My middle baby is now eight years old! The story of her birth is an appropriate Christmas edition in this series. It was the Christmas season 2001. Mary was great with child and there was no room in the...hospital. (I'm so glad I didn't give birth in a hotel, let alone a barn.) Here is the story.
This third pregnancy was pretty easy. I'd had very little morning sickness and almost no discomfort. If I weren't due only a week before Christmas, I would have been content to go past the due date and get through the holiday with the baby still inside me. However, Kent was very excited to meet our third child. I wanted to be surprised with the boy/girl announcement, but Kent couldn't wait. So at the ultrasound, he had watched while the tech typed in the sex on the screen and I kept my head turned away. For the second half of the pregnancy, he had done a good job calling the baby a him and a her so I had no idea what we were having. On December 2, I had some constant contractions through Sacrament Meeting, so after the meeting as we left the building to drive to the hospital, Kent told a few anxious friends the baby's sex. Well, the contractions stopped right about the time we reached the hospital, and they sent us home. Kent had to call all the friends and spread the word that I still didn't know and no one better let it slip! My doctor found it quite humorous that an entire ward was trying to keep the secret from me. He also plotted with me to trick Kent. We agreed that at the birth, he would cover the baby's parts and announce the opposite. That way I would know the truth and we could enjoy Kent's reaction.
Kent could barely contain the surprise any longer, so he convinced me to get induced on the 18th, my due date. We went to our doctor's appointment that day with bags packed, expecting to spend the night at the hospital. However, the hospital was filled, patients were sharing rooms, and they were not admitting anyone wanting an induced labor. My doctor got us scheduled for Friday, the 21st because I didn't want the poor kid to end up sharing a birthday with Christmas. That morning, the hospital called to let me know they were again completely out of beds. I asked what they would do if I went into labor on my own, and the receptionist answered that she really didn't know where they would put me..."maybe in a closet"! With baby plans again delayed, we got tickets to see "Lord of the Rings", which was in its opening weekend. When a nurse called that afternoon to let me know a bunch of patients had gone home early, I told her we now had a movie conflict. Knowing which movie it was, she was completely accommodating and said we could come in when it was over. I remember sitting next to a man who was nervous and fidgety throughout the movie after I answered his question about my due date with, "We are going straight to the hospital after this film to have the baby." Poor guy!
At the hospital, the shift leader was busy helping a pre-term mother stop her labor, so we entertained a lot of the nurses with talk about the movie. Finally at midnight, they gave me Prostiglandin gel to prep me for Pitocin in the morning. Once again, the gel started contractions almost immediately for me. After an hour, my contractions were one minute apart and I had dilated half a centimeter. (I hope this isn't too much information. Sorry.) After another hour, the contractions were right on top of each other and I had dilated only another half centimeter. I had wanted another natural birth, but it was late, I was tired from Christmas stress and recovering from a long cold, and I was anxious about the possibility of several more hours of constant contractions. The hot tub wasn't helping like it had with my previous two labors. Kent gave me a Priesthood blessing, promising peace. At that point I felt good about getting my first ever epidural. It was so nice! I could still feel a part of the contractions, but it took the edge off and made it all manageable. My doctor came and broke my water, and then Kent and I dozed off.
At 4:40 a.m. my nurse woke me to check the progress. She went to measure my dilation and said, "Oh! Hello baby." The baby was crowning, and I had slept through most of it! Everyone took their positions. The epidural-induced rest had restored my energy and in only one-and-a-half pushes my baby was born. My doctor announced, "You have a boy!" and immediately covered the baby with a towel as he wiped her off. Kent hurriedly dodged around the bed trying to get a better look. He was surprised to have been wrong all along! One of the nurses leaned down to me and said, "Dr. Baird is so mean. That's not a boy." Then the doctor held her up for me to confirm for myself and I laughed and told everyone about our little plot of trickery!
Just moments after her birth, I got to clip the cord. When Kent and I were left alone with our new infant, he pulled out a name book and started with the A's. His first suggestion was Adrienne, which I considered but threw out when he did an impression of Rocky: "Yo, Adrienne." Just a few names down, we agreed on Andrya, adding Naomi, which means "a comfort" in Hebrew. 16 hours after her birth, we posed by the hospital's Christmas tree with the babe in a stocking, and then headed home. (She was healthy, and I was full of endorphins and ready to be home.)
Andrya Naomi is the perfect name for our sweet daughter. She was a very easy baby, which was a true comfort to me after getting through a very difficult first ten months with #2. #3 rarely cried, was happy to cuddle or lay by herself, ate well, and liked to sleep a lot. Most of those things haven't changed. Andrya is a lovely child who is happy with friend or on her own, and still likes to sleep a lot! As she matures, I've loved watching how careful she is in creating things for others. She is a very good artist, has an active imagination, loves to be moving, and is my only child who likes to work beside me in the garden. She is a wonderful part of our family and I love her.