After our first two children came early (Nate) and on-time (Carrie), I thought the timing would be great to save the 1000th post on this blog for the announcement of the birth of our third child. When I published post #999 on February 26 and Laurie went into labor two days later, I was sure of it!
That was the time we began to fully appreciate this child’s penchant for the dramatic.
With her two previous pregnancies, Laurie had a very predictable pattern of labor. Both times we were able to spend much of the early labor walking our neighborhood, heading to the hospital as things intensified. We spent only a few hours in the delivery room before Nate was born, and even less for Carrie. Not so this time!
Laurie’s “labor” on February 28 ended up being a very convincing fraud. Heading home from the hospital still pregnant was disappointing, but not overly so. We weren’t due until March 8. If the baby wanted to gestate a little longer, who were we to argue?
As the baby’s due date approached, we began to think that we may get ourselves a very nice Anniversary gift. Sadly, March 8 came and passed without a special delivery. Getting to celebrate five amazing years with a night of dancing and dining (and trumpet playing) was a pretty fabulous silver lining, though! I was able to take Laurie with me to a swing dance where I was playing on our Anniversary, and we snuck in a few dances (though not much swinging) between contractions.
Still smiling five years after I put a ring on it on March 8, 2007
By last Friday, we were 41 weeks pregnant and starting to be REALLY anxious to get this delivery over with. We’d tried nearly every home “remedy” folks had suggested, to no avail. The following day we were certain the contractions Laurie was experiencing were the real deal. We waited until they were lasting a full minute and coming every 2-3 minutes before going back to the hospital. Sadly, we were turned away a second time; despite having been dilated to 4cm for over two weeks, the contractions had all been unproductive. Tricked again!
On Monday, Laurie’s doctor told her the baby was still too high to deliver, but that it wouldn’t take much to trigger real labor. She wasn’t kidding!
Laurie woke up with strong contractions early Tuesday morning, but for once didn’t think these contractions were doing anything. When they didn’t gain in strength or frequency after a morning walk, she decided to take a shower, and I was heading out the door to go to a staff meeting at church. Just to be safe, I texted one of the ladies from our Lifegroup to be on standby to come keep the older kids if we needed to go to the hospital.
We’re so thankful she was able to come quickly, because after just a few minutes Laurie came out of the shower saying we needed to go to the hospital NOW! Twelve minutes later we gave a woefully insufficient “thank you” as we hustled out to the car when Miss Debbie arrived.
It was 8:50 when we left our house. A few minutes before nine, Laurie walked into the labor & delivery ward telling the nurses she was in transition. They didn’t believe her at first, and said they’d be back to check on her in a little while after she got changed into a hospital gown. As Laurie was changing, I went back to the nurses’ station to persuade them that this was urgent, but I think they were convinced less by my entreaties as by the blood-curdling scream of “THIS BABY IS COMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (Edit: Laurie insists it was more a “yell” than a “scream”) that came from the open door.
I’m still amazed how fast those nurses can move in an emergency! Within seconds, despite two other babies being born at the same time, we had everything we needed. Laurie’s doctor was already in the building for a surgery, but was able to sprint to the delivery room just in time to catch the kid. Laurie pushed once, the water broke, and out came our beautiful Eleanor! It was 9:11; Laurie delivered this baby faster than Dominos will deliver your pizza.
We went to the hospital with two girl names, figuring we’d decide what she looked like if the baby was a girl. I think both of us expected to go with the other name, but as soon as we saw her, we knew she was a Nora Jane.
Nate and Carrie were able to be Eleanor’s first visitors, which was what we’d hoped. Like us, they are both very much in love!
Mommy and baby are both doing great. Nate and Carrie are hanging out with some friends for a few days. I’m sitting here in the hospital room losing count of my many blessings, and looking forward to getting back home where our whole family can start our new life together!
Sure, Laurie was pregnant almost a full month longer with Nora than she was with Nate. Sure, it took me three weeks to get to my 1000th blog post. I think both were very much worth the wait!