Believe me, I'm not trying to diminish my daughter Kaysi's role in the birth of her first child.
But it was no picnic for her grandpa either.
Kaysi and husband, Bruce, welcomed Maddie Jane into the world a few short weeks ago, and I almost didn't make it.
Being 600 miles away had already sent my own personal angstmeter well off the chart. Add to that, after Kaysi had gone through a long labor, doctors had to deliver the baby by surgical birth.
I was assured via phone and texting there was nothing to worry about, that in about an hour Maddie Jane would be making an entrance and Mom would be fine.
It might have been the longest hour of my life. At one point, I thought I was going to be sick to my stomach.
But the doctors kept their word, and Maddie Jane and Kaysi were both the picture of health.
I can't begin to tell you the degree of relief I felt. To this day, once I heard that both girls were fine, I swear I heard a chorus of angels.
I was able to have been close at hand for the births of our other grandkids -- Grady, Thomas, Ella and Matthew -- and even though there were some minor complications here and there, being able to be nearby with my wife, Kathy, made the situations much more manageable. I'm sure all grandparents can probably attest to that.
Shortly before Maddie Jane was born, Kaysi and Bruce had opted for a name change. Jane was not the original choice for Maddie's middle name, but Kaysi's grandma passed away a few days before her great-granddaughter's birth. Kaysi and her grandma had always been very close, and in tribute, Jane will live on through little Maddie.
"It's almost like it was supposed to have happened that way," Kaysi said.
I was very proud of Kaysi's decision. Jane was a wonderful person, and we'll always think of her each time we look at Maddie.
I have yet to see Maddie Jane in person but will be making the long trek back to northern Ohio in the not-too-distant future. Until then, I am relying on daily pictures and videos. I look at the pictures and watch the videos over and over, trying to detect the smallest differences in her expressions, and enjoying her smiles, cries and hand movements.
Almost every day I ask Kaysi, "How is Maddie?"
Without hesitation, she replies, "Perfect."
Grandpa can't argue that.