Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ethan James

Five years ago yesterday, on our 37th wedding anniversary and Matthew's 3rd birthday, we were in Louisville, KY getting ready for the birth of our fourteenth grandchild and ninth grandson. These numbers, however, in no way diminished our excitement, in large part because our youngest child was having her first child.

She entered this new experience with a resolve to 'go natural'. In other words, no epidural. But she was also very practical. She reserved the right to change her mind at any time.

With this in mind, Beth and I practiced our doula skills, or lack of, on the way to Louisville on the 9th. Sarah had gone into the hospital on the 8th because of high blood pressure. Her doctors administered a cervical softener and let it work overnight before starting the pitocin drip on the morning of the ninth. Sarah labored valiantly and was probably through much of the roughest part of labor when the high pitocin levels left her without a break between contractions. Being nothing, if not pragmatic, she was at four centimeters when they dangled that epidural before her, and she sensibly and a little reluctantly, decided to have one. After that, things got a lot easier.

The difficult part was that the nurses seemed to speed up the pitocin drip and slow it down without rhyme or reason and it started to seem like some of them were trying to manipulate the birth time a little bit so that it would occur when it was most convenient for them. I'm sure this was just a figment of all our imaginations but that's how it seemed.

And despite their suspicious manipulating, Ethan James was born exactly when he was supposed to be in the wee hours of the morning on March 10th. I think he just didn't care to share his birthday with anybody.

He was big and beautiful and loved beyond measure from his first breath.

Here's Beth getting acquainted.

Ethan laughed early and often and has kept his sunny disposition to this very day.

He's full of information, can tell you anything you want to know about Mario and friends, and loves magic. He's helpful and loving to his younger siblings and a joy to be around for all his cousins and aunts and uncles.

With his big oreo cookie eyes and beautiful smile, I'd call him the odds on favorite for any handsome little boy contests he'd enter.

I recently got to attend grandparent's day with him and he took such excellent care of me that I never got lost or even confused for a second. I enjoyed watching him in school and was so proud when he was always the one paying attention and carefully doing his teacher's helper tasks.

And then, thanks to providence and Beth's surprise baby shower, we got to celebrate his birthday up here in Northern Indiana. And it was so much fun.

So Ethan, thanks for bringing us so much joy and love and a Very Happy Birthday to you.....even if you weren't born on our anniversary.


  1. We are so lucky we got to celebrate with him, aren't we? He is so much fun! Happy Birthday, Ethan!!!!

  2. Happy Birthday Ethan. Oh Mary, another handsome grandson. I'm so happy you got to celebrate with him.

  3. Another cutie...look at that smile! Happy Birthday Ethan! Hope you are enjoying your new little brother!

  4. He is such an awesome kid. Your photos are AWESOME.

    When I was at my NST yesterday and I had that massive contraction, I briefly thought, how funny would it be ... March 9, 10 and 11. But that was just a brief thought.

    I LOVE these posts and have no idea how you remember so much. I'm so impressed!


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