This morning dawned bright and beautiful. I knew it was going to be a great day when the phone rang. It was Matt, who told me that his wife had given birth to their fourth child, a daughter, Aryanah - 8 lbs 3.5 oz.
Joanna's water broke around 3 am, but there were no contractions, so she told Matt to go back to sleep. Around 4 the contractions started, but they weren't terrible. Matt timed them at about 10 minutes apart. He kept asking Joanna to call the midwife. Finally, she did.
No problem. Midwife's assistant said to go to the clinic so they could check. She then hung up and called Charlotte, midwife extraordinaire, who has delivered many of our grandbabies. As soon as Charlotte heard it was Joanna, she said, "Tell them to go straight to the hospital." The midwife's assistant called back and relayed the message.
Joanna took her time getting ready, because the contractions weren't much to speak of. She didn't want to go to the hospital and be sent home again. So, she moseyed about and got ready. Matt was hot to trot, and helped Joanna into the van, then ran around to the driver's seat.
The very second Joanna sat in the van, she went into hard labour. Matt could tell by her breathing, so he headed off towards Stratford, speeding a bit, maneuvering the curves through the hamlet of Lisbon. Joanna laboured on, sounding more intense. The more she panted, the faster Matt drove. When she let out an expletive, Matt knew she was in transition. She said she had to push. Matt pushed on the gas pedal.
They made it to Stratford in less than 15 minutes.
Matt jumped out and got a wheelchair for Joanna, leaving the van running, because he intended to move it after he got her into the hospital.
"I have to push," Joanna hollered, and the nurses waved them through the now unlocked doors.
"Can I get some help?" Matt asked. "My van's still running."
A nurse grabbed the wheelchair and trotted off, while Matt ran so fast back to the van that he broke through the doors. (They are designed to give way in an emergency.) He parked the van, grabbed Joanna's bag, and tore back into Emerg. They waved him through. He got to the 2nd floor and they buzzed him into Maternity.
"She's down there," said one nurse, pointing down the hall. "She's in here," said another.
Matt arrived just in time to see his baby's head crowning. Two or three pushes, and Aryanah Grace entered the world!
They left Wellesley at 5:45. The baby was born at 6:05. That was cutting it close.
Linda and I went to see Aryanah and her parents this afternoon. The baby is lovely. I think she's blonde; she is certainly fair and pink. Joanna looks great. Matt is exhausted. Isn't that always the way?
We are enjoying the three older kids. Levi keeps singing; Kaleb is playing happily; Kaitlyn entertains us with her imagination.
Aryanah was born on my dad's birthday. May 31st has always been a special day for me. Now it's even better.