And then once you’re done, they tell you there’s a last-minute event. Now it’s time to climb a mountain.

“I would quit!” I announced, mainly to make Joy laugh.

“Wait, do people quit?” I asked the nurse.

She replied, “I’ve seen…lots of things.”

Ha

But Joy wasn’t quitting.

No hesitation, she took every single ounce of her energy both mentally and physically to get the baby that we had all been waiting for into the world.

It was more pride than I’ve ever had for Joy that instead of breaking down and giving up about this situation, or deciding to quit pushing, or even being bratty (which happens when someone doesn’t eat or sleep for 20 hours) 

She didn’t give up once. 

Not even for a second.

I didn’t know that I was waiting to see Joy be so strong and so brave.

AND SHE PUSHED (think sit-ups with a 20-pound dumbbell on your stomach that is also thoughtfully pushing into a nerve in your back) for three entire hours.

THREE HOURS.

...coming off of 20 hours.

With each push we tried to make her laugh, tried to calm her breathing in between.

Daniel and I tried to muster even a fraction of the energy Joy was displaying.

And then, in a very dramatic fashion, she was born in the last hour of May 10, 2018.

And we all cried.

SHE HAD DARK HAIR!

(That’s not why we were crying.)

Elise Rose Farrae was the tiniest and cutest thing I had ever seen and I instantly fell in love with her.

“WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU!” we cried. “ALREADY MAKING AN ENTRANCE, THIS ONE!”





The announcement went out to everyone waiting across multiple time zones.

Joy made the assessment that the labor was long and arduous because she had an easy pregnancy.

NO, JOY, IT’S BECAUSE WE WERE ALL WAITING FOR HER AND SHE KNEW IT.

Also, maybe because she’s a Taurus, who are known for their stubbornness. (Aunt Jenny has jokes!)

“Thanks for keeping us on our toes, precious one,” one friend wrote back.

The birth was beautiful and long and stressful, because when you wait for something so long, you want her to be born as soon as possible.

And now that she’s been in the world for exactly two weeks, I’m learning that waiting for her to be born was just the beginning.

I didn’t know that I was waiting to stare at her every second I was around her. 

I didn’t know I was waiting for this odd, unusual feeling like warm water being poured into my heart every time I see her.

I didn’t know I was waiting to see Daniel be the most doting dad in the world, connecting with his dark-haired mini-me daughter so immediately and profoundly.




This is just the beginning!

Now there’s another little person to carry on our family lineage, the first baby in 35 years.

A baby I’ve waited my entire life to meet.

And, I can't wait to see what life has in store for us, Elise.

-Jenny










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