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Was There Someone Not Able to Make It to Your Birth

By Jeana Lee Tahnk

All of my pregnancies and birth experiences hold such happymemories for me. But my most vivid memories are of my first (nearly adecade later), due most likely to the fact that every experience wasbrand new - getting that belly bump, feeling the baby kick, theultrasounds. Not to mention the fact that this was my parents' firstgrandchild, which made each milestone that much more celebrated.

For my parents, that celebration also included incessant worrying.Which meant daily phone calls to me "checking in" - making sure I waseating well, resting enough and taking care of myself. I understoodwhere they were coming from and thought it was cute. I know I'll be thesame way when/if my kids have kids.

We were living a few states away from my parents at the time and,because we didn't have the technology we have now, our correspondenceoccurred primarily over the phone. As I got closer to my due date, westarted to talk about when they'd visit. We all decided they would comemeet their grandchild after my husband returned to work - it would givemy husband and me the time to bond with the baby, and it would also beof great help when my husband's paternity leave was over.

There was part of me that was sad they wouldn't be there until twoweeks after the birth, but I didn't want them making the long drive backand forth several times.

After our son was born, our first call was to my parents to letthem know they had a grandson. I will never forget talking to my parentsfrom that hospital bed, hearing them crying on the other end of thephone with such joy and emotion at becoming grandparents for the veryfirst time.

We didn't have the luxury of instant photos, FaceTime or Skypeback then, so I described over the phone his every gorgeous feature, hisfull head of black hair, his perfect little fingers and how serene hewas. My parents hung onto my every word and were beyond ecstatic to meethim.

The next day, sitting in my hospital bed, there was a knock at thedoor. Expecting it to be one of the nurses, you can imagine my surprisewhen the door opened and there were my parents, who had woken up at thecrack of dawn to make the five-hour drive down to see us. In betweentears, my mom said, "How could I not come see you and meet our firstgrandchild?" It's a moment I will never forget.

So even though my parents weren't there right after the birth,that surprise visit meant even more. And I wouldn't have wanted it anyother way.

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