Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Christmas Story

Our little lady is about to turn One year old on December 25th. I  know time flies but what they say is true when you have kids it goes much faster. It's bitter sweet to get to this stage because as the months progress she will turn into a toddler and no longer be my newborn baby we brought home from the hospital. I have to say though its extremely exciting to witness this little person she is developing into. Here is my birth story my Dad wrote. 

 A Christmas Story 
By: Tony Crespo (Grandpa)

On the eve of Christmas day I packed and prepared for a short trip to Alexandria, VA to visit my lovely daughter Crystal and her husband Matt.  As I said my farewells to my loved ones in Chicago I was told that there might be a greater surprise during my stay in Virginia then just a visit with my precious daughter.  The surprise that was mentioned had to do with my youngest daughter's pregnancy.  Crystal was 8 1/2 months pregnant and was due on the 6th of January (Three Kings Day).  The thought did come to mind of having the ultimate blessing of being with my daughter for her very special day...the birth of her first child.  But the days were not aligned for my short stay and it became an afterthought.  The thoughts for my Christmas visit were on the time I would spend with my Daughter and Son-in-law.  My journey began from Grandma Ermis house...the address was entered and the trip distance read 701 miles to my destination.

As the trip began I listened to music and Christmas carols.  Almost 500 miles from Chicago I received a text message at 5 AM that read, "Mels water bag broke".  I had to read the message three times before I could digest what I had just read.  The message seemed surreal so I had to call the sender... after a brief conversation the message was confirmed, my gorgeous daughter Crystal Melissa was entering child birth labor.  The driving was now second nature and the ultimate concern was to make it to Alexandria, VA before she left to the hospital.  I did not call Matt as to not worry him about my arrival and so he could continue concentrating on his task at hand..the arrival of his first born.  The roads were slick and the ice and sleet began to fall.  I spoke a short prayer and kept my eyes on the road ahead just wishing that Ava Jolie could hang on for a couple of hours before honoring us with her arrival to the world. 

The time was now 7:30 AM and I finally called Matt to find out the status of Crystal's laboring and if the baby had arrived.  Well to my surprise I heard a very calm voice on the line, the most reassuring voice I could of heard was Matt informing me of his plans and how they would not be leaving until the contractions became more frequent.  In the background I could hear Crystal waling at a very extreme pitch, just unbearable to me but in all the commotion and chaos Matt was as calm and serene as can be.  The conversation ended with Matt saying, "We will wait as long as we can and if not I will give you the address to the hospital and you can meet us there".  I was impressed with his ability to handle the screaming, shouting, waling and still format a plan at the same time... I was impressed!

Time was passing and my arrival to their house was delayed by bad weather and traffic, as I finally entered the George Washington Memorial Parkway my heart was racing just wondering if I would make it on time.  The GPS was not able to bring to the front of the house so I had to call Matt once more time.  After some rings Matt did not answer the phone...my worse fear was upon me...that Ava had to make her entrance to the world and Abuelo did not make it on time...the story of my life.  Well I decided to try one more time...the phone rang once, twice, three, and on the fourth ring I heard that calm voice on the other line.  It was Matt and he said, "how far are you? we are getting ready to leave to the hospital".  I told Matt my location and he offered some directions.  Finally after driving 717 miles I arrived to the Russell household, from outside of the house I could hear the noise emitting from within the home, it was Crystal in her labor pains.  As I parked, to no surprise to me the garage door was opening and there was Crystal hunched over screaming and panting...the sounds were...ahhhhhhhh,  ohhhhhhhh, Matt ohhhhhh Matt, ahhhhhhh breath in breath out and just more waling and more screaming Matt's name.  The Ford Fusion was loaded with the precious cargo and Matt began his trip to the hospital.

The trip to the hospital was a memorable one, I decided to follow in my car just in case there was a mechanical breakdown and the need arose for alternate transportation.  As Matt led us to the hospital I could only think about the unbearable noise he was enduring from my daughters labor cries.  Well the trip took a twist and a turn and the first stop was not the hospital but a completely different location.  All in all Matt remained calm and began to look for the correct address...Abuelo was in panic mode, the daughter was still waling but Matt asked for some help and proceeded to find the way.  Abuelo tried to lead but the result was a dead end and a quick u-turn had to be done to get back to the main road.  Matt suggested asking someone and as I went in to the 7 Eleven on Gallows Rd, someone inside pointed to the large building just around the corner.  When I came back outside,  Matt must have figured it all out because he was nowhere in sight.  All I could think of was his tenacity in all the commotion.  I arrived to the main entrance of the Inova Hospital in Fairfax, VA and parked right behind the Ford Fusion, Matt did find his way.  I walked inside and asked the receptionist did a young lady screaming, and waling just come through the doors,  the receptionist answered, "if you run fast enough you will catch up to them".  I began to run before he had a chance to finish pointing the directions.  As I entered the hallways and maneuvered the escalators I finally realized that I better ask someone.  I finally made it the front desk of the Children's Hospital and sought some help...after a few phone calls I was informed that Mrs. Russell had checked in and that I could wait in the lobby until some news would arrive.

At 12:12 PM I received a call from that very calm voice asking me to come up to the hospital room, the cries, and waling had stopped and my daughter sat there with a smile and finally said, "Hello Dad".  Ava was still in the mist of arriving but one adoring note is that she waited for Abuelo to give him the greatest gift he could have received on Christmas Day.  After sharing some time with Matt and Crystal, the nurse arrived and asked Crystal, "are you ready to begin pushing?", all I could do was smile and think about the precious package about to enter the world.  I exited the room and returned to the lobby to wait for the good news.  As time passed and the minutes became hours I received a call from Matt at 4:31 PM... the news of the greatest gift for Christmas had arrived. Matt spoke this word, "Congratulations".  One Huge smile was definitely apparent on my face; I began to spread the news.

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