Many of you have heard this story, some haven't. One year ago, my daughter Kate was born after 7 long years of trying and 1 long day of trepidation for Angie and me. It has been an outstanding year both personally, professionally, and physically. I couldn't be more proud of my wife, Angie, my 16 year old Anna, my 13 year old son Grant, and our newest addition, Kate.
If you are interested to see how much a baby can progress in one year, take a look at this video of Kate's first year.
The ORIGINAL STORY (as typed on a Blackberry at 3:00am).
For those of you not on my email lists, here is the story:
Well it was an adventure. Kate wasn't due to arrive until 11/18. So I decided to go to a work conference this week in Denver and even booked a mini vacation in the mountains for Thursday and Friday. Angie called Thursday morning to let me know she had a few signs of labor. But at her doctors appointment he said she was fine and I should stay in Colorado.
At noon, her contractions were bad enough that Julie (her boss) sent her home. Meanwhile, I was wringing my hands on if I should return or stay for my mini vacation. Angie and I toiled over the decision until I listened to her experience a contraction over the phone and I knew it was time. One canceled hotel, one cancelled car, and 1 flight change and I was on my way. Unfortunately, I had 7 hours before the flight left.
Back in Arkansas, the contractions got quicker and more intense. Angie's mom gathered her up and took her to the hospital. I was still sitting in the airport. Delynn, my colleague (who is 7 months pregnant herself), kept me pretty calm for the next few hours. I even helped Angie through a few contractions over the phone. She was only 3 centimeters at that point. Plenty of time... right?
However, just before getting on the plane she was at 6 and heading for the epidural. This is the exact moment that I started
A 2 hour plane ride with no updates. Even Delynn stopped pretending I had plenty of time.
By the time I landed, an entire plan had been put in motion. My quick phone call revealed Angie was 10 centimeters and ready to push. I also found out I had people waiting on me. The plane crew let me off first and the Gate crew ran with me to clear a path through the airport.
Maisha was at the top of the escalator wanting my keys and directing me to a white SUV waiting at the terminal. Julie was waiting in her Land Rover with a police escort. As we flew through the back roads, Julie's glee at being in a police convoy kept me distracted. We survived the back roads and as we barreled down I-540, Julie explained my exact route through the ER door to my wife's room.
Meanwhile, Maisha convinced a incoming airport passenger to drive her around the airport economy lot until she located my car.
As I arrived at the hospital, I jumped out, got through the doors and made it just in time. The stirrups were in place and the pushing started immediately. 1 hour later, after a heroic effort by Angie, Kate Lauren entered the world. 5 lbs 1 oz, 19 inches long at 11:45pm. Mom and baby are great. Kate has a full head of brown and the tiniest hands imaginable.
I'm a proud dad and now I get to lose sleep all over again. A heartfelt thanks to Linda, Delynn, Maisha, Julie, the police, the passengers of flight 6729, and the Willow Creek staff for a crazy, stressful and ultimately wonderful experience.
And of course thanks to my lovely wife who did the hard work while I sat in an airport.