On August 20, 2014 at 8:05 AM, our family gained a beautiful new baby girl! We named her Genevieve after Lynne’s paternal grandmother (and Lynne’s sister) and are calling her Evie (pronounced ee-vee).
We wanted to share a few of the finer points of the events leading up to little Evie’s birth with you, but we do need to warn you that it is a long story. We won’t be offended if you decide to skip this post 🙂
The days leading up to Evie’s birth were probably like many other pregnant mothers’ final days before delivery with one big difference: I wasn’t at home. Before you label me as a horrible father, the reason for my absence was that my first week of graduate school went from Saturday, August 16 through Saturday, August 23, during which students were required to be on grounds. Though the program administration was very understanding and accommodating, I couldn’t help but be on high alert from the moment I stepped into class! With my cell phone carefully placed on the desk, a shot of adrenaline coursed through my veins each time my phone lit up with a text or email. There is no way I would have made it through that week had it not been for Lynne’s mother staying with her during my week long residency. Thank you so much again!
Come Tuesday afternoon, I got short sigh of relief with the news that Lynne’s doctor appointment revealed that she still hadn’t progressed any closer to birthing for the second week in a row. The relief was short lived with the news that she somehow got into a bad way with poison ivy to the point that the doctors were prescribing oral steroids. After hearing this, I decided to leave my program for part of the evening to help soothe a very distressed and itchy mama-to-be.
After meeting Lynne at the pharmacy and having a short dinner with her at home, I went back to my program to finish up the evening work. After all, everything was status quo, so it was looking like we would be in the clear until I was done with my residency! So I met with my team to work through the evening’s work and even decided to stop by the Pub near our hotel with some classmates for a beer…
I got the “hot call” just a few hours after I went to bed that night, 2:36 AM to be exact. Actually, the “hot call” wasn’t a call at all; it was two missed calls and a text. Truth be told, I slept through all three communications (brilliant me decided to keep my phone on silent), but thankfully something caused me to wake slightly at 2:38 AM. My still-half-asleep brain went to check the time on my phone to lament being up at whatever ridiculous hour it was, when I saw the message:
“[something] [something] possibly in labor [something] [something] trying to call you”
I don’t think I have ever shot out of bed more quickly than I did at that moment! I called Lynne’s mom just to make sure my mind wasn’t playing tricks on me, and she confirmed that I needed to come home. I then made the 10 minute walk from my room to the parking lot in two minutes ten seconds and drove home dutifully abiding by the speed limit 😀
I arrived to find Lynne laboring in our guest bedroom because the contractions hit her harder than she thought when she went to wake up her mom. Lovingly supporting her upon my arrival were her mom and oldest sister (who was coincidentally in town for the evening) with the doula on her way. We labored from around 3 AM until just after 5 AM when Lynne’s contractions dictated we get a move on to the hospital! It took a few minutes to make our way down the stairs and out to the car, and around 5:20, Lynne’s water broke on our driveway.
“Holy sh*t, this is the real thing!” Lynne exclaimed.
“…yes darlin, it is very real,” was the only response I could muster without chuckling. And then, our plans got…sidetracked. Well, sidetracked isn’t quite fair because that implies I ever had a fully baked plan for transition from home to hospital. In my mind, we would labor at home then deliver at the hospital, but no thought was ever given to that very crucial transition between the two locales. So with my wife in full-blown labor, I decided we would just suck it up, and she would have to labor through the car ride without my full attention. This plan was incredibly short lived when Lynne whispered as I helped her into the car “I think I feel the urge to push…”
I still thank God that my mother-in-law and sister-in-law stepped up without having to be asked and offered to drive so I could sit with Lynne in the back seat. So while we were driving to the hospital (again dutifully abiding by the speed limit of course), Lynne decides it is time that we let our family know what is going on.
“Darlin, are you sure I have to call my parents right now? I know they wanted to drive up as soon as you were in labor, but I think they will understand if we wait to call them from the hospital.”
“CALL THEM NOW”
At 5:32 AM, I wriggled my cell phone out of my pocket, dialed my Dad, wedged the phone up to me ear using my shoulder, and went back to attending to my wife.
“Hi Dad. How’s it going?”
“…good. How are you guys?”
“Well, I wanted to let you know that Lynne is in labor.”
“Are you sure it’s the real thing?”
[Labor moans in the background]
“Yep, we’re pretty sure. She’s been laboring for a few hours now, and we are on our way to the hospital. Just wanted to let you know because Mom said you guys would want to come up.”
“OK, thanks for calling.”
My self-satisfaction was quickly wiped away when Lynne again mentioned she felt the urge to push. I mean, what do you do? I can’t really tell her not to push, but I also have no desire to deliver our baby in the back of our Mitsubishi!
“We are almost there darlin; you’re doing great,” seemed appropriate enough.
Mercifully, we arrived at the hospital about one contraction later. After working through another contraction inside the car at the hospital entrance, a security guard grabbed a wheelchair and met us. This 6’5″, 250 lb guard quickly and easily helped Lynne into the chair, spun about-face, and took off in the fastest walk I have ever seen in my life. Scrambling, I grabbed our hospital bag and tried not lose sight of the streaking wheelchair, which I quickly realized would be easy to find if I just followed the sounds of labor. After getting checked in and wheeled into our labor and delivery room, the doctor came in and declared that Lynne was fully dilated and in fact ready to push.
I will save you from the rest of the details, but suffice it to say the next two or so hours were the longest, hardest, and most beautiful of my life. When our little girl came out, wide-eyed and crying, I knew the crazy could not have been more worth it. Many visitors and a few midnight feedings later, we were on our way home with our beautiful baby girl.