Saturday, July 25, 2009

Talkin' 'bout my girl...

"The baby was due to arrive around July 24. We’d been referred, perhaps by Jack Petuskey or the Glenns, to a fine obstetrician, Dr. Philip Maguire. Mary’s father and stepmother came from California to be with us the week before and the week after Nicole was born. Mary entered St. Anthony’s Hospital around noon on July 24, and Dr. Maguire induced labor. I worked two straight shifts that day, then came back to be with Mary for the duration. She suffered through 20 1/2 long and painful hours of labor. Exhausted and frustrated, she was finally given a saddle-block anesthetic and at 8:37 AM on July 25 our beautiful Nicole Marie, all 7 lbs., 12 oz., and 20 1/2 inches of her, came screaming and kicking into the world. Needless to say, Mary was overwhelmed at getting her girl, and my joy and gratitude was boundless. Hospital policy didn’t permit fathers to be in the delivery room in those days, so I was left to wait patiently in the waiting room.

St. Paul’s text in Romans 8, about a woman’s travail being turned to joy, occupied my thoughts during those long hours. At length, the nurse came to announce the joyous news of Nicole’s birth, and later brought her out for me to hold for the first time. I’ll never forget that incredible moment. As Nicole rested peacefully, almost nonchalantly, in my arms, I offered a prayer of thanksgiving for this gift, committing her to God’s care, knowing that she wasn’t ours to hold onto forever, but to be offered for whatever purpose God had in mind.

My very first impressions of Nicole, as I recall, were: 1) cheeks and 2) bowed legs (like her father’s)! Because of the difficulties of the long labor and the baby’s position, Dr. Maguire had to use forceps to deliver her. For a day or so the marks of the forceps were visible on her face. But that cleared up quickly; the only other concern was a slight bit of jaundice for a couple of days, which also cleared up soon. Nicole was a beautiful and extremely photogenic baby, and in the next few months proved to be happy and well-adjusted, sleeping through the night. In fact, I don’t remember that Nicole cried much beyond the times that she was teething or that she’d take a hard tumble...." (Recollections, 1970-July, 1986)

Well, my "baby" has now successfully weathered 39 years of life and in the process has gladdened us all by giving us her own "baby", Meeghan Grace, now 12. Travail has been turned into joy many times over.

Happy Birthday, Colie, and blessings and prayers for many more years!

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