The New Mother, Full of Wonder

The text came yesterday afternoon.

“I’m in the hospital. Been here since 3pm. I’m definitely having the baby!”

My younger sister, in labor.

I waited at home, trying to be patient. I’d look at the time on my phone and wonder how much further she’d dilated. I’ve had four babies but they were all c-sections. As experienced of a mother I am, I could not relate to my sister being more than 3 cm dilated, getting an epidural, or getting to the point it was time to push. So, while I passed the time with small tasks in my office and did laundry, I tried to imagine her holding the baby in her arms. Would he have a lot of hair? Would they give him the name they’d chosen during the pregnancy or change their minds once they saw him? Would baby and my sister be okay?

At 11 pm my phone beeped and vibrated. I was so excited to finally hear the good news but it was only my brother, my sister’s twin, asking if I’d heard something yet. I think, especially in light of the tragic loss of our niece a few weeks ago, we were all more anxious than we otherwise might have been. I told myself if something were wrong we’d know by now.

And then, 13 minutes later, another text from my sister’s husband. The baby was here! Born via c-section, but well.

After waiting all day, I was able to drive to the hospital in the afternoon to meet my newest nephew. I walked into my sister’s room and her husband greeted me with a hushed voice.

“Let’s let her sleep,” he said. “She hasn’t slept in hours.”

Quietly, I set down my bag and looked down at my nephew’s face. My sister’s son. Maybe it’s because I’m the oldest in my family, but for some reason I have a hard time reconciling the little brothers and sister I knew years ago with the parents they are today. I couldn’t believe this was my sister’s baby.

My sister woke and smiled at me. She was tired but radiant and proud. Told me the story of her son’s birth as her husband handed the baby to me. I snuggled him close and touched his cheek, so soft it felt like stroking silk. He clasped at my finger and I wanted to cry, I was so happy he was finally here.

Miles will be nine this summer. Nine! How can so much time have passed since I became a mother? And yet even though I had three more babies, and even though I see new babies born each month thanks to friends, family and my job, there is still no denying the joy and awe a new life brings. It doesn’t ever become routine.

I took a few snapshots of the baby before I got ready to leave. He’d been quiet for an hour but when I set him down he scrunched up his little old man face and let out the smallest little yelp of a cry. I picked him up and handed him to my sister and I watched her rest her hand on her son’s chest like she’d been doing it for years, and smiled as she gazed at him with wonder.

This post was an exercise in free writing (no editing, just thoughts recorded as they come to me) to participate in Just Write at The Extraordinary Ordinary.

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Comments

  1. Congrats auntie, enjoy your newest nephew.

  2. What great news for your family. Congrats to your sister! I know you will be a great aunt and resource to her as she navigates first time motherhood. She is lucky to have family so close to her.

Trackbacks

  1. […] My sister had her first baby last month. He’s a tiny, blonde bundle of sweetness and I can’t wait to watch him grow up with my children, my brother’s children, my other brothers’ kids who are yet to be, and Zachary’s sister’s kids. […]

  2. […] in Texas. I made new friends and spent more time with old ones. My business doubled in sales. My sister had her first baby with her new husband, and my brother and his wife found out they are expecting a baby girl a year […]

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