Fired by love's urgent longings, I am his rocketman.
Birth of Joy (Abridged version)

Birth of Joy (Abridged version)

“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine and ten — good job Anna — he’s coming, he’s coming.  You are moving him, you’re moving him.”

“Excellent Anna”.

Heart monitor in background — bump, bump, bump bump …

“Okay ready? Here we go again: one, two three, four …”

As the contractions come and go, chatter continues between the nurse, the doctor  and Anna Kate; AK wants to know if she is doing everything right and they assure her she is doing just fine. Maternal grandmother, present and accounted for, is giggling with joy.  Grandpa (me), reduced to sitting nearby with eyes turned away from the action is taking it all in like an old time radio show — listening through waves of wonderful emotion.

In the meantime, the baby (I am forced to refer to him that way because mom and dad still haven’t revealed his name) appears to be resisting Anna’s efforts to expel him as the monitor records every heart beat.

Grandma, says “these are the last few minutes of you being pregnant” while her cell phone whistles receipt of  text message after text message, as if to remind us that we are not the only show in town.  AK responds with something inaudible and her nurse notes “I have to say that’s the first thing I have heard you say that wasn’t positive” eliciting laughter from everyone, except AK, of course.

And the counting continues one, two, three … giving cadence to mama’s labor as she strains to launch baby into his new life outside the womb.  Joyful anticipation rises and falls in the voices of all present offering encouragement to AK amid the titanic struggle between mother and baby for mastery of each pregnant moment.  Even the doctor (wonderful, enthusiastic, believing doctor) who has witnessed, up front and personal, countless births, is on the proverbial edge of his seat with excitement.

Imminent birth intensifies the pulsing energy in the labor room as all present urge AK to hang in there.

“You are doing wonderful!”

“You are awesome, keep it up; he is slipping and sliding in and out — you are right there.”

 During a momentary break, you can hear Grandpa ask the doctor “what’s your email address”, so he can forward the link to this blog.  The doctor, who has seen just about everything, is amused at Grandpa blogging in the middle of delivery.

“One, two, three … nice and hard, you can do it, you can do it, keep it up, keep it up.”

Simultaneous squeals of laughter erupt from those not pushing (shame on all of you) while AK releases a deep sigh muffling her exquisitely painful maternal labor like a well trained athlete giving her last ounce of energy straining for the prize.

Standing close by, quiet but not forgotten, daddy watches anxiously, suspended somewhere between fear, wonder and awe.

Meanwhile, the texts continue from home; young Uncle Ryan inquires as to how it’s all going? Informed that those present can now see the baby’s head, he responds “sweet!”

Then in the midst of a chorus of voices gently crying out with one purpose, and Great Grandma listening live on one cell phone (a story in itself)* with Aunt Shea present in ear only, but with heart fully exposed on another cell phone, it happens …

“There he is, there he is — you got him.”

“Oh wow, look at him, look at him —  he’s beautiful.”

Holding him for the first time, AK whispers “hey sweet baby, I have been waiting my whole life to be your mama,” as daddy carefully severs baby’s last ties to his former home.

At the same instant, attending by their respective cell phones, Great Grandma, affectionately known as Geema to those previously born, is speechless, ecstatic with joy, and Aunt Shea is silently weeping in wonder.

Briefly, but moments later, after collectively catching our breaths, Grandma asks Ray, the baby’s daddy, “well what’s his name?”  Pausing for effect and enjoying their well kept secret for just a moment longer, daddy proudly announces “Emmett Arthur Keller”.  Wow!  Perfect name — perfect joy — perfect day to be born.

Postscript:  Geema, was visiting  Great Grandpa Dennis’ gravesite while AK was in labor.  After closing the gate to the cemetery, she felt an overwhelming urgency to check on AK.  We answered Geema’s call immediately before Emmett was born.  Thus, Geema was present by cell phone at exactly the right time to participate Emmett’s birth.

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  1. Sarah Wilby says:

    This is awesome! It’s a great rendition of the actual events of last Sunday afternoon! God is so good and we are all so happy! Well done Grandpa!

  2. Annie looks just gorgeous here. Nice work, all around!

  3. Congratulations Grandpa!

  4. Dave Steele says:

    Praise God. Congrats to all and thanks for sharing your joy with us. He is beautiful. Mark and Sarah welcome to the best club in the world.

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