Chelsey’s Birthday post


Late – occurring, coming, or being after the usual or proper time: late frosts; a late spring.

Also, committing to complete the trilogy of blog posts about your kids birthday stories and then finally writing it 10 days after your oldest daughter’s birthday.

Ouch.  But I think it’s fair as she arrived 10 days late…

Chelsey’s birthday was at the end of June and we were on the road.  We celebrated it pretty quietly.  I seem to remember a muffin at a restaurant or something.  And she does have a party next week.  So it is not like we were total losers and just forgot her 11th birthday.

Chelsey – age 11

But let’s get to the story of what happened 11 years ago.

We had moved into our first house a month earlier and Michelle was definitely pregnant.  Her parents had come up from Oregon to be there for the due date, which was the 19th of June.  That day came, and went.  No arrival yet.  Not even a hint that it would be soon.  This kid did not want to come out.

After it was 7 days past the due date, Michelle and I visited the doctor.  She told us everything was fine and the baby was good.  All signs pointed to the fact that we should deliver any day now.  By this time Michelle was finished being pregnant.  FINISHED.  Also, her parents had to leave in another week or so and they were really hoping to actually see the baby before they left.  So we asked if we could schedule an induction.

The doctor agreed to see if they could get us on the list, but made no guarantees.  They would call us if/when they had an opening.  We waited three more days and finally got a phone call. “Can you come in for three?”

Uh, ya.

There is something relatively nice about having lots of notice to go to the hospital.  Unlike with Jared where we did the panic rush and barely made it.  But then again, having that much time brought out a little bit of ugliness.  We had time to think about all the possibilities.  I remember one “discussion” Michelle and I had on the way to the hospital.

Michelle: “Ryan, if they have to take the baby, promise me you’ll stay with it.  Ok?”

Me: “Um, why?”

Michelle: “Because I don’t want there to be any chance they accidentally switch our baby with someone else’s.  I’ve heard of it happening before.”

Me: “Seriously?”  (Ya, wrong answer on my part)

I’m not going to complete the conversation in text but I will say that all it takes for my always calm wife to “lose it” is 9 months and 10 days of pregnancy.  Needless to say I agreed to stay with the baby if the nurses took it out of the room.

We got to the hospital and were shown to our room.  They wanted to start the induction with drugs and Michelle asked if they could just try breaking her water.  The nurses swore numerous times that it wouldn’t work and it would take too long.  They must’ve not seen my hand signals and broken spirit from my previous disagreement with her, but they also finally relented and did what she asked.

They broke her water and then told us to walk around.  From this point they were sure it was going to take a few hours before labour started.

10 minutes later my wife was in hard labour.

I guess I’m glad that I was able to witness labour, since with the other two I either didn’t see the delivery or just arrived for the end of the short time.  I’m glad because I saw a physical strength and stamina I would never have known my wife had.  But I also remember the sheer helplessness I felt as she went through five hours of hard labour.

Chelsey, a couple hours old.

And at a little after 10PM, we had our first child!  A daughter!

Things moved really quickly after this.  I can remember cutting the cord.  She was weighed and measured.  I recall holding Chelsey, giving her to Michelle, me holding her again and having no idea how to calm her and then being shown by a nurse what to do.  I brought her out of the room where Michelle’s parents and sister were and then I have no idea what happened after that.  And I don’t know if I followed the nurses if they even took Chelsey out of the room.  It was all a blur.

At some point I left Michelle and Chelsey in their room and made it home.  There may have been a run to Wendy’s then or the next night.  I honestly don’t know when.  It did happen though.  I was back at the hospital the next morning and we were released sometime that day.  And I don’t think we slept much that first night home.  But Chelsey was amazing.  We have a bunch of pictures of her first months.  It took us a few hours to scan them into the computer since back then we didn’t have a digital camera!

I really wish I could remember more, but it was a long time ago.  Needless to say, we’re awfully proud of Chelsey and how she has grown up.  It’s a little stunning to us to think that she’s closer to an adult now than a baby.

In fact, I don’t want to think about it.  This blog post is over.