What a ride.

My insides physically hurt on Sunday.

Not from the cold I've been fighting, although that hurt too (by the way it took 4 days for my ears to pop only for me to turn around and get back on a plane and they just popped today.) But leaving D.C., I had a huge pit in my stomach and a knot in my throat and my heart just hurt. I cried all the way to the airport.

All because of a little 8 pound bundle named Maddison.

Oh God, leaving that little thing hurt me! It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. Living so far away and the thought of missing all those firsts from all the way down here kills me a little inside every time I think about it. Why do we have to live so far away?!

I should be wearing a big shirt that says, "By the way, I'm blogging this!" because all the while my sister was in labor I was dying to write down what was happening play-by-play.

I was a very private person during labor. I had family members in the room at one point but I kicked them out because their talking in the corner annoyed me. I needed to focus. Privately. Plus I was all self-conscious. What if I moan, what if I cry...what if I poop on the table, you know, all of those normal concerns. My sister on the other hand? She went for the "team" thing. She had a cheering section. The nurses were going to put bleachers in along the side of her room, but time ran out.

We were so happy that we made it in time for Maddie's arrival. My sister gave us the "This is it" call around 2 a.m. We were on a plane by 7 a.m. (No sleep of course.) We landed around 11, took a cab to her house, picked up the car, headed for a drive-thru, drove to the hospital and made it there by 2 p.m. By then she was only 6 centimeters, so we got there with time to spare! Weee!

A friend of hers was also there, and a few hours later when labor really started to get going and her epidural was wearing off every 5 minutes, her in-laws made it too, all the way from Michigan, driving. Her husband's dad, stepmom and aunt. And they made it there just about an hour before she started pushing. We like to think Maddie waited for all of us.

So during all of this, I'm helping her breathe through the contractions, counting down, helping her focus, all of that. My dad's in the corner playing with his phone which is making bleeps and rings, and there is chitchatting going on and all of this would have driven me nuts but she put it right out of her mind. "Wow," was all I could think. She is steel.

I asked her if she wanted the room cleared and she said no.

Then her in-laws got there and she was about to push and I asked her if she wanted the room cleared and she said no.

So there we all were, our family, her friend, her in-laws, four nurses, a doctor, and a partridge in a pear tree, all crammed in her tiny hospital room, her legs in the stirrups and veins popping out of the sides of her head, and there she is pushing away. At one point I hear a cheer, "Bring that baby home!" from the corner. A couple of pushes, she was out. My face literally squirted tears when I saw her give birth. I was in a happy hysteria.

I think about how she was so free with the experience of it all and all I can do is admire her. Everyone has their own way of dealing with labor during gametime; you never really know how you're gonna be, you only know once your in it. I close off. She opens up. Isn't it interesting how that works?

And although the nurses were stepping over people and the doctor was shaking his head in disbelief that every time he walked in our group had multiplied, I think, wow! Her whole immediate family had just experienced the birth of her daughter. How special is that? She gave us such an amazing gift. To be able to see my sister, one of the closest people ever in my life, give birth to a baby girl, my niece, my goddaughter, to be a part of that, I am eternally grateful. These are memories that will live with me, with all of us, forever. Amazing.

Well, the rest of the weekend was another ride. My mom had to be admitted to the hospital, yes the same hospital, for a few days for a continuation of the problems she was having a few weeks ago (she's ok now and home), we were cooking and cleaning and getting ready for Maddie to come home and all the while, we were bonding with the in-laws. It really couldn't have been a more wild ride.

And then when everyone started leaving, and the house was getting quiet, and ride was starting to end, the reality of having to leave myself set in and leaving my sister and her newborn baby was just too much for me to fathom. It hurt. There was actual, physical pain involved. That trip to the airport was grueling. Truly.

It still is. Remember that part in City of Angels where the angels ask what part the people who died liked best? If they asked me I would say my people. I love all the people in my life more than anything in the world. It breaks my heart to ever have to leave them, (let's not even get into what happens when we die that a whole 'nother story.) But if they asked me what I liked the least, I think it would go without saying. Goodbyes.


  1. Well now you having me crying. So touching! As far as giving birth, both times it was just Hubs and I (and the doctor and nurses of course). I didn't want anyone else in the room! I could probably handle my mom and sister being in the room but that's all. Ok, now I'm going to cry myself to sleep!

  2. Oh Christie..If I had a sister, I would love for it to be you! You are the sweetest thing, I swear! Yes, my people are the best thing in my life as well. It is a shame you have to live so far from her. In fact, why don't you just head up north..just in time for snow, which I know that you miss!

  3. my sister is about 5 mos. about to cry just reading this.

  4. Wow. Never would I want a bunch of people in the room with me. (especially not my in-laws!) More power to her that she could find strength from all of you.

  5. I am so sorry that you are missing your family:-(


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