The fish fry on Sunday evening was nice. So was yesterday’s cookout at my mother-in-law’s house. I even enjoyed reading on the porch and listening to the rain yesterday. And Sunday’s spiritual uplifts were numerous and satisfying too. Still…….the absolute best thing about the weekend’s events was the birth of Olivia.
It wasn’t the weekend I had planned, but it was AWESOME. Beach bound at last, I was cruising along I-20 on Friday when I noticed that I had a missed call from Amanda, my daughter-in-law. I knew she had a doctor’s appointment that morning, and I wondered if he had given her any exciting news about the baby’s expected arrival. Originally due to arrive on June 7, we had reason to believe that Olivia might make her appearance a little earlier. And YES, that’s what Amanda had called to tell me.
I took care of a couple of errands in Myrtle Beach and then turned around and headed for home. We left Camden early Saturday morning and arrived at Northside Hospital in Atlanta around 10:30. What an awesome place! I learned later that they deliver around 70 babies per day there…or 18,000 a year. I loved the Women’s Center with its design, tile, architecture, colors, and so forth. But that’s a story for later. Right now I want to concentrate on Olivia and her parents.
For about six hours, several of us alternated between visiting with the soon-to-be-parents, eating lunch, chatting, reading, sleeping, and waiting waiting waiting waiting. Three of us tried to read books we had brought along, but I can’t say how much we were able to concentrate. At one point, an African American man came and sat with us while he calmly ate a big bag of M & M’s. We watched and listened to three tours of expectant parents and tried to be patient (not with the tours but with the situation itself).
Teri, Amanda’s mother, and I were in the room about 3:45 that afternoon when the doctor came in and indicated that we needed to skedaddle. Teri, Frankie, Otis, and I sat in the waiting room and made small talk for the next hour or so, and I finally asked Teri what time it was. I thought, “Gee whiz, the doctor’s been in there about 50 minutes. What’s going on?” Ten or fifteen minutes later, he came bustling through the double doors and announced that all was well.
He asked, “So how much do you think she weighs?”
“Seven pounds on the dot,” I ventured. No one else said anything.
“Nope. Eight pounds and three ounces! And Amanda did great. Soon you can go in to see them both.”
He walked off and we began to laugh and talk again, giddy with our happiness and relief.
Soon Teri’s phone rang, and we were all invited to come back and meet Miss Olivia Jayne Crolley. There was Amanda sitting there as pretty and perky and serene as possible…and over in the rocking chair was Paul holding their beautiful new daughter. We grandparents all took turns staring at her precious little face, and of course, we all got to hold her as well. Once, she actually opened both eyes and looked at me as if to say, “Here I am. See, there was nothing to worry about.” Honestly, we communicated a lot in that brief glance, soul to soul, spirit to spirit. Okay, laugh if you want, but hey, I’m one of her grandmothers, and I know what that glance meant.
Later, two nurses came in to give her a physical and a bath. Loved the tiny pink bathtub! The nurses were not only professional and knowledgeable, but they were also “into babies.” I could tell by the way they touched her and talked to her. After her bath, Paul dressed Olivia, including tiny pink booties, mittens, and a hat. At one point she grasped his finger as if to say, “Hold on to me, Daddy.” One of the nurses fashioned a bow for the hat, and it definitely added to her little girl sweetness.
Alas, the hour was getting late, and we needed to get back home. We told the little family good-bye and drove home (in the rain), arriving close to midnight. It was sad to leave them, but as I’ve told my children many times, “In every good-bye, there’s a promise of another hello.” In just a few short days, I’ll get to see the tiny sweetheart and her parents again.