If you know me, you know I'm a planner. You might also know that for some unknown reason I have my babies early...at 35, 36 and 34 weeks. So naturally, when I discovered my due date with my 4th baby fell on December 9th, I immediately expected and planned for an early November baby. This is how I imagined things...A baby in early November...Ben's 8th birthday on the 14th of November... Grandparents would come into town for Thanksgiving and also be here for Ben's baptism on the 25th... we could even throw a baby blessing in the mix while they were here. So plans were set. Tickets were purchased.
Nana (Jerry Behrmann) arrived first on November 10th (36 weeks). I couldn't believe I made it this far! What would it be like to actually have family in my home to watch the older kids when the baby arrived? But slowly the days rolled on...with no baby! We celebrated Ben's birthday on the 14th and did everything under the sun we could think of to prepare. Jerry was a trooper! Baptism programs made. Cub scout uniform purchased. Thanksgiving food and Christmas shopping done. New entry way rug purchased. Updated kitchen utensils. Parent-teacher conferences done. Hospital bags had been packed for at least a month (if not two). Zofran refilled. House cleaned (again and again). Laundry done (again and again). I even had a pedicure. Once I hit 36 weeks, I prayed every night that if it was possible could she please come on time to make things work out (I made the kids do it to)!
Grandma and Grandpa Gillett arrived on Tuesday, November 20th (37+ weeks) just in time for Thanksgiving. Still no baby. Boo (Randy Behrmann) arrived on Thanksgiving day. Still no baby. We had a great meal, but I was grumpy! Black Friday came. David made us get out of the house....we ventured to Nick's fish house with the gang where Jacob devoured squid and shrimp (I was secretly proud). Christmas decorations were set up. I explained to Ben that if the baby happened to come on Saturday or Sunday that we would probably have to reschedule his baptism. He told me not to worry....."he could still have it even if I was at the hospital. Nana, Boo, Grandma and Grandpa were there and besides Daddy was all that really needed to be there!" He was trying to be sweet, but it just added more pressure....he really wanted his baptism to happen as planned.
At this point, I was dreading Monday, the 26th....the day all 4 grandparents returned home (to Oklahoma and Utah) without seeing their grand baby. I imagined my tears flowing as they pulled away. I went to bed Friday night defeated. I had given up hope, my plans had failed. I woke up at about 0100 with horrible heartburn. I got up and took some zantac. I laid back down, looked at the clock and thought, "this is the last possible moment little girl." Literally as the thought left my head my water broke. I was stunned. I woke up David. The clock read 0126. David ran downstairs to wake up my Mom and explained that we were headed to the hospital. How convenient it was not to have to scramble to get someone to watch the kids! We arrived at the hospital at about 0140. David paged the answering service and told the on-call doctor we were on our way and warned her of my history of precipitous deliveries (as requested by my doctor). We went through triage...I was dilated to a 5, IV fluids and IV antibiotics were started since I was Group B strep positive. I was quickly moved to the delivery room and I even got an epidural in time! The doctor still wasn't there and this baby was not going to wait any longer so the house doctor decided to deliver the baby at 0323 on Saturday, November 24th. The nurses were so excited that Emily was born at 0323....exactly my parity (0 term, 3 preterm, 2 miscarriages & 3 living children) prior to her birth. They told me I needed to play the lottery! The on-call physician walked in while I was delivering the placenta, looked at David and said, "Oh, now I see why you paged me." It all worked out for the better....I really liked the physician that ended up delivering the baby.
Emily was perfect. Smaller than I had imagined. 6 pounds, 8.6 ounces and 19.5 inches long. My biggest baby yet and my first "full term" baby at 37 weeks, 6 days. Could we still make things work? David told me to stop thinking about it and get some sleep and we'd figure it out when the doctors came around later that day. I couldn't. I imagined having to beg them to let us leave the hospital early (or leaving AMA) and trying to explain we had a baptism and 4 grandparents waiting. I knew they'd think I was crazy.
The pediatrician came around noon on Saturday. Before we could ask, he said: "She's perfect. When do you want to go home?" I said, "As soon as possible." He asked if Sunday morning was fine. I was pleasantly surprised. The OB agreed we were good to go Sunday morning as well. David called the Bishop and asked if we could push the baptism back to Sunday evening instead of at 12:30. Oh, and could we also bless the baby too? He agreed and things were set. We were discharged from the hospital. I even had time to go home, shower and attempt to find an outfit to wear that didn't make me look 9 months pregnant still. I failed.
All in all, it was a wonderful weekend. Probably my best ever. Emily was perfect. The baptism was perfect. The blessing was perfect. Ben was on cloud 9 and so excited to share his day with his new sister. I was immediately filled with gratitude. The gratitude I should have had on Thanksgiving day, but didn't. My prayers really had been heard....my patience was just tested a little! Mom told me it was a good time to learn that you can't force your kids to do anything they don't want to do. She said Emily just had her own way of surprising me. Kristen Ebert told me during the waiting hours that Emily must be extra special....Heaven just didn't want to let her go. I held on to those words! It all happened in 40 hours and surprisingly enough, I wouldn't have had it any other way.
And here are the pictures from the day!