Family welcomes New Year's baby
Jan. 3 began like any other busy day for Lori Pinkham of Vineyard Haven, packed with child care, errands, housework. But by mid-afternoon she was the mother of the Vineyard's first baby of 2007, Skyler Greenlie Amaral.
At 9 am Lori dropped off her littlest son, three-year-old Zander, at Island Children's School in West Tisbury, headed off for grocery shopping, a trip to Basics, and other stops. Picking Zander up at 12:30 pm, she stopped by the homes of two animal-sitting clients then rushed to the Martha's Vineyard Hospital for a routine 1:15 pm appointment with certified nurse midwife Cathy Chase. Her otherwise normal Wednesday changed quickly when Ms. Chase told the nine-month pregnant woman she was seven centimeters dilated and nearly ready to deliver her third child. Instead of going home she immediately checked into the hospital. Zander stayed nearby, holding his mom's hand protectively, stroking her arm while a nurse inserted an I.V.
Cuddling as closely as they can to newborn Skyler Amaral are (from left) sister Kylee Amaral, mother Lori Pinkham, father Kyle Amaral, and brothers Riley and Zander Amaral. Photo by Ralph Stewart
Skyler, who snuggled in a pink bunting on the sofa in her family's cozy home Tuesday afternoon, was not due until Jan. 11, but she was apparently in a rush to greet the world. Potential problems loomed, however; she had turned in the womb and now was in breech position, which can be dangerous and often necessitates a cesarean section. While the medical team scrambled to prepare for a possible cesarean, Skyler took matters into her own little hands.
"She was determined. She just popped out and she was fine," said Ms. Pinkham.
Skyler's dad, Kyle Amaral, receiving a cell-phone message at his masonry job in Aquinnah, jumped into his truck and raced to Vineyard Haven, arriving just a half hour before Skyler did.
The infant's birth is a particularly bright spot for Ms. Pinkham in a year marked by loss. Her father, Wally Pinkham, a long-time carpenter with Donald DeSorcy, died in March. A few weeks later, Ms. Pinkham discovered she was pregnant, and was struck by the juxtaposition, new birth beginning so soon after death.
"He would have loved her, that's for sure," said Ms. Pinkham.
Esther Pinkham, her grandmother, died on Dec. 22. After struggling to find housing, Kyle, Lori, and the three children had been living in a tiny apartment attached to her home. Although 98 and in ill health, the older woman was looking forward to the new arrival, often telling Ms. Pinkham "take good care of that baby girl."
The whole family is enchanted by Skyler, no one more than her mother who sat nearby on the couch on Tuesday, gazing down at her new daughter.
"She sort of completes everything," said Ms. Pinkham. "She completes the family."