Now, before I move on from this whole birth experience I do need to mention my mother's role throughout the entire event, because she was such a tremendous help to Eric and I (so were my father and Sam). My mom just took mothering to new heights through this process and once again set quite an standard.
Let's see, where to start...well, let's start with labor. When I went into labor my mother came over to help, joined by my father. When I labored through the night at home she stayed up with me to count contractions so Eric could try and get an hour or two of rest. She was up pretty much the entire night.
When it was time to go to the hospital she came along, by our invitation---she was extremely careful not to overstep and just made sure that she was helping in ways that we wanted. She was helping in exactly the right ways. She was there through labor and delivery working as my advocate; as a nurse she was comfortable asking questions and being on top of things. She was also careful to not step on Eric's toes, letting him be exactly where he wanted to be and doing what he needed to do.
This is what my gorgeous mother looks like with no sleep---good grief.
When Elise had to stay an extra couple of days in the hospital my mother stayed the night with me so Eric could be at home with Cordelia, keeping things normal for her. My mother accompanied me to the nursery every two hours through that first night to keep me company---remember she hadn't slept the night before. I couldn't have Elise in my room that first night because she was hooked up to an IV (for the record she just had a high white blood cell count at birth, turned out to be nothing. They were just covering their bases). She kept me focused on the positive and kept me from worrying too much, comforting me with the facts that all would be well.
There are countless other little things she did, from gifts to spending special time with Cordelia so Eric and I could be together with Elise. When we made it home from the hospital she met us with tons of groceries, flowers and dinner. She helped get things settled and then took her leave so that we could just settle in as a little family of four. Since then she has continued to blow us away with her giving spirit. I am so very thankful to have this amazing and generous woman as my mother and as a grandmother to our girls.