When we walked into the room, there she was. Monitors and IV’s hooked everywhere, and my little girl looked so pitiful. She was tired, as any woman who has been through labor understands. Still, it was Lacey, and to me that made it different. The good news was that Amy and I had it made to Nashville before the baby was born. The saying that God looks out for fools and grandparents who speed down I-40 at eighty-plus miles per hour proved to be true.
Neither Amy nor I was emotionally out of control. Sure, we wanted to be present upon the arrival of our first grandchild, but for some reason a calm had grabbed hold of us. In fact, we discussed this, and I wondered if we were bad grandparents because of our even temperaments, but Amy answered with that look that screams “Goofball.”
That attitude was a good one to have. We were greeted with news that scared us stiff. At some point, Lacey’s blood pressure had spiked, and she had a strong contraction, all of which put her and the baby in distress. The nurse said she suffered what our generation knew as toxemia. When the event occurred, about ten people had rushed into the room and begun hooking up drips to the IV and shoving forms to be signed in Nick’s, face. Only two words can describe the situation----SCARY TIMES!
Lacey called the nurse back to the room to explain all that was occurring, and shortly the doctor came. The decision was made to perform a Caesarian section. Doing so would ease the distress on both mother and child. Waiting for Nature to run its course could have meant that the child would have been born as much as a day later. It was a “no-brainer” decision.
The nurses hurried us out and banished us to the waiting room with the promise that we’d get to be with Lacey after they got her ready for surgery. Computer, cameras, books, and cell phone in hands, we marched to our assigned area. Several calls were placed to family and friends. I settled down to check emails. In about forty-five minutes Amy and I wondered when we could see Lacey. She went to find an answer and hurried back. It seems that no one came to get us and when Amy went to check, the nurse informed her that Madden Joseph Chemsak was lying in the nursery.
We grabbed belongings and half-sprinted down the hall. The boy lay in all of his glory under a “French fry” light. He was squalling enough to alleviate concerns about his lungs. A couple of weeks early, he still weighed in at seven pounds, three ounces and stretched nineteen inches long. Much of his upset was caused by the attending nurse who busied herself by giving the child a couple of shots and taking his temperature rectally, something I told Amy was enough to make anyone mad.
Nick was with the boy and looked every bit the proud papa. Lacey hadn’t come out of surgery, and that bothered me. I was thrilled to have this new addition to our family, but nothing would be all right until my little girl came back for me to see and check. Probably another thirty minutes passed before she was wheeled back into the room, but we still couldn’t see her.
Finally, the nurse gave the go-ahead, and I made a dash to the door. I walked to the bedside, looked at my little girl, kissed her hand, and breathed a sigh of relief. She was tired and groggy. I didn’t care as long as she was okay.
For the next twenty-four hours, Lacey wasn’t allowed to have any visitors other than grandparents. The commotion of visitors tended to elevate her blood pressure. All she could have to eat were ice chips or Popsicle.
Worst of all, Lacey wasn’t allowed to hold Madden after she returned to her room. The staff was concerned about her health, and not until her doctor came did she get the go-ahead to hold the baby, but that was more than half a day after he was born.
We visited Lacey about noon the day after, and she, Nick, and Madden were together. Amy took a turn, and then I held the boy for a couple of minutes. What was most important to me was seeing Lacey and knowing that she was all right. I relaxed just a bit then. Those were scary times. After all, Lacey was the one I once held just moments after she was born. Knowing she was safe finally made the birth Madden a completely joyous occasion.