Column by Jeff D’Alessio
By Jeff D’Alessio
We knew she would arrive when she was ready and not a moment before.
That’s what everyone – Parents, family, friends and doctors – kept telling our daughter Natalie.
But after carrying a child for nine months and seeing her grow from the size of a grape to a small pumpkin, Natalie had about enough of the pregnancy gig — the uncomfortable sleeping positions, back pain, the anticipation. She and her fiance, Josh Davis, who live in LaRue County, were ready to meet their daughter, a first child for both.
So at 6:07 p.m. Sunday, after about two hours of pushing to bring the baby into the world and after a handful of false alarms over the past few weeks, McKenna Leigh Davis arrived as a healthy 6-pound, 9-ounce and 19-inch bundle of preciousness. Her dad, aunt Amanda Knapp and a Hardin Memorial Hospital team coached Natalie to deliver the first baby of 2017 at the hospital.
It’s always neat to see a new life enter our crazy world. It’s even more special when it’s your daughter making the delivery.
It was a full day in getting McKenna here for mom and dad as a waiting room of parents, aunts, uncles and nieces anxiously waited for condition updates. Cups of coffee were plenty as was pacing. It wasn’t a good day for cellphone data plans, either.
The first trip to Hardin Memorial Hospital on Sunday came in the wee hours of the morning — another false alarm. That is, until Natalie’s water broke and by 6 a.m., they had returned to HMH.
This was it.
Natalie always has wanted to be a mother and often believed a day like Sunday never would happen. She’s a caring and considerate aunt, sister and daughter, always looking for ways to help.
She will take those same traits into being a mom to McKenna, who ate and slept well on her first night here.
It has been quite a last week or so. Natalie and Josh became engaged on Christmas Eve, something that was held in secret until I was asked for my blessing by him to marry our daughter before he proposed. I gained plenty of respect for the young man that night for seeking our approval after about five years of dating.
The proposal didn’t trigger labor, but eight days later, McKenna decided it was time to meet everyone.
Of all the pictures taken and looked at Sunday night, there are two that were stuck in my mind when we left HMH that night, worn out by the sitting, waiting and nervousness of hoping your daughter and third granddaughter would be healthy through the birth and after.
One was of Natalie holding McKenna, a tear falling along the side of her right eye minutes after giving birth. The other is Josh holding McKenna and her little eyes about half open looking up at him. The pictures captured their day and their journey.
Little did McKenna Leigh know her arrival would cause such a bawl-fest. The sight of her for the first time sent Natalie, Josh and Amanda into tears — tears of joy.
And so life goes on.
Grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and friends have a little one to hold and enjoy, seeing her change from week to week, making sure she has anything and everything she will ever need — most importantly, love.
And Natalie and Josh now have the most important names they will ever have: mom and dad.