Judah was born in PA, and then right after, we moved into the group home on Barry Rd.
Eden was also born in PA, but then we moved to Wyoming.
Zion was born in WY, then we moved to China.
Elias, like many trinkets and toys throughout the homeland, was made in China. And like his siblings, will move within a few weeks of being born.
I'm currently sitting outside the steps of the hospital, on the corner, drinking a Budweiser because I couldn't find anything better.
Elias and Mom are upstairs sleeping and I want to make sure I don't forget today.
Throughout the day, whenever I could steal a moment or when pushed to the corner because I was most certainly getting in the way, I jotted down some notes. Even the doctor noticed and more than once told me "write this down!" So I did.
: Day 63 :
- Waiting -
Five doctors are in the room, all poking, talking, laughing. I sit in the corner, helpless, in a faded denim apron, much-too-small blue Croc sort of shoes, a blue hair cap, and a mask tied around my face. The baby's heart muffly beats through the machine - it took them over ten minutes to find it, but the sound is assuring.
Things beep in the other rooms from down the hall, and we sit and wait.
The patocin drips and the doctor orders an epidural, both of which Josey didn't want. But the doctor insists.
And we remember Judah.
Both girls were natural births, both boys need help.
Josey's toes, with red nail polish, twirl and curl as they and she wait for the epidural to come. I'm ushered into another room for a few minutes. I hear her moan in pain then I'm brought back and we wait. Contractions come. The pain does not subside.
Something is wrong.
The doctor increases the dose. I check the time.
At 4:50, Josey moans a bit.
"You need to feel za pain, but less," the doctor says.
But it's not less, it's all of it.
In the hallway, doorbells ring, things beep, and a woman begins to wail. Someone else is having a baby.
More contractions come, unyielding. The epidural isn't working. And the baby is coming.
They take us to another room, as Josey begins to cry, silently. Sheri can only say, "It's okay," and remind her to breath because the baby's coming.
Because Elias is here.
Mom gets a brief snuggle, Dad cuts the cord, and then Elias is whisked away to be cleaned and checked. All is fine.
At 5:45, Elias is feeding, Mom is smiling, and nurses are swarming. Once more, I'm in the corner. I grab my notebook and jot down a few quick notes - things the doctor said while delivering our baby.
Elias was born in two contractions - within 5 minutes. He probably could have come faster but for the doctor, "Take your time," he said, casually, "I'm a very lazy doctor and don't want to have to stitch you up - just be patient." He chuckles. So does Josey. And I can't believe how tough she is, and how she can smile and laugh at such a time.
When the second contraction comes I hold her hand and say, "Don't push with your face" and feel super helpful.
After the birth, Josey asked if everything's okay. "Nothing out of the ordinary yet," the doctor responded. Then he held up the placenta, "Here's the placenta! Now, I can eat dinner!"
The next few hours hum together. Josey has minor complications that needs attending and Elias is Elias - a baby who needs attending. We move from room to room and doctors and nurses come and go, like ants working a disturbed mound. Things are getting done and we have our baby, our beautiful Elias who is small and wrinkly and looks like Judah.
We send some emails, a few texts, and then try and sit and think. It's over. And we have a new baby boy.
I head outside, buy some cheep beer, and begin to write.
: Day 62 :
- Holdings -
We have an ayi who sleeps in the room with us. She is kind, helpful, and speaks not a word of English. Everything she says comes through the translator on her phone and takes her three or four attempts to get it right because her phone can hardly hear her. I think she's fearful of waking Elias.
All morning, the door swings for doctors and nurses. At one point I watch the clock. Literally, every 3-5 minutes, someone comes in, phones whip out, and some translator app is used. They are all kind, all gentle, but we just want some quiet.
At 11:30, we ask the ayi to leave until three because our kiddos are coming and the room is small. They don't know if Elias is a boy or girl yet but they've all been hoping for a boy. I sit them down in the lobby outside the room and explain the need to be quiet and gentle. I don't think they hear anything. They just want to see their new baby brother or sister.
When they find out, they're stoked.
Judah holds him first:
They argue over whose next and try to cuddle with Mom. "I'll never forget this day," Judah says and Zion can't believe she's almost turning five because for months we've told her she won't until after Elias is born.
Aunty Bekah has been with our kids for the weekend and it's only fitting. She came to China the year we did and has been part of the family ever since. She held Zion from the beginning. And now Elias. Well, she watches Eden holding Elias because really, Eden has the strongest claim to him and aunty B is kind enough to let it happen . . . with a bit of help.
For dinner, Elias' first date arrives. She brings dinner, ice cream and brownies, and her joyful spirit, and Elias sleeps the whole way through. He's got a lot of learning to do.
Michelle rounds out Elias' first full day, and when she leaves, we count our blessings.
: Day 61 :
- Blessings -
He sleeps, and he eats; he is healthy. Mom too. And that is more than enough. We have what seems too many nurses, but there are many in the world who don't have enough. Our ayi hovers and just about fusses over every little thing, but there are many in the world who have no one to fuss over. When our kiddos arrive for the second day, it is loud, too loud, but there are many who sit in silence.
We are blessed. And "thank you" just doesn't seem to be enough. But we truly are. For ten fingers and ten toes, for two brothers and two sisters, and for a full and rowdy home.
Today is our last full day at Angel Maternity Hospital. Josey and Elias are being released tomorrow, to a home where he will be loved and smothered and fought over. But I'm pretty sure this one will win.
This little girl's heart is so precious. When Elias had to get his TB shot, she heard him crying and ran to my lap, tears running down her cheeks, "He's crying Daddy. He's crying."
When the other kiddos went home for the day, she stayed with us, kindly fighting the ayi for time with Elias. And winning.
For this, for all of this and much more, we are blessed.
And we are thankful.
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