June 23, 1999
I was just kidding about the episiotomy photo.

There was voicemail waiting for me when I walked into the Isolation Booth this morning, as always ... but this time the little blinking light was a WELCOME sight.

"Hi, it's Mom," said a weary voice. "It's 8 a.m. and we're still at it."  

My sister Debi had now been in labor for over twenty-four hours. Judging from the background noises, Mom must have had a ringside seat. "I think we're getting pretty close to the end though," she said, above the screaming.

Deb went into the hospital yesterday morning to have her labor induced. Baby Connor -- an elegant name chosen by the parents-to-be months ago -- had already held up the proceedings for two weeks. ("I didn't think I was still going to be pregnant on Father's Day," an exasperated Debi wrote via e-mail earlier this week.) 

It was clearly time to get this show on the road. 

Phone calls back and forth throughout the day yesterday kept us updated on her progress (or lack of same). Mostly it was just a lot of sitting around and waiting for something to happen.

David and I were glued to the phone last night. We didn't sign onto AOL at all, afraid of blocking the phone line for even a millisecond. By 10 p.m. or so, though, when there still hadn't been any word, we finally gave up and went to bed. That's why I was so glad to walk into the office and find voicemail waiting from my mother ... even if it was still more of the waiting-for-something-to-happen stuff. "It's been a very long night," she said at the conclusion of the message. "I'll call you again when I have some real news."

I kept myself busy for most of the morning -- sorting through some more old correspondence, registering Franz for an upcoming seminar, starting some new files -- all of the *busy work* I'm tackling while he is out of town for two weeks -- but my mind definitely wasn't in the game. All I could think about was my sister, so many miles away, and this incredible experience she was going through right at that very minute, and how much I wished I could be there to stand around at her bedside and look helpless and concerned and extraneous.

The Big Call came right on the dot of 10 a.m. "We have a little boy," said my mother, sounding simultaneously exultant and on the verge of collapse. "He has all of his fingers and all of his toes, and he's beautiful." Connor was born at 9:54 a.m. ... all eight pounds three-quarters of an ounce and twenty inches of him. Mother and son were both doing well: the ecstatic father was running around the delivery room taking pictures of everything. (Look for those episiotomy shots to show up on *FootNotes* soon!)

All's well that ends well.

"Tell Debi that I love her very, very much" I said. "And that we can't wait to see everybody in a couple of weeks." Later in the day I actually spoke to Deb herself on the phone, so I was able to *deliver* the message directly. She sounded remarkably calm, considering everything she'd just been through. I spent the rest of the morning enjoying a very life-affirming, pleasurable emotional high. 

My baby sister has a baby. The circle widens. The connection deepens.

I love you, Deb!!
And you too, TTT, and Baby Connor, and Mom.
Now all of you -- get some SLEEP!



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