Our eldest daughter Jessalyn has been pregnant since January after a trip to Paris with her husband Dan.
We all knew it was going to be a baby girl, but Jess and Dan have been secretive about the name. It’s fashionable nowadays for ultra sound technicians to describe fetuses in terms of vegetables. On one such scan, the family received word that the baby was the “size of a sweet potato.” That became her working title.
Last Saturday was the due date, and Jess said something didn’t feel right. The kicking and usual yoga moves that have been plaguing her of late had stopped.
They went into the hospital–thinking they would surely be that first time anxious couple who would be sent home with the comment, “Come back when you are in labor.”
Instead they hooked her up to a bunch of machines and induced labor. Unbeknownst to any of us, including Jess and Dan, Sweet Potato’s umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. Her breathing was reduced, her heart rate was not normal. Generally an over achiever on all measures of fetal performance, Sweet Potato was failing.
By 3:00 Sunday afternoon, Jess and Dan were holding their six pound, fifteen ounce girl named Margaret Anne. They intend to call her “Margot” as an homage to their Paris trip. Arlo is thinking about adding a silent “T” to his name.
At 3:00 Sunday afternoon Tami and I were in the midst of the largest Pepperfest in the history of the world. I was watching the Flying Pepper bi-plane doing dives and spins on the horizon.
By noon the next day we had finished cleaning up from the festival, and by yesterday evening Margot was safely in Grandma and Grandpa’s hands.I gave her a stern lecture about how our family has had enough trauma of late and that nobody was impressed by her umbilical cord tricks. My mother explained to me how babies did not survive such a thing in her day.
This morning Tami and I took over their house, and whipped up shrimp and grits with a fruit salad to welcome their family home from the hospital. Tonight Dan’s family converges, along with my ex-wife Megan. Tami and I will be staging a leg of lamb for the hungry. We cook. We clean. We read. And we fall asleep on the couch as if it is no big deal…