It was a life-affirming day.
On Monday I went to lunch with my neighbor Kim and her adorable daughter Abby (yes, this Abby) and noticed how low Kim was carrying her pregnancy. I had a feeling things would happen soon, but I had no idea how intricately I’d be involved in the whole adventure.
On Tuesday afternoon, I got a call from Kim who had taken Abby to a routine OB appointment. At that appointment, the doctor decided that the baby’s heart rate was dangerously low and had suggested an immediate C-section. But what to do with Abby? Kim’s voice was shaky as she asked me to come to the hospital immediately to get Abby, who she had to leave in the care of nurses.
No matter how loving and kind the nurses were (and they were), this is a terrifying experience for a 2-year old. When I arrived, she was crying her poor, sweet eyes out in the arms of a nurse, surrounded by three other nurses who were doing their best to console her.
I couldn’t console her either. Until, that is, I asked her if she wanted to “go see Shasta and Quinn.”
Abby stopped crying for just a quick second, looked at me again as if she was just realizing who I was, and then reached out to me to hold her.
(Insert melting heart here.)
My intent was to take Abby home, feed her dinner, play with her a bit, and put her to bed in her own room. But I had no car seat so we had no choice but to stay at the hospital until I could somehow get a car seat from Kim’s car. A nurse took us to the room where Kim would be brought after her surgery and suggested that we wait there for her (and hopefully for her husband Zach, who Kim had, of course, also called when things got wacky).
Once Abby settled down, we explored a variety of photos and games on my iPhone (alright, who taught this girl to play Angry Birds?!), took a few walks, found an area with children’s books, toys, and a small train table, and even found an Elmo doll for her to hold. An hour or so passed and then who should appear but Abby’s mommy (wheeled into the room in her bed, of course), her daddy in his OR duds and, in his arms, her new baby brother, Ty! (Who was perfectly healthy – guess the decreased heart rate was a momentary fluke…?)
I brought Abby right up to Zach and Ty. Zach introduced Abby to her new baby brother and asked if she wanted to touch him. In a move that I somewhat expected (because the same thing happened to us years ago), but Zach likely did not, Abby turned defiantly away from Zach and Ty, burying her head in my shoulder and tensing every muscle in her little body. Clearly this little girl was already on sensory overload, and now a baby brother too?!
As Abby caught sight of Kim being wheeled into the room, she said every so quietly, “Hi Mommy,” almost as if she were asking a question. Surely everything was out of context and confusing for Abby! Mommy is in a big moving bed, surrounded by strangers in matching outfits. Daddy, if that man IS Daddy, has weird paper clothing and a hat on and is holding a bundle that looks funny and makes funny noises. What is going ON here?
Zach seemed to know exactly what to do. He sat down in a chair and took off the paper OR cap. “Hi Daddy!” Abby said confidently. He IS Daddy after all! Again, Zach asked if Abby wanted to touch her new baby brother – which is exactly when I took this photo:
Things were finally beginning to make sense to Abby. So THIS is Ty! “Mama’s belly isn’t named Ty,” Zach told Abby. This little guy is Ty! He’s your new baby brother!”
And then they were a family of four.
And all was good with the world.
Well, that might be a bit optimistic. If Abby is anything like Elisabeth was when Peter arrived…
(Insert melting heart here.)
…it will take a little while for them to find their “sibling groove,” but it will happen, and I am sure that Abby will be an awesome big sister to baby Ty!
Isn’t he adorable? And doesn’t he look so much like his big sister?
Shortly after I snapped the photo of the new family, I quietly slipped out, as Ty and Abby’s REAL grandma had arrived and Kim’s extensive extended family was beginning to arrive.
I’ll have to be patient and wait for my own grandchildren to arrive when the time is right. But for now, I feel so honored to have had the opportunity to share this amazing event with Abby and to be among the first to meet Ty.
All is good with the world when a new baby arrives in it!