Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Merry Christmas Eve

The first word most commonly used in reaction to our Christmas Eve experience is:

It's an understatement. Britt woke us up sometime between 1:30 and 2:00 a.m. and said "we're having a baby on Christmas Eve - my water just broke." Well, since we thought we had two more weeks and certainly nothing was going to happen before Christmas, we were unprepared - except for past experience. We had not packed a bag for the quick getaway, nor had we arranged anything for the kids. Hmmm, do we call Grace at 2:00 a.m. and ask her to forego whatever her Christmas Eve plans were to watch the Kelly kids? Then we'd have to get the kids up and in the van and drop them off. There must be a better way.

It soon became apparent that there had to be a better way because we needed to get to the hospital right away. We awoke Kalani to the news and arranged to have her sleep with Becca in our bed. We put Susan in her crib to go back to sleep and Britt got in the car bare foot and pregnant, but not for long. We got as far as the next door neighbors and realized the cell phone could die anytime so took a couple of more minutes to turn around and get the charger.

We zoomed past our UHP neighbor and then up Main St. in Spanish with hopes the police had something better to do on Christmas Eve than to ecsort us to American Fork, but we weren't going that fast yet. We accidently called Grandma Kelly - who answered the phone like she was up anyway - and told her not to worry. Too late. Then we called Brother David in Lindon and left a message because he was not in Lindon, but he was in Idaho. It's a good thing Kalani has been practicing some short babysitting stints recently.

Eighty miles per hour up to the s-surve in Provo soon gave way to acceleration with every contraction. It was ninety-seven as we approached the PG-AF exit. Flashers were on so any officer would know I wasn't stopping unless he or she wanted to deliver the baby. We looked for the sign at AF Hospital that said "Labor and Deliver." There wasn't one. We've been delivering at Orem Community for the last six years, so we went to same-day surgery. Uh, that's not it anymore. Over at the Main Hospital entrance there was a sign that said the magic words on it.

We walked in and I told the security guard "we're having a baby right now!" "Do you want a wheelchair?" he asked. Britt didn't. She was thinking of just laying on the little two-seater couch. Rarely has she told her husband, "don't touch me," but this was one of those times. She placed herself in the wheelchair and we made a charge for the elevator, dragging bags along. Third floor?!!! the security man had told us. Door closes and he hears yells of HELP, HELP!

It was a crowning moment, if you know what I mean. Hospital elevators are slow, but Abigail wasn't. Bags no longer in tow, head now peeking out, thoughts of futility like "wait, wait wait" came to mind, but before proper catching position could be made, Abi took a flying leap on to the sterile elevator floor. Okay, not sterile, but it seemed pretty clean, for an elevator. Dad picked up the ball of cheese and slapped her on the backside as the elevator doors opened. Handing the baby off to Mommy the three nurses now rushing to the double security doors heard cries of "We just had a baby in this elevator!"

Yes, this one, at about 2:30 a.m. Through the double doors and in the hallway Dad's asked if he wants to cut the chord. Are you kidding me?! Just get 'er done! Mother, with clear head wants a picture already in the hallway, so you get what you ask for. Now separated they are headed to Room #1, which considering the 9 other babies seen in the nursery later it was a surprise to have #1 available. In the meantime Dad retrieves the bags and is locked out of the double doors, temporarily.

Now to the labor and delivery room...or was that the car and the elevator? Well, the mid-wife came and delivered the placenta in the placenta delivering room while Daddy escorted the now cutest baby in the world down to the nursery to be de-cheesified. Nurse Sheree kindly cleaned Abi up and put the all-important bow on her curly-haired head while Dad picked out an AF Hospital Christmas stocking.

Back at the placenta farm, Mommy is stitched back up - some way of saying "wait, wait, wait" without actually saying that may have helped in that area - and she's reunited with Lil' Abi, all 8 lbs. 3 oz. of her. A bit surreal how quickly this all happened. Now we're ready to tell the world, but it's 3:00 a.m. We moved down to the corner-office recovery room on the 2nd floor down the hall from the nursery. Sheree escorted Daddy and Abi back there to get feet prints and the baby pictures someone will try to sell us. Other tests and measurements are interupted by the first diaper change, properly performed in the middle of the action by Sheree.

Nursing doesn't seem to be any problem for Abi and has the proper yet painful effects on Mommy. At about 5:30 we realized Kalani might need some help, so Daddy went back to rescue her. Becca was awake with Kalani and Raymond was already playing a computer game by the 6:00 arrival time. Britt called home several times and the kids kept wondering when they could see Abigail. We arranged to for Chris to take Kalani to the hospital to surprise Britt at about 4:25 p.m. Chris went back home in time to save the impromptu baysitters - arranged by Kalani - but found out the Kester's were saving us by delivering dinner as they picked up their two daughers. Thanks for the cheesy, hammy potatoes.

We were able to pick Britt and Abi and the big sister up during the 8:00 hour while next-door-neighbor Amanda watched the kids. Our Christmas Eve baby came home to eighteen loving arms. We feel tremendously blessed and needed no other gift this Christmas - but thanks for other gifts too. We spent Christmas morning at home, just the ten of us. Then we went to Grandma and Grandpa Kelly's for Christmas dinner.

Merry Christmas, everyone!


Tamster said...

Thank you for sharing the story and the cute pictures! Congratulations!!!!!! :-) We love y'all!

Corrine Barlow said...

HOLY COW! An experience you will remember forever and it will get better and better each time. Congratulations from the Barlows!