Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Welcome Zoe!

This is my granddaughter Zoe and her proud daddy Lee. She was born at 10:44 this morning among a great deal of hoopla that undoubtedly has not affected her one bit. Her mother, Rachael, went to work as usual this morning. She talked to her sister on the phone and mentioned she was not feeling up to par. She was on the phone with another friend when the contractions started, about 8:45. She has had contractions off and on for a few weeks now, so she didn't think much of it at first. Her friend encouraged her to go to the hospital and Rachael agreed, but not until she took care of a few last minute items.

Somewhere around 9:00 she called her dad and asked if he would drive her to the hospital. He agreed, but said he wanted to take a shower first. Rachael put her foot down on this one (thankfully!) and said if he did, she would drive herself. He gave in and away they went, heading from Liberty to her hospital in Baytown.

She called her husband to tell him she was on the way and said she would let him know when she arrived since he works about a 10 minute drive from there. I was about an hour into one of my final exams (a take-home exam) when she called me. I told her that Leo and I would head that way. (I figured if it was a "false alarm" we could just eat lunch somewhere and come back.) I asked her to let me know when she arrived at the hospital if she could so we would know if they were going to keep her.

Leo and I stopped for gas, and I sent a text message saying we hadn't heard from Rachael yet. As I was finishing it up, I received a text message with just two words from her. The message was "she's coming". Of course, I thought that was my notification that the hospital verified Rachael was in labor. I had no idea that it meant "SHE'S COMING!" Within ten minutes I had another call saying the baby was here. I couldn't believe it. Here's what went on during our drive...

Rae said her dad was trying to make conversation during the whole drive, and that all she could think was, "I'm busy here...could we just ride in silence?" When they got to the hospital, she reports that her dad said, "do you want me to find a parking spot, or do you just want me to drop you off at the front door?" Rachael said that she was able to resist hitting him at that point and had him drop her off. He wanted to get her a wheelchair, but she said she was fine and at 10:34 she walked in the door and headed for the elevators. Somehow during all this she got a phone call off to her husband that she had arrived and thought he should hurry.

When she got to the nurse's station upstairs, they took one look and sent her straight to the labor room. The nurses called her doctor as Rachael laid down on the bed. As the nurse was about to examine her, her water broke. Rachael said the nurse took one look and began scurrying around, calling for "backup" and getting things ready. Rachael asked her a couple of times how dilated she was and when the nurse finally heard her she said, "honey...you are at ten! Do me a favor and DON'T PUSH." Rae called Lee and said (in his re-telling, he exclaims it was more of a scream) "You better get here quick!" The doctor on call walked into the room and repeated the request, "DON'T PUSH". Rachael said, "I can't push. My husband isn't here yet."

Zoe had other plans, however. Within minutes, with her dad standing out in the hall and her husband, mother, and stepdad on the way, ten minutes after arriving at the hospital, Rae delivered a beautiful 8 lbs 3 oz baby girl. Lee was just pulling into the hospital parking when he got the message and Leo and I were just crossing the bridge into Baytown. Two hours after Rachael went into labor, it was all over with.

Leo and I arrived at the hospital about 15 minutes later. When I got a look at Rachael, I thought I must have been mistaken. She was sitting up in bed and said, "Hey Mom" looking as good as she had when I last saw her. Then I saw Lee with a little pink bundle and realized that it was definitely all over with. Zoe was all bundled up and sucking sweetly on her right fist. Leo took the baby first while I went to check on Rachael. Both were absolutely fine, and neither looked like they had been through much of an ordeal at all. Zoe is absolutely beautiful, and Leo and I fell in love with her at first glance. Lee was all smiles and definitely the proud papa. "Have we decided on a final name yet?" I asked. Rae looked at Lee and said, "Have we?" Lee answered, "Her name is Zoe Danielle Rives."

We oohed and ahhed over the baby for an hour or so, then Rachael asked for her laptop and cell phone. While Lee and Leo rocked the baby, Rae looked up a phone number on the web and made a phone call. "I'm sorry I didn't get back with you earlier, but I had a bit of an emergency this morning," she said. She then proceeded to arrange to reschedule a court appearance that her employer was going to have to miss. In other words, an hour and a half after the baby arrived, the girl was working again!!!

As soon as business was taken care of, everyone had taken a turn with the baby, and we had gotten a few pictures taken (with a cell phone...I forgot my camera and Rae didn't have time to get hers!!), she was ready to spend a few minutes with the baby. Leo and I went down to the cafeteria while Rachael fed Zoe. We stayed at the hospital for several hours, then decided to let Rachael get some rest (although, admittedly, she didn't look like she needed it).

What a wonderful day. Although my schedule was blown and I didn't get to finish my exam, it was definitely worth the loss to get to spend some time with my family. So...I'll try again in the morning and see if I can get through it. Perhaps I'll be ready to go back to work on Thursday. :-)

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