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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Room 208 Wins

I witnessed a close race yesterday. My brother- in-law BigLeagueChew rooted for the underdog, but I felt sure that the family favorite would eke ahead at the last minute.

The contenders? The occupants of Room 205 and Room 216, as well as my sister KitKat in Room 208. We watched the nurse monitor closely, analyzing everyone's contractions ... waiting to see who would be the first to deliver. For awhile, Room 205 led the charge, but then something happened, and her contractions faded away. We knew she had yet to give birth because the green screen failed to appear.

My sister KitKat took advantage of the lull Room 205 faced, shooting ahead for a few hours, only to face a race to the finish, neck-in-neck with Room 216, who seemed to rapidly progress. KitKat prevailed, however, probably due to the fact that little BabyRuth is her fourth child.

The race kept my family quite entertained during the long hours of labor and delivery my sister experienced. Little BabyRuth entered the world face up, which made things a trifle more difficult for my sister, according to the nurses and doctor. Although this was her fourth delivery, my sister thinks it may have been her most challenging. But I'll ask KK again in a couple of days ... I may not know much, but I do know never to trust anything said in the labor and delivery room.

I witnessed BabyRuth's birth, as did Mama Wolfie and my brother-in-law BigLeagueChew. My father stayed back at my house to watch all four grandchildren, flying solo because TongguDaddy is out of town this week. I don't know exactly what went on with the Tongginator and her cousins yesterday, except that all of the sweets in our house are MIA and my early-rising Piglet slept past 7:30 AM for the first time since we dealt with jet lag coming home from China.

I called my dad this morning to chat briefly, and to say thanks for watching all of the children so that I could attend the birth. The first word's out of the Colonel's mouth?

THE COLONEL: How was it? What was it like?

You see, the Colonel's children (yours truly and KitKat) arrived before military doctors allowed fathers in the delivery rooms. He's never seen a live birth, except perhaps on Discovery Health, but even then I suspect he flipped channels.

: The last five minutes were among the most amazing moments of my life.

And, truly, watching a baby enter the world is unbelievable. I doubt I've ever seen anything quite so miraculous. I felt so much awe, I can't even eloquently describe the event. I feel speechless, and humbled by God's power and love.

THE COLONEL: But what about before?

That question, to be blunt, requires me to ask you to place all judgments aside, just for a few minutes. You need to suspend any critical opinions, especially if you've yet to view a birthing. (For the record, your own deliveries do not count, as you quite probably felt "a bit" preoccupied at the time of the event, and possibly even experienced a few drug hallucinations. Plus, you have a different vantage point from which to observe everything.)

TONGGU MOMMA: Ummmm... BigLeagueChew and Mom were helping KitKat during the delivery, so I kind of stood nearest the doctor. And ... well ... it almost felt like driving past a horrific car accident: you didn't want to look, but you couldn't turn away.

Giving birth is a messy experience. I knew that, but I didn't fully KNOW until observing it. Those memories will stay with me for a long time. It's also really difficult to watch someone you love in so much pain. BigLeagueChew joked, "blame it all on Eve," trying to lighten the mood. KitKat didn't seem to overly appreciate the comment at the time, and it was all I could do to avoid busting a gut because fresh in my mind was The Queen Bee's recent post "Presenting King Malaprop and His Princess."

I feel very blessed KitKat allowed me to witness my niece's world debut. It's an experience I will never forget. I'm so excited I shared the first few minutes of life with a newborn. BabyRuth's eyes followed me as I spoke to her ... she appeared so alert. She's beautiful and so filled with promise.

I guess all newborns are this way.


CC said...

We seem to have a lot in common! My 2 kids were born in Korea (and my husband is Chinese, so I can relate to your love of China and Mandarin as well!). I've never witnessed a birth and hope one day to participate (although who knows). It does seem like a VERY memorable experience.

discombobulated said...

I was drawn immediately to the suction canister in the background of the posted picture, was reminded of work, and thought, what in the world is this entry going to be about! Cute, as most of your posts are. I'm glad baby and mom are doing well. Birth is so amazing and I think your comparison to a car accident is way on target! Hope the Colonel had the opportunity to go to the hospital.
p.s. I changed my screen name.

Special K said...

Congratulations to your family. She's beautiful! All that hair...

I actually delivered my sister's last child. And that was certainly not planned. Check it out if you haven't heard the story...it's hysterical.


Janet said...

My sister saw me in labour and pledged never to have a baby. Sigh. I didn't MEAN to make her scared!

I'm glad your beautiful, wonderful, adorable new niece is healthy and happy and that KK is fine!

Lis Garrett said...

What a teriific post! I used to be an aide on the L&D floor while I was in nursing school. I was able to assist in many births, each one of them such an awesome experience. And yes, it IS messy. As an aide, I had to clean up that mess. ;-)