Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Double birthday

He turns three today

His favorite trucks: fire trucks and trucks that dig

He rarely sits still for a picture

Only one year old here. Three years ago, his grandpa got the best birthday present anyone could receive...a healthy, happy grandson.
Three years and a day ago, very early in the morning I received a phone call from Shanna saying that though she had more than 2 weeks to go before her due date, she thought she might be in labor. I told her I would be on my way within an hour. The car was already loaded with baby equipment from her sister-in-law, the GPS loaded with her address and that of the hospital, I just needed some money, some gas,  and to throw my things in a bag. That winter was very snowy but that day was sunny and the roads were clear. It was around zero outside.

According to my GPS, her apartment was 755 miles away. Could I make it in time? I really wanted to see my first grandchild be born. I hadn't slept much the night before; I finally had gone to sleep when the phone rang. I kept awake fueled by coffee and the fact I would soon see a grandchild. What would have been nice to have was an EZ pass (which I now have) as the many stops for tolls took time and I had little use of my left arm due to a fracture. I could not extend my arm and needed to cross my right arm over my body to deal with the tolls. I was also thwarted by NY, which is a very long state, whose law prohibited autofueling. I planned to multitask while getting gas but instead I needed to hold the cold metal down (zero degrees!) with no gloves.
I called every once in a while to see how the labor was progressing. Fortunately, very slowly. At one point, Shanna fell asleep, which in general means no labor. I had grabbed some Italian tapes in anticipation of my trip to Italy. These tapes had you sing key phrases. Some people can memorize songs easier than memorizing dialogs. I was hoping that this would work for me; it at least kept me awake. It was dark by the time I was driving through the snowy Berkshires. I made the trip in a record 12 hours. Fortunately I had easy border crossings, which sometimes can chew up more than an hour.I had gone through Detroit at rush hour and the sun glare had caused some accidents which delayed me somewhat. I was lucky not to have to deal with snow though high winds caused the existing snow to cover the road near Niagara Falls.

Shanna was still debating whether she was in labor when I arrived. She hadn't packed yet. Her apartment faced downtown Boston and there was a fireworks display that night which was fun to watch. It was also a Mom's dinner that night, which I had called to tell them that I was otherwise occupied. The moms all called to see how the labor was going. Around midnight, Shanna finally decided that she was in labor. She was 4 cm when we finally figured out how to get to the hospital in Cambridge (lots of no left turn signs..I thought we could ignore them with the excuse that Shanna was in labor but..). Shanna was progressing well with no pain meds. She was finally ready to push around 5 in the morning. The midwife decided to check her at the last minute and looked alarmed...she couldn't feel the top of the head! An ultrasound confirmed Oliver was breech. So I ended up missing the birth but I could hear his first cry and saw him being transferred from Shanna to a table minutes after his birth. Ramy brought him out to me when he was 10 minutes old. He clearly was a healthy little guy. I called Steve to wish him Happy Birthday and to tell him about his birthday grandson.

1 comment:

Holly said...

beautiful story - thank you for sharing it...hope i have a grand baby some day too...and, thanks for the big hug yesterday and the info on metformin...yes...i'm taking it...everything seems to be going in the right direction A1C is 6.4, BP normal, Triglycerides - normal...down 15 lbs in past 6 weeks...


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