She would be induced at 10:00 that night. Not wanting to be two hours away, we checked into a hotel with our granddaughter, Maryjane, near the hospital after packing bags and finding a pet sitter. We went swimming and snuggled in for the night, checking my phone every few hours. Maryjane and I had coffee and then went to the hospital while Pa checked in at work. Maryjane’s other grandma came to pick her up. The soon-to-be big sister was nervous and excited and emotional. My daughter, Shyanne, arrived and we all settled in for the seemingly long arrival of a little girl. Pa came back a few hours later. We drank tea, and watched the clock, and talked to relatives on the phone, and tried to help Emily.
Being her second baby, Emily knew what to expect and what to request. She was amazing during her labor. New daddy, Reed, was nervous and doting and sweet.
The nurses all knew that we hoped the baby would arrive that day, November 14th, for it was the fervent request from the new baby’s great, great grandmother. November 14th was my grandparent’s 70th wedding anniversary. Never mind silver or gold, Grandma and Grandpa wanted a baby.
And then quite suddenly it was time. Within thirty minutes a very small little girl with curly, black hair arrived into the arms of her mother. Daddy swelled with pride. Pa and Auntie Shyanne cried. Mama sobbed with joy. I smiled and welcomed the new little one to our family. We are ten now in our tribe. Over a hundred in families that we gained through the children’s partners and our own extended families. There is truly nothing more important to me than our family.
And Ayla Mae was born. A new little medicine woman in our line.
Maryjane bounced into the room accompanied by her grandma. She held a stack of papers that she had composed a song in scribbles on and immediately went to singing to her new baby sister.
Those near and dear came in to call. Ayla has our family birthmark. She has her daddy’s ears and nose. She is so beautiful. I caught my breath and held her close through the night letting mama and daddy sleep some. And in the quiet of that dimmed hospital room, that precious heartbeat next to mine, I felt the immensity of it all, the blessings that fill my life and this family that we have helped create. A Thanksgiving gift. (And an anniversary one as well!)
Ayla Mae Thompson
November 14, 2018