This spring we welcomed our first grandchild to our little family. After
a long winter when it seemed as if weâ€™d never have grandchildren,
that our families would end with our daughter and son, Katyana was
Kathy and Andy took classes in the Bradley method of natural
childbirth, an alternative to the Lamaze method weâ€™d used for our
own babies three decades earlier. They arranged for a midwife to
come to their apartment, together with Frank and Robert and me.
We got the call at 6 a.m. Tuesday, April 4. Kathyâ€™s water had
broken in the night, and she probably would be delivering within 24
hours, give or take a few. Frank and I went down to South Redondo
and stayed all day.
This child, who had been so eager to be born, suddenly got shy on us.
We spent most of the day collecting the supplies the midwife needed,
picking up food and running errands, setting up the crib, which arrived
just in time, and generally trying to keep the prospective parents
We stayed that night, and by early Wednesday morning, labor had
begun in earnest.
Andy was a great labor coach, taking Kath through all the processes
geared to occupy her mind and ease the pain. The midwife was a
tower of strength and encouragement. Her assistant moved like a
shadow through the apartment, doing what needed to be done without
attracting any notice.
At one point, we all had to leave the room so Kathy could
concentrate, but they called Andy back in when the baby crowned,
and Frank and me as she slipped out. We heard her cry and saw her
covered with white, the cord still attached. Her hands were grey, but
her face was pink, and the color spread through her body as we gazed
in wonder and delight.
She was clocked in at 10:42 and was beautiful from the beginning, so
beautiful I wanted to cry. I was just so grateful--that she was fine, that
Kathy was fine, that Andy had survived.
That afternoon a pediatric nurse came by the apartment and checked
her from the wispy light brown hair on her head to the tips of her long
pink toes. She stripped her and weighed and measured her, held her
up and exercised her, commenting on how strong she was. She was
19 inches long and weighed 5 lb. 11 1/2 oz. Frank and I felt a
strange, deep surge of love for every inch and ounce of this tiny new
Kathy is such a good mother! Weâ€™re so proud of her and Andy
and Katyana. Even Luna, their black cat, has behaved in an
exemplary manner during what must be a difficult diminution of her
place as head of the family. Thereâ€™s a new boss around who rules
with a tiny fist and surprisingly strong lungs.
As Kathy put it, explaining why she had chosen natural childbirth, â
€œPregnancy and birth are natural phenomena, not medical
emergencies.â€� After the delivery, she said, â€œNow I know why
they call it labor.â€�
My well-educated, professional daughter has joined her mother and
other women around the globe in the mystery of motherhood. And
just in time for Motherâ€™s Day!