Worth the wait: Our day on the second floor

Published 10:31 am Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Melanie Wilkes had it right in “Gone with the Wind.” The happiest days are when babies come.

5:25 a.m.: We get the text. Well, not really. We sleep through it and see it when our alarm goes off 30 minutes later. Daughter No. 1 is in labor and settled in at the hospital.

6:45 a.m.: My husband tells our youngest the train is leaving and she better be on it. We take cameras, two computers, school books (just for show) and phone chargers. Good thing.

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7:05 a.m.: En route to the second floor we stop to speak to our friend, the hospital’s coffee barista. Later, my crew will make a sizable investment in mochas and his career.

8:00 a.m.: The great-grands begin to arrive. An aunt comes by with a vase of pink flowers on her way to work. My mother tells Daughter No. 2 that she was born in a house long-gone on a hill, yards away from where we live.

8:25 a.m.: Son No. 2 and his crew come with crayons, books and lots of energy. I pull out my newest chocolate obsession — Dove’s strawberry and almond concoction.

8:40 a.m.: Our friend Dr. M. stops by the waiting room and gives a report. “Hopefully not long,” he says, adding that he speaks in OB hours, not regular time.

8:45 a.m.: Another set of great-grands arrive, bearing doughnuts.

8:56 a.m.: A future aunt slides in from Co-Lin after finishing a test in record time. The guys migrate to a side area where the talk is softball, car fires and the hay harvest.

9:15 a.m.: A great-grand tells about her baby who weighed less than five pounds at delivery. “That’s the way to have them. You can raise them after you get them here,” she recalls Dr. Batson saying.

9:35 a.m.: We go to the viewing window and enjoy watching another family’s new miracle get poked and prodded and loved through the glass. He has a head full of hair. Dr. S. gives the new dad a high five.

9:50 a.m.: Crowd control resorts to videos. The grand-darlings like watching themselves. The three-year-old plays herself singing “In the Eye of the Storm” over and over. We laugh the first time or two.

10:30 a.m.: The laboring one decides she can handle visitors. We take turns watching the monitor, asking her husband if he’s hungry, admiring the blanket she’s made for the baby.

10:48 a.m.: I remember I am supposed to be taking video. I do my job, starting in the waiting room. The characters in this story do their part by sharing stories and advice.

11:25 a.m.: I move to the labor room and video the parents-in-waiting. Daughter No. 1 recites her early morning thoughts: “Ouch. Is this labor?” Her husband tells the baby how much she is loved.

11:45 a.m.: The great-grands leave for lunch. I missed an important birth once by a half hour. I do not intend to let that happen again.

Noon: Daughter-in-Law No. 2 returns from the main stage and gives a welcome report: progress! We send out the update.

1:30 p.m.: The grand-darlings survey the manicures of all the ladies in the waiting room. An aunt’s black polish proves to be most fascinating. We make a pallet on the floor for them to nap.

2:00 p.m.: A friend drops by with a gift basket. They have made the dad-to-be’s favorite banana nut bread.

2:50 p.m.: Brother No. 1 checks in from some resort in St. Augustine. Even in golf heaven, you worry about your little sister.

3:30 p.m.: The laboring one expresses hope “it” will happen before the nursing shift change. And is her doctor on duty tonight?

3:45 p.m.: The grand-darlings are up and as wide open as they can be around beveled glass and six grandmothers.

4:15 p.m.: Son No. 3, our favorite Marine, tries to get a call to go through from the other side of the world.

4:25 p.m.: He’s still trying. Drops every time.

4:39 p.m.: Big text – it’s show time. A few of us move to a closer waiting area. Where’s a plug in?

5:25 p.m.: Dr. M. says she’s close. Thirty more minutes.

5:39 p.m.: A nurse comes out and goes on record: lots of hair. They wheel in scales.

5:50 p.m.: My husband and the other grandma-to-be stand near the door and eavesdrop.

5:56 p.m.: I am ashamed to say I joined them.

6:00 p.m.: We hear the most welcome cry in the world. Our sweet Camille is here.

Wesson resident Kim Henderson is a freelance writer who writes for The Daily Leader. Contact her at kimhenderson319@gmail.com.