This week, my family and I were treated to an amazing and wonderful event - the birth of my grandson. While this was certainly special for all of us, it was even more so for me: allow me to explain. My wife and I will celebrate our fifth anniversary in July and at the moment I said "I do," I not only married an amazing woman, I was, at the same time, also blessed with a wonderful daughter, terrific son-in-law and precocious granddaughter, all of whom, I love very much. Here's the thing-I never had any [biological] children of my own, so when they announced that we were going to be welcoming a new grandchild into the family, one of the side-stories was that "now David will be able to experience the whole Grandpa thing from the very beginning." (It seems my wife is especially excited for me to change my first diaper!).
Now, biology aside, my daughter is MY daughter, and will always be MY daughter and so, knowing how happy she and her husband were when they announced the new baby, I was ecstatic for them, and very excited to be a part of this experience "from the very beginning." As the big day drew closer, we were all getting more and more excited, and yes, a bit nervous as well. No matter the advances of modern medicine, pregnancy and childbirth still has its shares of risks, dangers and uncertainties, as we were to soon find out.
My daughter's doctor admitted her to the hospital on Tuesday evening, with the plan to induce labor the following morning at 6:00 a.m. Without going into too many details, things went more or less as planned, except that, whenever my daughter would have a contraction, the baby's blood pressure would drop - not so far as to put him in danger (yes, we knew he was a boy), but enough to cause the doctor concern. He monitored her progress throughout the morning, and then, shortly after noon on Wednesday, he made the call that gave us reason to pause - "we need to do a C-Section," he said.
I think all of us stopped breathing for a moment and I know our hearts skipped a beat. But our trepidation lasted only a moment as the hospital staff kicked in to high gear. Within minutes, our beautiful daughter was being whisked off to surgery, while her husband, dressed in scrubs, was following along, trying to shake off the shock of what was happening. Meanwhile, my wife and I, doing our best to keep our tears (and fears) on the inside, took all of the their clothes, computers and other belongings and moved them from the birthing room to their new recovery room.
I won't lie, it was a rough time. We believed in our hearts that all would be okay, but we couldn't help but be more than a wee bit terrified of the unknown. Fortunately, the surgery not only went very well, it also went very quickly. Within a few minutes of her entrance into the operating room, we had smartphone pics from the proud papa of his newborn son. A few minutes later, the nurse came out to let us know all was well and that our daughter, son(-in-law) and new grandson would be out to greet us in about 20 minutes.
While full relief wouldn't sink in until we'd seen our daughter with our own eyes and could see in hers that she was okay, we knew the worst was over. Over the next 24-48 hours we have watched as she continually grows stronger and as our new grandson passes all of his newborn tests with flying colors. He really is something to behold. I've never been more proud, nor honored, nor blessed in my life than I have in the past five-plus years since I became a part of this family. This last week has been a culmination of these blessings, and my thankfulness can never be fully expressed by mere words.
(Oh, and by-the-way, that chapter that was giving me so much trouble a couple of weeks ago: DONE, along with the next one!)