We are so excited to welcome our son, Gabriel Robert Adamo to our family. We chose the name Gabriel because we liked it a lot, but also because Gabriel is an angel and we wanted in some way for it to have some special meaning in relation to Natalie. Robert is after my dad, who died suddenly of a stroke in 1984 when I was 18 years old. We wanted to honor him, too. Plus, his initials are GRA and Roslyn's are RGA (for Roslyn Grace Adamo), so they're like bookends. A nice symmetry.
We are in awe that Gabriel is here with us — finally!! As many of you know, he didn’t seem to want to come out EVER! At 13 days past his due date, we finally had to give him a nudge. My midwife broke my water at 9:20 p.m. on May 9, Mother’s Day -- or, as my husband says "we emptied the pool." Within a short time of walking around the hospital corridors, contractions started and labor was in full force. One of the places I sat for awhile was directly above the new main entrance to the hospital where they have the brick pathway. We purchased a brick for Natalie since she was also born at Women & Infants' Hospital and the chair where I sat and had my first contraction was directly above Natalie's brick. It felt right to be there and I know she was helping me. I made several trips up and down the halls, checking back every 15 minutes so they could check the baby's heartbeat. He was doing great. Then on one of my solo trips, I had such a powerful contraction, I couldn't walk and had to lean on the arms of a chair and call for Chris to come and help me. Somehow he got me back to the labor room and the contractions were now coming every minute or two, it seemed. I didn't get much of a chance to rest in between. I noted the big clock on the wall directly across from me as midnight came and thought, "oh well, he's not going to be born on Mother's Day, but he'll still have a very auspicious birthdate of 5-10-10." My midwife was so great, giving me updates and telling me that "very soon" he would come out. Then, after 10 minutes of very intense pushing, Gabriel emerged at 12:55 a.m. Once his head and shoulders were out, Chris pulled him out and placed him on my chest and I snuggled him. He was whimpering and I started to talk to him and the sound of my familiar voice calmed him down and he looked up at me, like "I know you." It was magical. After awhile, Chris cut the cord and they took him away to weigh him and do what they do.
I can’t tell you how relieved I was to have gotten through the pain of my third natural (drug-free) childbirth and to see him for the first time!! I couldn’t believe it when they told me he weighed 9 lbs 5 oz!! He was huge compared to Roslyn and Natalie who were 7.8 and 7.1 respectively. Definitely a big boy and so, so healthy! It is all we could have hoped for and definitely worth the wait!
He is now 10 days old and seems to be settling into a good rhythm of sleeping at night (the past two nights he did a 5-hour stretch followed by a 4-hour stretch!!), nursing well, making lots of dirty diapers, and being incredibly cute and charming. It’s pretty cool. I am starting to feel more like myself again, now that I'm getting on average about six hours of sleep at night.
This hasn’t been an easy journey but we are so thrilled that Gabriel is here and part of our family. His big sister Roslyn is so excited and in love with him. She keeps calling him “sweetheart” and wants to hold him as much as she can. He seems to enjoy being in her arms. And we know that his other big sister Natalie is watching over him. Our precious angel. The pain of losing her is magnified a million times right now. I cry a lot and relive the events of March 18,, 2007 in my mind. It is still so unbelievable, the pain is still so raw. It is a very difficult thing to be so happy one minute and so terribly sad the next. But that's the way it is. I am so full of love for all my children now, it is overflowing.
Thank you to everyone for all your prayers, love, and support. Here are some pictures of Gabriel and our family, and Natalie's magic brick at the hospital.
Beth, Christopher, Roslyn, and Gabriel (and our angel Natalie)