Awaiting the Call of Good News

I am sitting at my dining room table with my mom right across from me. It is around 6 p.m and my mom is sitting with her blond hair pulled back, in a light green shirt and brown sweatpants. I am about to talk to her about the birth of her sister’s child.  

It was in the middle of winter- December 10, 2002, to be exact- and Julie, the youngest of three girls, with light brown hair, hazel eyes, and a plump build was working her part-time job at The Sweet Tooth, the candy store in the mall. Her older sister Donna, who has dark brown hair, brown eyes, and a plumper build, also worked with Julie part-time. While working their evening shift, they got a phone call from their mother. The phone call stated that their middle sister, Sue was heading to the hospital. She was in labor!

“Since it was winter and the roads weren’t so great, we were excited but nervous,” she said. She and her sister were working, and they were not able to go to the hospital. After their shift was done, around 9 p.m, they both returned to their homes- Julie to Worcester and Donna to Williamstown. They both waited to receive the call saying that they were now aunts to a new baby boy or girl.

“We didn’t hear anything until the next day, so we had to wait and wait and wait,” she said. “Finally we got the call that he was born. After I had received the call I was really excited.” Julie then told me that not only is this her first nephew but this is her sister’s first child and her parent’s first grandchild. Julie’s drive was a bit longer than anyone else in her family- she lives in Worcester and the rest of her family lives in either Barre or Williamstown. Plus, the roads and weather probably weren’t helpful either.

“When I got to the hospital, my parents were already there so I had to ‘wait my turn’ to hold him,” she said. The rest of her family, including her, wanted to know what the name of their nephew and grandchild was since Sue and her husband Brent had kept the baby’s name a secret.  That was only so the rest of the family couldn’t give their opinions. Only after the baby was born was the family able to know the name of the child. His name is Christian Xavier Gagne.

As my mom and I continued to talk about Christian’s birth, she was unable to remember any specifics about length, weight, etc, so I decided to also interview my Aunt Sue to know what she was feeling, what was going on before the baby was born. I talked to her over the phone.

“I woke up early that morning, like at 3 o’clock and I thought I was in labor but I didn’t know,” she said. Aunt Sue decided to call one of her friends to see if they knew what was happening. Her friend told her to call her doctor. Her doctor said that she should come up to the hospital.

“I had to drive myself because Uncle Brent was gone to Home Depot, story of my life,” she said. When Aunt Sue arrived at the hospital, the doctor told her “‘yup, you’re going to have this baby today,’ and they sent me up to the hospital.” That was around 9 am. She spent eleven hours and fifty-three minutes waiting to deliver the baby.

She told me she remembered that Papa, her father-in-law, came up. She couldn’t remember if her mother-in-law was there or not. Her parents then came up to await the arrival of the baby.  According to Aunt Sue, “he was very stubborn and didn’t want to come out.”

When Christian finally arrived, it was 7:53 pm. His length was 21 ½ inches, he weighed 9 pounds and 4 oz, and he had a little bit of dark hair. Christian is now 15 years old, has brown hair, brown eyes, and he’s a little scruffy.

After my mom saw him for the first time, she felt happy and relieved for her sister. Sue had gone through a long labor ending with a C-section, which was not the original plan. Thankfully, everything ended up fine- a healthy baby, happy parents, and my mom still wanting one of her own. This was the first baby in the family, which made her even happier. She was getting married the following April in 2003 and got her wish in 2004, when I was born.  But that’s a whole other story.