Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Guest Blogger: MorMor Tells the Story

Guest Blog Post from MorMor - HBJ's Pregnancy
by Janet Johnson on the occasion of the birth of her granddaughter Meera

Don and I were sound a sleep at our summer cottage on Lake Winnipesauke when the phone rang at 4 am one September morning. It was Heather “Mom, I’m pregnant.” She was so surprised and couldn’t believe it. Heather and Braydon had talked about another adoption and talked about a biological child but hadn’t decided yet – they just knew three kids was what they wanted. Well the decision was made for them! We were so excited!

We were scheduled to watch the boys at their home for a few days so Braydon and Heather could go off on a celebration trip for her getting tenure at Lehigh in the fall but they decided they shouldn’t leave the country because she was pregnant. So we got invited to join them in AZ for a long weekend and had a really great time. Talked a lot about what the new baby would be like, how the boys wanted a baby, race, family of 3, etc.

Everyone came home for Christmas and Heather’s belly was showing she was pregnant. She was beaming and beautiful! Braydon was watching her every move. What a change when she couldn’t drink the traditional Swedish Glogg and couldn’t eat the raw sill and dilled salmon! Heather was tired but otherwise feeling great. She didn’t ski or snow tube with us but enjoyed watching instead.

I remember my visit and thinking oh my, how will Heather ever handle it all, being a professor, wife, mother of three (two who are extremely active), cook, chauffeur, and organizer of all. Braydon was showing signs of feeling extra pressure to provide financially as well as emotionally. They needed cars for 3 car seats, newborn “stuff”, baby’s room furniture, fixing up a guest room, financial planning for the future, etc.

I came for a few days to watch Kyle while Owen had his surgery and to generally help out. Heather was acting very normal; being pregnant didn’t slow her down a bit. Full of energy, caring for the boys, planning for Meera, all of it. A few days later we all met in Worcester for Easter and had a great weekend. Heather although visibly pregnant didn’t act any different. She handles pregnancy so well – maybe she should have more children??!!

After a work trip in southern PA I visited for a few days. H + B got to check off a few things on their massive list with a trip to IKEA and Baby’s R Us. I took home curtains to shorten, made a quilt, and covered a few pillows all in pinks!! The anticipation was building for baby sister’s arrival. H + B were talking a lot with the boys about what to expect with the arrival of baby sister. In the Johnson tradition there is always a lot of talking about things so everyone knows what to expect. The plan for Meera’s arrival right down to Alex coming during the night (didn’t happen she picked them up from school) to MorMor and MorFar coming when baby Meera was going to arrive (didn’t happen we came early), to driving home all together in the “black” car (did happen) was discussed completely! The boys were prepared.

May 2
We came prepared to stay a while (just in case) for the twins birthday party and had a great visit. We left for NH thinking it would be just a few days until we got the call to return!

May 10
We were able to celebrate our granddaughter Sadie’s birthday with all her friends in Maine May 10. All four of our grandchildren have May birthdays!

May 11
Don gave me a fourth emerald bootie for my grandmother necklace for Mother’s Day. We began our daily routine of emptying of the trash, buying food for one day at a time, keeping the suitcase by the door, keeping the car filed with gas, lawns mowed, house clean, laundry done, office work kept up, etc. We were waiting for a call and NO CALL CAME!

May 24
We finally said “we are coming anyway” and can at least help cook, clean and pass the time!

May 27
H + B come home from the doctor and tell us they are to be at the hospital at 8 pm because she needs to be induced. Two weeks is as long as the doctor will let her go after the due date. I felt badly because I knew how important it was to Heather not to have any drugs in her body and how much she wanted a natural birth. H + B explain to the boys what is going on and in true Johnson-McCormick fashion the twins go with the flow. MorMor and MorFar are there and they love us and feel comfortable with us. In true HBJ fashion she cooked the family’s favorite pasta dish (and doubled it so there would be leftovers) for dinner! They put the boys to bed, Heather took a shower and they left for the hospital. The baby would be coming soon now.

May 28
Braydon calls in the morning that the induction process had begun and we can come anytime. We get the boys off to school, arrange for Alex to pick them up and head to the hospital. Heather handles the contractions so well. By late afternoon, early evening the doctor says she is in active labor and the pain is as bad as it will get. He offers an epidural, she refuses it, she’s so strong it’s unbelievable. During contractions she doesn’t yell out at all, she looks at a focal point and listens and responds to Braydon’s voice. The thing I will remember most of this time is how much in love Braydon and Heather are. How together they are. How Heather trusts Braydon so completely that she did everything he asks. He’d say “Let your jaw drop Heather, relax your shoulders” and she did. They are as if just one person at times and this was one of them. It was a gift for me to watch. When the monitor lost the baby’s heartbeat and they took her off the pitosin and contractions slowed to almost nothing the doctor said she’d done as much as she could and she needed to have a c-section. It was 10 pm Wednesday night. Because she’d had no pain meds she walked with Braydon to the operating room. It was the funniest thing to see her walking down the hall to the operating room! Braydon was dressed in scrubs, camera in hand of course, walking with her. Don and I sat waiting for just about 25 minutes and out came the nurse from the operating room with Braydon and Meera. What a beautiful baby. Pure happiness, she is here, relief it is over and everyone is ok, the miracle of birth, new life, faith in God, family, mother and father, brothers, sister. Braydon went into the nursery with Meera and we watched through the window as he put his head down next to her and talked to her, held her hand, rubbed her head, cried with joy. Next came the line of doctors with Heather on a stretcher coming from the operating room. The doctor told us Heather has a misshaped pelvis and she couldn’t have given birth without the caesarean. Thank God for good doctors and timely decisions. We have a beautiful granddaughter who has wonderful parents and loving brothers who will forever watch over their little sister I’m sure. Baby Meera is here!

June 2
We leave for NH knowing Meera is a beautiful and very good baby, nursing is going perfectly well, the boys are happy to have their parents back, Braydon has family leave and can do everything and anything, we’ve left a few days food for them to eat, the house is clean, laundry done, the weather is beautiful. Life is just waiting for fun and playing and good times for the Johnson-McCormick family of five.

Post note:
At this same time of new life and pure happiness for our family my sister and her family are experiencing the worst time of their lives. My niece, Karen, age 35 with 2 children ages 2 ½ and 5 has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer. Please pray for Karen and her family. Although the diagnosis not good we believe there is always hope and we believe God is good and miracles do happen.



Claudia said...

MorMor, we want to thank you so very much too for your lovely post. It was wonderful to see your insite from the beginning to a new life. So very heartfelt from you. Our prayers are with Karen and family. Thank you so very much.

Anonymous said...

MorMor and MorFar brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful post. I could hardly get through them without tearing up and having to re-read them with a dry eyes.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Karen.

We are so blessed to know the Johnson-McCormick family. (MorMor & MorFar too!) Such a warm and loving family! :)

Lori, Shelli, & Zoe

Isabella's Mommy & Daddy said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family..

Mark and Sarah said...

You are an amazing mother and grandmother. The way that you care for and love your family is inspiring. You are blessed to be a blessing and you live your life that way. Praying for your niece...