Wednesday, July 18, 2012

when the baby has a baby.

there are 10 of us in our family.
8 kids.
maggie is the baby.
side note: my brother, andrew, actually came up with the idea to name her maggie after watching the simpsons . now that's classy.

when you're the youngest of a large family, you don't really do much for yourself. you are babied by everyone. someone eventually teaches you to read, and write your name, and how to steal the very best snacks from the pantry.


your sisters tell you that you'll die if you don't learn how to dive by the time you're in preschool. and how will you survive if you don't know how to do a back flip on the trampoline? everyone can do a back flip on the trampoline in kindergarten. duh.

your brothers will teach you how to drink alcohol and sneak out. and then sneak in. and then get caught. and get grounded for the rest of your life!


so when the baby of the family got pregnant, accidentally, no one knew what to do. except go with it. dad says, babies come into the world all different ways. some are planned and some are not. 

 and we shrug shoulders and say, you can do this. because you have to do this. or do you want me to adopt your baby? wait, why are you looking at me weird. i'm serious, you're my only chance for a blond haired blue eyed baby. no? ok. fine. be responsible! what do i care!


we waited all day. some of my brothers came up to "help" and ended up being stupid. as usual.
my dad desperately wanted to videotape the whole things with his new camera because i can produce a slide show on the wall with this thing! with music!


heinous. no. you're kicked out. this is not a greek festival.
but it was. my dad and brothers and the other grandpa found and empty room across the hall and occupied it. projecting video slideshows, drinking wine, and being annoying. they were hated by the night nurses. it may be true that unkind words were said as we walked out later that night. but whatever. i'm sorry for my overly excited greek family. that happens to not be greek at all. except in their hearts.


anyway, i could tell that maggie was scared. she started crying when it got closer to pushing.

i don't know why i'm crying.




i try really hard not to cry because if i cry then mom cries and then a kitten somewhere dies.  it's ok mags. it's scary having a baby. i cry every time. it's normal. you're going to meet your baby soon. it's going to be great. here, have a peanut m&m, you need energy. quickly chew though, the nurse is coming.


my mom just watches over maggie, pacing around and rubbing her back and her hands. i wonder what that feels like. watching your baby have a baby. i watch my moms hands stroke her hair. i bet you need more ice chips.


and my sister, audrey was out of town. so we called her and put her on speaker. she said a lot of wrong things at the wrong time, but what can you do when you can't see people react to your bad jokes. i turned the volume down.


maggie pushed like a champ. the doctor was late. they wanted her to wait. and wait. and the baby was practically out. my mom and i were whispering, it's ok. just push. you're in a hospital.

that really got us on the wrong side of the nurses. but we're rebels like that.

and then the baby came. and just like that a new human cried itself into the world. i hid behind my lens and cried. maggie saw the baby and cried and i could see that the emotions surprised her.

in that moment, my baby sister grew up. her life changed and everyone saw it.
 we made this, she laugh-cried with surprise. it was finally real. the baby in her belly was real and
she felt the weight and exhilaration of becoming a parent.

those feelings rushed over me as i remembered seeing layne for the first time. exhaustion and joy. pain and surprise. intense love and bewilderment at a tiny human.

welcome to the life of a parent, maggie. those feelings never change, i hear. not ever. enjoy that sweet peanut. you will be such a great mother. and welcome charlie! (it's a girl)



51 comments:

  1. This post is beautiful! You captured the feelings of this milestone so, so well, Jami - with both words and photos. Yay Maggie! Such a happy time for your fam!

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  2. congratulations to your family!

    i couldn't stop laughing at the greek comparison and your family taking up another room while drinking wine. so funny!

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  3. Oh this made me cry. So sweet. My "babies" are 18, 20, and ALMOST 22! It never does change. You will always remember that moment that you first lay eyes on your child. No matter how much love you have for them when you are carrying them is multiplies to something that cannot be defined. Best of luck to her. Being a mom is wonderful, even on the days you question your life choices. =+)

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  4. What a sweet, sweet post. Welcome to the world little one. And I love the picture of the head measuring. The baby's face is adorable in that one!!

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  5. What a sweet, sweet post! Welcome to the world little one. And I love the picture of the head measuring! The expression on the baby's face is adorable.

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  6. I love your thoughts, photos and perspective on your baby sister having a baby! What sweet words, and silly ones too! Babies, no matter planned or not are a wonderful gift! My little sister did not plan her pregnancy either, and now her child is our gift (not by her choice, but because the Lord decided he needed my sis in heaven to hang out with). My favorite pic is the one with your sisters tear streaming down her face.

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  7. Oh such a great birth story! You're a wonderful story teller!

    Congratulations Maggie. You're a beautiful mom :). I'm having a little Charli of my own in a couple months. Can't wait!

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  8. This made me cry. I have one daughter, now 6.5 and this brought back every feeling of emotion I had the day she was born. So touching.

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  9. Made me cry. Been there with my baby sister. Hard and rich and good. And her baby changed her life. Saved her life. He is such a blessing from God. Congratulations Maggie! Happy Birthday Charlie!

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  10. Beautiful pictures! Beautiful experience! Felt the emotion! Thanks for sharing.
    Merlina

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  11. Beautiful pictures! Beautiful experience! Felt the emotion! Thanks for sharing.
    Merlina

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  12. oh, pure sweetness.
    i am a slobbery mess this a.m..
    what a beautiful story.
    xo

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  13. Oh man...how beautiful!!! My husband and I just decided that were ready to try for number three and this made me even more sure!! Congratulations on your new beautiful niece! Those pictures are beautiful too!!

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  14. What a beautiful story of a new baby coming into this world. You are a wonderful birth photographer every picture conveys so much emotion. Congratulations to your sister!

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  15. oh goodness, you made me CRY!
    that's just so sweet!
    welcome charlie! congrats to your baby sister!!!
    I am the baby of 7, but I never really got that babied, of course my 6 siblings would tell it differently probably! LOL!

    great pics!
    tara

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  16. This is precious. My first born came into the world under similar circumstances and thankfully, my family reacted much like yours (except without all the loud Greekness. We fall squarely in the sober, stoic English variety). This brought me back. I remember that moment, so beautiful and terrifying and uncertain all at once. Congratulations, Maggie!

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  17. What a beautiful post!! I'm due next month (also with a girl) so of course this post made me sob. Congrats to your sister and what beautiful pictures!! Also, I love the name Charlie for a girl, so sweet!!

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  18. Beautiful, honest, and, YAY!!! Congratulations, Auntie!!

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  19. OK I'm crying and I only know you from the barely there image of your face in high school :) I love the way to talk about your family, it all sounds like of bunch of laughter and love all the time :) Keep writing, cuz I love your style!

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  20. OK, so thanks for all of that. I'm sitting at my kids' swim practice reading your post on my phone and BAWLING. Yeah, really helped along my reputation of being the ODD one. :) I seriously love you all. Welcome to the world, Charlie!

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  21. What beautiful family support! May Maggie and Charlie be happy forever!

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  22. Congratulations, Auntie!! What a beautiful little girl!! By the way, your mom was cool for naming your sis Maggie. My mom ALMOST let us name the baby of our family after a Power Ranger, but she changed her mind last minute. Funny enough, she has slight regrets.

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  23. This made me cry - what a beautifully told story! That first moment - holding your baby is the most amazing second. Thanks for reminding me.

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  24. Love how you captured the moments here! Takes me right back to the day I had my first and I'm kinda bummed that time is flying so darn quickly. I just loved that newborn stage...and yes, most people think I'm nuts over that. I have 3 boys now and I can't think of a good reason to have another one, so I won't. But they are my whole heart...love them and a little piece of me wishes I could do it all again!

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  25. Sheesh, not I am a hot crying mess!

    That picture of your sister with the lone tear running down her face, PURE AWESOMENESS!!

    My baby sister is going to have a baby in a few short months and I hope I can document her day as beautifully as you have. Way to go Nato (like how I did that?)

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  26. so so so beautiful. what a tribute to your sister.

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  27. Such an incredibly beautiful post. Tears are streaming down my cheeks. Congratulations to your sister and your family for the new addition!

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  28. What a beautiful post! God truly does some amazing things. :)

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  29. The photo of your sister holding Charlie with the tear streaming down her cheek is stunning.

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  30. maggs looks like a baby in that last photo.

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  31. This is a beautiful post. Congratulations to your family!

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  32. OMG - what a great post. The baby of our family had her first in sr year of hs...all her friends (who had abortions) were secretly jealous! Our family was amazing and strong and supportive - I mean consider the alternative....we all did the right thing! To this day the dad's family has no intention to acknowledge him....25 years later...how shameful. This made me C R Y remembering the night our family of 8 did the same as you describe here to welcome our first nephew!!!!

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  33. Amazing post, Jami. And I'm so jealous of your birth photography opportunities! I need a knocked up sister.

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  34. maybe my sister will let me do this? loved this post. i've always wanted a girl named charlie. and story.
    one down one to go, MAYBE.
    loved the wit and emotion of both your words and pics.
    good on you.
    also thanks for commenting on my blog.
    ;)

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  35. I am in tears. How beautiful. Now I look at my little 7 week old baby wishing I had pics like that. But I have none. It was just me and my hubs in the delivery room. One nurse and one midwife. My family all lives on the other side of the country. I miss them. Now more tears. Thanks for sharing.

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  36. Thanks for making me cry! I am 23 wks along with our third and first boy! You made me even more excited to hold our baby. Congratulations to your sister and family!

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  37. I love that top picture...your dad eyeing the dude. Priceless!! My first pregnancy was unplanned. I was 18. Now that sweet little unplanned pregnancy is 18 and I've been married to his dad for 18 years. And we had two more boys. Wouldn't change a thing.
    Welcome to the new addition!!

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  38. Oh Jami, this made me laugh and cry. Everything you said - so true in the delivery room. I think I want to have one more baby just so you can be there to make me laugh and feed me m&m's. Although, I probably wouldn't be laughing thru the radiating pain of labor, but I would save your jokes in my heart and laugh later. :)
    Also, I love how loving and supportive your family is to one another. Circumstances in life are never perfect and they just embrace that and move on and love no matter what.
    Congratulations Maggie!

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  39. I love this. Maggie and Charlie are so beautiful. The picture of her crying holding Charlie made me cry.

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  40. Maggie and Charlie are so beautiful. I held the tears in until I got the the picture of Maggie holding Charlie with tears. So sweet. I'm so happy for you Maggie! I can't wait to meet her!

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  41. What a beautiful post!! The pictures are amazing and make it such a powerful story. Congrats to your family on sweet Charlie...what a doll!!

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  42. You truly have a unique and amazing writing style my dear :) Beautifully told story, with inserts of humor...just my style. Your sister is lucky to have such a great support system...and that baby...oh just look at that baby. God is good :) Oh yah, and now I want another one, which would make 3 :)

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  43. i love a good birth story...this was awesome. (and i married into a greek family. my sister refers to the birth of my son, as my big fat greek birth...it was crazy.)

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  44. Oh my. The photo of your sis with her new baby and a tear down her face. amazing!!

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  45. Such an amazing post. I really love it. And the pictures are perfect jami.

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  46. I can so relate. I was 19, how old is she? It's very true, what you said in the beginning about unplanned pregnancies, it's no walk in the park being pregnant that young and being judged and stared at left and right.
    But you do go with it, you do what you have to do, you do what needs to be done, and hopefully she will be against the odds and raise her baby well like I did--i'm guessing she will.

    thanks for sharing such a beautiful story with us. and for the hilarious commentary.

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  47. I love this - especially the pictures of everyone crowded at the door with cameras in hand.

    But I am slightly confused about the whole greek thing - I'm greek, but not really too...

    How are you greek? or not greek?

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  48. what is wrong with me tonight?? how fitting this post is about a newborn baby....because i am crying like a newborn baby between this post, the one you posted about lila today, and some other shiz. geesh. sometimes it lands on me like a ton of bricks that this parenting thing lasts a freaking lifetime....and the joy, pain, hope, fear and love that you experience for your children just never subsides. if anything, it only grows bigger and bigger. its so overwhelming to me. especially with four littles, one in heaven, and a little guy with unique special needs of his own. lord help me. thank you for always being candid and sincere. i love you for it. p.s.... that third image down of your sister through the bedrails wincing in pain totally looks like you. in fact, i thought it was you for a moment, just trying to make us laugh. but then i started crying again when i saw the picture of your mom pacing and trying to help, wanting to take away her daughter's pain. and the picture of the tears coming down maggie's face when she met her sweet babe. oh, geez. i must need some sleep. i am SO not a crier.

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  49. i swear, you are the best writer ever.

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