Happy Birthday, Nae!

Four years ago today Jaime called me. It was her fourth, “I might be in labor” call. I’ve learned that Jaime thinking she “might” be in labor means get in the car and start driving there.  Her last baby, Annie, was nearly born in the car on the way to the hospital. This time she decided to play it safe and have Danae at home.

Benny and several of our kids were on a youth retreat. Of course. They missed Annie’s birth because she came too fast. This time they were two hours away. But even though Lauren and Janelle were determined to get there and woke Benny up to leave right away, they arrived just a few minutes too late…

When I left my house that morning I didn’t realize I was about to come as close as someone can get to delivering their granddaughter. In our church up north, I was privileged to attend or assist at several births with my midwife friend, Martha. I had amnionic fluid dumped on me by one friend and almost watched another baby delivered into a toilet (sorry to any guys who visit here…smile). But no births have compared with those of my grandchildren. On that March day I was about to see my 8th grandchild come into the world.

Danae Jewel (named after Benny’s mom) was born while the midwife sat peacefully knitting her a newborn hat, assuring me I had enough babies and assisted with enough births that I knew what to do. With Daddy nearby and Granma sitting next to Mommy coaching her through her contractions, Danae rushed into our world and hearts.

A nasal cyst resulted in two surgeries and some scary interactions with specialists, but from day one we knew this was one special little girl. As you can see, her little eye swelled with infection but even in the hospital with an IV stuck into her scalp, her smile remained. While her hospitalization and surgeries were challenging, I had a front row seat watching my daughter tenderly care for her sick baby girl. My respect for Jaime soared during those days. I knew she was a strong woman — but her trust in God inspired me and made me fall in love with my own little girl all over again.

Today Danae is a healthy, beautiful and vibrant toddler. Her smile still lights up the room and reminds me so much of her Mommy’s. Yes, she hits her sister, sometimes whines when she doesn’t get her way and is pretty protective of her My Little Ponies. After all, her adorableness can only mask her sin for so long. She needs a Savior, and I’m praying today that He will draw her heart to Himself at an early age.

Happy Birthday, Nae Nae! Granma hopes you enjoyed your grapes for dinner last night. I love you and can’t wait to see Jesus turn you into a godly young woman who loves Him. Maybe in a lot of years I’ll still be writing and bragging about you. With pictures.

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