Friday, February 27, 2009

It started like an ordinary Wednesday

Wednesday is usually my day to get things done. It’s the first day of the week that I don’t work at all, and Annabel and I usually have a long to-do list. I love my lists.

This Wednesday I’d showered, had a multitasking conference call/breakfast with Annabel, watched a taped WB show while playing tambourine and xylaphone with Annabel and Sophie, and was just about to start chopping onions and garlic for a meal I was making for a mom with a baby in the NICU. At noon, I planned to go Moms’ group meeting at church, then I was going to finish cooking and deliver the meal, then Ash Wednesday service followed by a long-awaited dinner with Louise and Jen.

And then the phone rang a little before 11:00. It was Amy, our lawyer, and she told me that M had gone to a doctor’s appointment that morning, and he told her to get to the hospital, because the baby was coming that day. I honestly thought she was joking and I laughed. I knew she was going to the doctor sometime in the week to discuss a date for a scheduled C-section because the baby was getting big. M has other children, and only her first baby was early. In fact, Annabel’s paperwork from the hospital said she was 48 weeks when she delivered. Not that we believed that, but still, we thought had almost 4 weeks to go!

The plan was that we would drive our minivan to Florida packed with everything we could possibly need. It was going to be a leisurely drive, with a stop in Savannah, and we would arrive the day before the planned C-section. My mom and dad would be there too, and we’d be completely organized in our yet to be rented 3 bedroom house, hopefully near the water. We weren’t going to be caught off guard with just a carseat this time. This baby wasn’t going to be discharged wearing just a hospital blanket and T-shirt.

Ah, but the best laid plans…

M really wanted us there for the birth. It’s hard to have to care for a baby after birth that you aren’t able to raise, and she struggled with that when Annabel was born. We didn’t want her to go through that again, and we’d talked about very generally in a “this would never happen, but” way about what we’d do in a situation like this.

So we executed our loosely crafted plan. I found a flight that left at 2:30 that would get me into Tampa at 5:30. I called Scott and told him. He was reportedly seen walking in circles looking shocked. He got home quickly. I called Joanne and she came home from work and kept Annabel busy while we threw everything on our “take to Florida” list in the middle of various bedroom floors and hallways. By 12:30, we had an inefficiently packed bag for me, and the three of us drove to the airport.
Last picture as a family of three

I was on my way, and Scott dropped off Annabel to the life-saving H household for more playtime with Joanne, Christofer, Courtney and Matthew. Then he got organized at work, then came home, and started packing himself and all the stuff strewn across the floors into the van. He gratefully picked up a freshly bathed Annabel at the H’s, and was on the road by 9pm.

Meanwhile, I had landed (early even!) and was cursing the rental car’s GPS as I was trying to navigate through all the new roads leading out of Tampa’s airports. I finally made it to the hospital around 7:00, but I was late.

Caroline Joan was born at 5:32 pm. M tried to wait until I was there but Caroline wasn’t having any part of that. She was born at 8 pounds, 1 ounce and 20 inches long. Like her sister, she has a full head of black hair. But Annabel was kind of yellow, and Caroline is very, very pink.

I went to M’s room first and she told me all about her labor and Caroline’s delivery. Caroline had just left the room to go back to the nursery. I got a peek at her, but the nurses asked me to come back in about an hour after they bathed and warmed her. M moved rooms and we talked while I waited.

A little before 9pm, I held and fed our new baby girl. She has the same nose as Annabel and slightly-less-chunky cheeks. She has pretty little lips and dark blue eyes.

It was a great way to end a Wednesday.


Anonymous said...

Karen, Scott and Annabel,
Congratulations on the arrival of your daughter and sister! It was our pleasure to spend time with Miss Annabel.We love youXoxox
Jo and family

MBRox said...

We are SO thrilled for you guys! Please know that you all are in our prayers. What a wonderful story! Love, MB, JM and Michael

mesa said...

CONGRATULATIONS to a wonderful family! I got the chills all over again reading this story- how incredible! :) I remember when Annabel was born :) Can't wait to see pics!!

Andi-bo-bandi said...

Yay! Now where are the pics?!

sbrooks said...

wow! what another whirlwind. wish we were headed that way again liek last year. we are so happy for all of you! thanks for sharing the story!! talk to you soon. hope t&j made it there safely & uneventfully. xoxo, love, shannon

Marcy & Roger said...

Congrats! We know all too well how these babies don't know the rules yet and come in to the world when they are good and ready not when we're ready. But then would we ever be completely ready. Can't wait to see pics! Love, Marcella, Roger and Max

MarkieMarkNYC said...

Once you guys come down off the rollercoaster ride Uncle Dan and Uncle Mark can't wait to meet the expanded Brooks-White household. Love you guys, enjoy your time in Florida - see you soon.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful story! Huge congrats on your growing family!