[Updated below; updated again] It'd be one thing if our pregnancy were the only one going on in our lives, but it hasn't been. We got together this past Sunday with Shizuka and Eric, the former being one of Kathy's best friends from college, and the latter being Shizuka's husband and the man with whom I made our celebratory beer. Shizuka was due the day after we got together. As the picture shows, she was VERY pregnant.
I wonder if our children will ever understand how wonderful this picture is, the end of an era for two close friends, and the cusp of a new one. Not to mention that they're in the shot too, plainly visible in the fabric of their mothers' clothes.
Kathy's really been enjoying having Shizuka nearby. Both Shizuka and Eric are college professors, and while Eric works at the University of Maryland, Shizuka had been living in Northampton, Massachusetts until a month ago. She had already scheduled a Sabbatical and was going to be living with Eric for this upcoming academic term even before they knew she was pregnant. I have trouble imagining being in a marriage where I lived hundreds of miles from my spouse, but it's worked for them. In fact, there was probably at least as much anxiety with how they'd get along being in the same house full-time as there was over the baby coming into their lives.
Speaking of a baby coming into their lives, Shizuka was induced on Wednesday. There had been no sign that she was ever going to go into labor by herself, and her doctor was concerned about needing a C-section if the baby grew much more. It took a while, and there were concerns that a C-section would be needed after all, but ultimately she dilated, and out came little Kazumi.
We were able to visit the next evening, and Kathy was on Cloud Nine as she held Kazumi -- I think she could have stayed in that position forever, but for the fact that visiting hours ended at nine (and that Kazumi needed feeding). We also partook of one of Eric's bottles of the Soft Spot Stout we brewed, and I must say, it's quite a tasty brew, although not quite as hoppy as we thought it might get.
Shizuka and Kazumi got out of the hospital yesterday, and we're going to try to visit them (and Eric) soon, perhaps even today -- Kathy's cooking up a storm to bring over a few dishes that Eric and Shizuka can eat over the next couple of weeks. Update, 5:15pm -- I made a bad assumption. While both were scheduled to get out yesterday, Kazumi turned blue for about a minute on Friday morning and has been admitted to NICU. The doctors don't believe it's a heart problem, but they don't know exactly why it happened (and it's happened a second time), so she remains in NICU. Kathy and I are both anxiously awaiting news that everything is ok.
It may have been an external one, but this baby was certainly a milestone for us in measuring the progress of our own pregnancy. The next one will be in another week or so, when another of Kathy's (and Shizuka's) good friends from college, Brenna, has her first child. Update, 10:20pm -- we found out this evening that Brenna had her baby Friday morning, and all is well. Brenna's out in Minneapolis, however, so we'll have to wait a bit to see him in person.