Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Last week we welcomed another beautiful, healthy baby into our family. Thomas William Britt entered the world on Aug. 6 at 9:47 a.m. He weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces and was 21 inches long. And he is beautiful.
I got to University Hospital around 8:15 a.m. for the planned C-section, which was scheduled for 9 a.m. Mom Joy was hooked up to the requisite monitors, and Mac was working hard to look his usual cool self through it all. However, we all knew better. My son has risen to the occasion for his wife’s entire pregnancy, doing what he could to make things as easy as he could for her — His mantra has mostly been: She’s the one who’s pregnant; I’m trying to do whatever she wants.
So he was waiting anxiously for the big moment. The only thing he would say was that he hoped he didn’t pass out or throw up. We kept telling him that his hunting experience should have prepared him for the sights and sounds in the delivery room.
Thomas was born with little trauma, and mama and baby did great - as did Mac.
My son came out of the delivery room with the little bundle that was our new grandson in his arms. Joy would share later that my stoic son indeed shed silent tears at the sight of his beautiful baby. But by the time we saw him, he was simply beaming. He stopped long enough to let Grandma Kathy and Papa Bill, YaYa Phyllis and daughter Ariah check out our new baby - assuring ourselves that this was the baby we had seen in the sonograms, identifiable readily by the dimple in his chin that he inherited from his father. (Opa Tom was at home keeping grandchildren Cade and Payron in check until he got the OK to bring them over to see their new cousin.)
The nurse led Mac over to press the button that announces to the whole hospital that a new baby had been born. The button got plenty of exercise that morning in the W.G. Watson Women’s Center with eight scheduled C-sections and eight inductions (inducements?) along with an equal number of babies making known their desire to come into the world without artificial aid.
We then got to watch through the nursery window as Nurse Kathy bathed our little one, gave him his first shot (not fun for any of us) and stuck his little heel for his first of many tests.
When they delivered Thomas to his mom for the first time, the nurse commented he was in his “big-boy” diaper, since he was already too big for newborn size.
The next two days gave Joy some time to recover, Thomas some time to adjust to this world and the rest of us a chance to fawn over him. Cade and Payton were ecstatic to meet their new cousin and to play with Ariah. (It’s funny the difference in attitude on the OB wing. The kids played games, laughed and generally went a little crazy, but the only thing the nurse said was that as long as Joy wasn’t distressed by it all they weren’t concerned about the kid noises. It was good for Thomas to be surrounded by a little chaos from the beginning.) There was a stream of family and friends on Wednesday and Thursday, including Auntie Cat, Uncle Scott and Opa, who once again acknowledged he loves being a grandfather.
Then on Friday, they said Joy could go home. My, how things have changed. Going home on the third day seems amazing to me. Joy was champing at the bit, though, so it became frustrating as the hours dragged on, and the doctor had not appeared. Thomas was released around 11a.m., but the OB/gyn on duty had a major emergency in the morning, apparently didn’t get lunch and was finally making rounds around 7:15 p.m. He apologized profusely and let Joy go just in time for the torrential thunderstorm we had Friday night. Mac drove home very cautiously, noticeably aware of his precious cargo.
Liz and Vince made a quick visit on Sunday, and it was interesting to watch my youngest granddaughter’s reaction to the new baby. Pearce, now 19 months old, was not particularly concerned with Thomas until her mama decided to hold him. At that Pearce wailed. She was not too sure about her mother holding this tiny fellow. Even when I took Thomas, Pearce for once reached for me to take her instead. But Pearce eventually settled, and we all agreed that when it’s her own brother or sister she’ll be fine.
It is fun to watch the Britt family become a cohesive unit. Ariah is thrilled to do whatever she can to help with her new little brother. Joy may never let Thomas sleep in his crib, enjoying the chance to snuggle with this new little person. But my son is the real marvel for me. When Cade was born, Mac told Cat he’d be happy to take him on outings “as soon as he’s out of diapers.” But with his own son, Mac has joined right in with the responsibilities, doing whatever is needed - diapers, taking the middle-of-the-night shift when Thomas isn’t interested in sleep, holding his son and watching him with adoring eyes. It is a real joy to watch Mac become Daddy. And I couldn’t be prouder.
They all will have some time to bond. Joy’s taking about three months off work. And Mac is able to take a month. The hard part will be leaving this precious child to return to work.
Maybe in that time we will all figure out what to call our new family member. Joy, so far, has opted for Thomas. Mac has said he may call him Tommy. Cat has decided the baby is T-Dub, while Cade and Payton - and Auntie Liz - think maybe Tom-Tom will do. Joy’s dad has already dubbed him “Little Mac,” and I suspect when Tom’s dad arrives, Thomas will become either “Tiny Mac” or “Littlest Mac,” since Great-granddad already calls Cade “Little Mac.” I thought about “T.W.,” but everyone agrees that I will more likely’ resort to my favorite pet name for Mac and Cade - Buddy.
In any event, we already love this little boy who has entered our lives. Thomas William Britt has stolen our hearts.