October 23, 2017

First hellos!

Henley Hope Yurinko, born October 18, 2017.

I think it’s one of the days that was so wonderful that it’s going to stick with me forever.

My alarm pestered me at 7am while I was super snug on my brother Eric’s couch in the Southside of Pittsburgh, reluctant to get up because that couch is pretty much the best couch ever. Also I may add every time I’m on that couch my life has changed significantly, 6-12 months have passed and it’s easy to float down memory lane when I’m there. Quickly got to thinking “damn, no baby text in the middle of the night,” right when I hear my phone vibrate.

Moo: “Good morning butter cup. Mandi is in labor, she is getting an epidural now. I brought her in at 2 a.m., don’t know how long till baby comes, hard to tell. We are at Forbes in mnrvl., rm. 4505.”

You have to admire that abbreviation for Monroeville, and it was nice of Mom to let me sleep through the night, but before even finishing reading I was physically leaping into the air, like the couch had a spring in it and launched me. I burst into my abridged version of my daily workout, showered in about a minute and a half and off I went.

I’m cruising my rental truck that’s really fun to drive over to Forbes just beaming you know. Rolled up to the hospital thinking wow, hospital visits have never been such a happy thing. I like how life can be like that. I mean, never been so excited to walk into a hospital––Pretty cool feeling have a rather ugly thing painted so beautifully.

I make my way to the baby floor of the hospital and I first run into Al––he had just come straight from work so he was in a dirty cut off looking no different than what anyone who knows him would expect…but you could see in his eyes the happiness and how excited he was. Made me melt. He took me into the family waiting room where I would spend the day with my parents, Mandi’s parents, and sisters, Britt, and Malina + Ray.

Al takes me into see Mandi––She looks super cute all nestled into the hospital bed. I feel bad for her when I discover she’s only allowed to eat ice chips until baby comes. I kissed her head and we said some I love you’s and she laid down to nap as the doctor suggested.

We had tons of laughs trading stories where we made that room our little home for the day. My favorite story being Al’s trip into the hospital from work: He got pulled over twice, and also unfortunately hit a deer! Classic Al. Got off the hook for one of the tickets, the other was $200…. I guess some cops don’t fall for the, “My wife is labor.”

After several trips to the cafeteria, and drinking plenty of the free watered down coffee (that even the nurse couldn’t fix), eating most of the good stuff out of the vending machine (Reese’s, sun chips, M&Ms) we FINALLY had a great discovery after 8 hours or so. We discovered that the soda machine DOES work, you just have to use coins, not dollars. If only we’d known that all day….

Needless to say, the time was well spent with family, but it did feel slow just wondering how everything was going. Anxious to meet the little one. About an hour and a half in from when I think they told us Mandi was going to start pushing, Malina got a text that she was here! It was like a celebration for a championship win, but more hugs than high fives, and of course bring on the river of happy tears.

We all got a picture of Mandi holding baby on our phones––Mand looking exceptionally beautiful for having just done all of that work, and baby just looking like a little ball of love all swaddled in Mom’s arms at last. They hadn’t revealed her name just yet, but baby girl was seriously just the cutest little thing, it’ didn’t even matter. And picture number two was a nudey with a totally epic face, that was outright saying “HELLO WORLD!”

They were totally right about it being extraordinary when it’s your kin…

A little while later Al & Mandi let us know her name: Henley Hope Yurinko, 3:55pm, 8lb 5oz, 21 inches

And finally Alby comes in for some hugs and takes us back to meet Henley. What we saw is pictured here in the photos, but what we felt is nothing that can be recreated. Love radiating. Pure happiness and joy and awe of this little baby. I’ve never liked using the word perfect, but she was perfect.

A true blessing, and I’m so grateful for my family and can’t wait to watch this one grow. We love you Henley!

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