This morning I awoke to several message from my mom telling me that my sister is finally going into labor after over 24 hours of being in the hospital, waiting for this to happen. I was so excited that getting out of bed, even without coffee in hand, was not horrible. This day has been long awaited by my sister and brother-in-law, parents, myself, extended family and friends. Not only the past 9 months of waiting but also, years of waiting! These two people have been a couple for over a decade and a half. It’s about time they bring a child into the world.
When my mom tells me that baby girl has been born, I feel my face go flush and pressure begins to build. Before I can contain it, tears evacuate my eyes, running down my cheeks and my sinuses instantly lose control. I am happysad. You know that feeling of being happysad? It is not quite the same as bittersweet, but very similar. Side note: my spell check is assuring me that happysad is not a word, but anyone who knows that feeling knows spell check is wrong. I am overwhelmed with emotions of excitement, joy, comfort and relief, which are adjoining the emotions of disappointment, sadness and regret.
I cannot believe I am on the opposite side of Earth while my first niece is making her debut. This is just one of those things that sisters are not supposed to miss. The knowledge that she is healthy, has all her limbs, and is going to be so unbelievably loved helps quiet some of the negative emotions. Still, not being there stings more than I thought it would.
I continue to receive short messages from my mom and dad, who is also not present, making me feel meagerly better. Then, at last, I get to speak with mom on the phone. She tells me that my sister did amazingly and is only exhausted now. She had been up for far too many hours in far too much discomfort, but was cherishing the first few hours of her daughter’s life, having some skin on skin time and soaking up the newborn scent.
All my sadness melts away at the thought of my sister and brother-in-law enjoying those first few moments. There are few moments in life as pure or beautiful. Those moments are treasured and stored in memory forever. They mold the love and care that get new parents through the first terrible year of sleepless nights.
I imagine that the nervousness and concerns they have had over the past few days dissipate like chocolate in the sun. They have had enough concerns in the past week to give anyone anxiety. Now, they have made it out the other side. Aside from the pain and scars of childbirth, they made it out unscathed. The beautiful baby girl is here, healthy and loved.