Throughout my many weeks of blogging, I’ve shared the birth stories of all three of my kids, with another one soon to come. But I wasn’t used to being on the waiting-for-updates end of a birth. My husband is an only child, and neither of my younger siblings had any kids…until now! This week, I became an aunt!
The funny thing about the whole situation was how much of the details were passed along on Facebook. Even two years ago when Jack was born, it didn’t seem like people were sharing quite so much detailed information via social networking (although there have always been people who shared way more than I need to know, and I’m sure I’ve occasionally been guilty of that myself!). My first indication something was up with my sister occurred when I did a quick Facebook check after we got home from an evening out and put the kids in bed. An update from my sister said: “Either my water broke, or I just peed my pants a little in the grocery store!” TMI? Perhaps, but that’s also part of her personality and sense of humor to not be sure, then crack a joke about it.
Sure enough, my caller ID showed she’d tried to call earlier that evening while we were out, but I couldn’t get ahold of her when I tried to call back. She’d headed in to the hospital, and about an hour later, Facebook confirmed that her water had indeed broken, and she’d be staying. Unfortunately, she wasn’t dilated at all, so she had a long night ahead of her.
My nephew’s daddy is a local radio personality, so when he missed his morning show, he called in a few times to give updates. So not only did I find out about things on Facebook, but I got my first update of the early morning by tuning in along with the rest of northeast Ohio. It was surreal to hear about my sister and nephew that way on the radio, but then again I wasn’t used to being the one waiting anyway. For all the other babies in our family, I didn’t need anyone to tell me what was happening; I was right in the middle of all the action!
Long story short, after Cervadil, Pitocin, an epidural, an episiotomy (yikes!), almost 24 hours of labor, and a final Facebook update of “PUSHING!!!!!” my sweet nephew finally made his appearance. A beautiful, big boy at 8 pounds, 11 ounces and 22 inches long. A good, healthy size, but not quite as crazy big as his cousins (Max was 9 lbs. even, then came Jack, our beloved 10 lb. 5 oz. whopper!).
I finally got to meet and hold him the following morning, and it made me even more excited to have another little guy of my own in a few months. It was funny to hold him in the hospital, propped up by my own built-in Boppy, and rock him while his cousin kicked him from the inside. It was strange to be the visitor in the postpartum room, rather than the patient; weird to hear the whole birth story rather than be the one telling it. I guess those are the side effects of having three babies in 3-and-a-half years…you spend so much time wrapped up in your own pregnancy/newborn phases, you forget it happens to other people too!
The kids had to wait to meet their cousin until he came home from the hospital, but they all loved him to bits. Yet again, it made me excited to bring home another addition to our own family soon. Gracie held him with the Boppy pillow, talking and cooing to him in an expert, veteran baby-holder way. Max took a quick peek, deemed his cousin worthy of cousin-hood, then decided it was more fun to play with the dog. Typical three-and-a-half-year-old boy, and luckily his aunt understood.
I was curious to see how Jack would react to the tiny baby. He got a turn to hold his cousin too, thanks to the Boppy and at least four helping hands. He grinned and said “baby!” in the kindest voice, stroked the baby’s hair, and gave him a gentle (if not a bit slobbery) kiss on the forehead. Soon Jack joined his brother playing with the dog, but kept checking in, pointing and saying”baby”every few minutes. I think he’ll make a great big brother in a few months.
It’s fun to think about the future for the five cousins. Holidays will probably be pretty rowdy, with Gracie and four little boys. My mom may want to rethink some of the more delicate and fragile aspects of her décor, at least for a few years. I’m excited for the boys that they’ll all have one another. Coming from a large family with tons of cousins, I know how much fun that can be. For now, we’re content to just hold him, smile at him, spoil him rotten, and get a tiny little sneak peek at what we can expect in about 11 weeks.