As my sisters due date got closer we made the decision that the code word for when Elaine went into labor was going to be...
"It's going down for real"
With all of us being some distance from each other we needed to know when it was for like real..real.
A little after 9:45 on New Year's Day we got the message...
I then proceeded to yell at my family to "GET PACKED!" Why I did not have bags already packed for us is beyond me. I am going to blame the craziness of the holiday season. The four of us were in the car by 10:30 pm. We made great time and met up with my sister Cari and her family at my parents in Santa Barbara. From there we left all the little kids with Joey and Luis and Cari, Chone and I continued up the coast for another hour and a half. We made it to the hospital by 3 am and met up with my Mom and Pops. We send Pops and Chone to Elaine and Kelly's place to sleep and my Mom, Cari and I got comfortable in Elaine's hospital room.
They had already started her on pitocin and her contractions were pretty regular. They upped her pitocin to 2 and the contractions started getting worse.
My sister Cari had Chone way back in 1999. I kind of remember her going through labor and the pain she went though. But Cari's labor did not last very long. She had Chone in just a few hours. When the twins were born she had a c-section and never really went through laboring. Watching my baby sister go through the hours of labor throughout the night was tough. Of course not as tough as actual labor but that helpless feeling I had was awful. I can only imagine what it was like for Kelly and my Mom.
Elaine eventually opted for the epidural and as she put it, it was "a whole new world". Before we knew it people started prepping for the delivery. (Weird note: one of the nurses ended up being a distant relative we had never met!)
Tiny baby hats started appearing and we knew it was just a little while longer.
Elaine had been seen by a mid-wife named Helen throughout her pregnancy. Right before it was time for delivery she asked Elaine who would be in the room. Elaine asked us what we wanted and we told her that we wanted what she wanted. She decided to have Kelly, Mom, Cari and me (and my camera) there. I was nervous and excited. Despite having had 2 kids myself I had never seen a baby be born.
Elaine started pushing at about 10:40am.
For the next hour we cheered her on. We cheered the baby on. We waited for the next contraction.
And at 11:40 am she was here.
Ellie Jess was here and we all cried and she was perfect.
She is perfect.
She is exactly what my heart needed. The moment I saw her I felt it. Last year was the hardest year I have ever been through. My family lost so many loved ones from our Flippie, my Tio Frank, Grandpa Andy, Grandpa Pancho and my sweet Tata. The pain we are all feeling and carrying with us was so heavy and real.
This tiny little squishy face was a gift to us. In just seconds of being born I could feel the weight of my sorrow lift a little. She is my reminder that life is good and although we can never replace the ones we have lost, we sometimes are blessed with a new life to love.
Ellie made Elaine and Kelly a family. She made Kelly's parents first time grandparents. She is my 4th nibling, the 6th grandchild and the 15th member of our family.
And then the love fest commenced....
The kids came in to meet the newest member of their squad. The newest member of WAN. The new board member of Do-Trans Inc. International.
Even after being awake from over 34 hours I still had to pry myself away from her. She is a doll and we are so excited and happy that she is ours.
Welcome to the world and to the family Ellie Jess.
I promise to love you like crazy. Forever and ever.