|Waving goodbye to Mommy and Daddy.
I got the call at 7:30 last night. Water broke, bags are packed, it’s baby time. I threw a bag together and headed over to the Conti ranch.
The kids were still awake and their nervous excitement was palpable. Cassie and Matt left at 8:15 and the kids waved goodbye. The kids and I talked and read books and by 9:30, they were out like lights.
Audrey Rose is a text baby, similar to Mae. Cassie texted me throughout the night with updates on her status. Two centimeters at 2:30, five at 5:00, seven at 6:30.
“My epidural wore off on the left side. I can’t believe you went natural with us. Shit hurts man.” To which I replied, “I had no choice.”
A few minutes later: “Will be pushing in about 10-15 min. 8 cm.”
I knew the next half hour in Cassie’s world would be beautifully chaotic with pushing and panting, doctor’s commands, blood, pain, and sweat. I saw her birth Claire, so I know she births babies with determination and grace. I also knew my son-in-law was giving her 110 percent. And so I sat in the quiet and played Words With Friends and ate a banana and thought for sure Cassie was birthing a boy.
Claire woke up and came downstairs and sat next to me on a stool. “What is it?” she asked. “What’s the baby, a boy or girl?”
I told her I didn’t know yet. She asked for a banana and she showed me how she peels them. Claire had climbed in bed with me at 2:30 and we talked for an hour before she fell back to sleep and did her typical Claire arm dive onto my nose a few times. Queen sized bed and the girl sleeps right next to me. I’d want it no other way.
At 7:15, my son-in-law sent the first photo of the baby: “It’s Audrey Rose! 6 lbs 14 oz!”
I was wrong again. I’m 0 for 4 on grandbaby gender guessing. Do NOT take me to Vegas.
“You have a sister!” I told Claire and showed her the photo.
“Ohhhh! She’s so cuuuute! It’s a really, really pretty name!”
I texted and called family and friends as Claire typed the alphabet on my computer: Abcdefghijklnmopqrstuvwxyz
“Why are people so excited?” Claire asked, as my phone dinged and dinged.
“Because so many people want to know who Audrey is,” I said.
“Oh,” she said, and kept typing.
Luca woke up and was in the bathroom doing his business. Claire went upstairs and said, “You were right! We have a sister! Her name is Audrey Rose!”
“Awwwww….that’s so cuuuute!” said Luca, flushing the toilet.
“Wash your hands!” I yelled up the stairs.
“I did!” he said.
“Dude, there’s no way you washed your hands yet. Wash them!” I said. The water turned on. I won.
Luca sat on my lap as I continued my texting quest. He typed his own line on my computer: jhzg4etreegrfetsgqwhewfhtrthygtyhy56htreh…. Naming each letter and number as he typed.
Matt sent me another photo of Audrey and I showed the kids.
“Are we gonna have THAT baby?” Luca asked. Yes, dude, that’s the one who’s going to live in your house for the next 18 years, at least.
Mae woke up at 8:15 and I brought her downstairs. I showed her the photos of Audrey.
“Mommy’s baby,” she said over and over.
“Yes, that’s Mommy’s baby. Her name is Audrey.” Mae insisted I keep Audrey’s photo on my computer screen. If I responded to something on Facebook, she’d say, “See Mommy’s baby!” and I’d have to bring the photo back on the screen. Like Luca, I don’t think she fully understands that “Mommy’s baby” is coming home to stay on Thursday.
In a few hours I’ll hold Audrey Rose for the first time. If there is ever a more perfect moment than holding a newborn baby, I don’t know what it is.
Today is my father’s birthday. He is 82. He is beyond thrilled that his great-granddaughter shares his birthdate. Dad has understood the precarious nature of life since he was a child. His father died when Dad was 6 and his mother was 9 months pregnant with his brother. There is no more perfect gift to him today than Audrey Rose.
But my perfect gift today wasn’t Audrey. While her being here is awesome and I can’t wait to get to know her, my perfect gift was a text from my son-in-law. I had thanked him for Audrey, to which he replied, “Hey, thanks for Cassie. She’s just an awesome woman.”
*tear* It doesn’t get any better than that.