Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Welcome Alexandra Joyce Katherine Welch - Her beginning.

To life, there is a beginning, a middle and an end that is in sharp focus for me today.

My 60th birthday is a week from today. I have been living my life with a fullness and richness that is enviable. My career is well established, my marriage is solid and lasting, my children have established their lives. I am in the middle of what has been a blessed life.

I received word from my siblings my father is not doing at all well in the rest home he has been in since Christmas. He is hard to rouse, somewhat confused and very very tired. They say "this time it is different." We know his journey through life is nearing its end.

On April 16 at 6 in the morning I got a call from my daughter Allison saying she thought she was in labor and may be headed to the hospital. A later text said, "this may be happening." What was happening was the beginning of a life. The arrival of our first grandchild and Allison and Chris' first child. I finished a small bit of personal business and hopped a plane. I was convinced I wouldn't arrive in time for her birth, but miraculously (and perhaps to the chagrin of Allison and Chris) delayed... and I was sitting in the waiting room when she was born by C- Section at 10:32 PM ETA.

I saw her a few hours later. But first their "Doula" (which is akin to a birthing coach) got to take a picture for me. Trust me I was impatient to see her, it felt like an eternity and I began to wonder if coming out so quickly might have been overstepping.


But as soon as I was allowed to see my granddaughter I was immediately in love and sooooo glad to be there. She was perfect. A bit of a cone head to be certain - she and Mommy had tired valiantly to be born the "natural" way. From the moment I held her, I could see how very strong she was.

8 lbs.9 oz and 20 3/4 inches long. I noticed a couple of traits that we can track as she grows. 1. her CHEEKS are very full. She seemed to be longer than wide. She also seems to have narrow long feet. The immediate temptation is to compare her with every family member we know on our side of the family. When looking at her dimples in those chubby cheeks I saw them to be quite distinctive. When I saw a picture of Chris' Mom later in their house I could definitely see that similarity.
They let me know her name which until then had been a secret. Alexandra (Defender of the people) Joyce (Chris' Mom's middle name) and Katherine (which was my mother's middle name and my great grandmother's name and my name with a different beginning) Welch.... Big names - strong names - names that resonate by holding onto the past while looking forward to the future.


Mother and Daughter
 Sleepy girl
 Tired but happy girl
 More sleeping
Daddy wishes he could sleep.
But is so proud of his daughter
 Dark blue eyes, brown hair
Not unlike Allison when she was born
 Meanwhile Glenn was finishing up some work too, so he could board a flight to come and see his granddaughter.
 At last they meet
 And he is very proud and happy
It gave Glenn the chance to share some sage advice.
Mom and Allison getting Alexandra ready to go. I had run down to the Fairfax Mall to buy her a going away outfit. It was size 0-3 months. I lean toward the 3 months, because it was a wee bit too big for her. But she did look styling in her perfectly perfect baby pink outfit.

 Some how fitting we left the hospital in the midst of a tornado warning.
But everyone was thrilled to be home sweet home.

Alexandra is doing well, learning what this living thing is all about. Allison and Chris are showing just how loving and caring they will be as parents. I am glad to be able to be here - seeing the progression while I think, here in the middle of my life, there are few things more precious or life affirming than watching this journey.
I am truly blessed.