Well, since Patience Ann turned 6 months old yesterday, he thought it time to get the story down to remember God's immeasurable kindness to us. Here's the birth story in William's words...
Sunday, April 10th was unseasonably hot in Aurora – 83 degrees and sunny. As we were putting the Whitney kiddos to sleep that night none of us were comfortable in the hot weather. It had been a long, cold Winter and we weren’t adjusted for this burst of heat. I was up and down the stairs for several hours that night comforting the uncomfortable, hot and sweaty Whitney Kiddos.
As the night progressed, Momma thought she felt some serious motion in her lower areas. I’ve learned to cautiously un-heed these signs as they typically are not indicators of labor. I know the look she gives which means ‘babytime’ and she wasn’t giving it yet. In a moment of utter brilliance, I suggested we watch a Piper sermon to end out the day. The topic was quite intriguing (Abortion and the narrow way that leads to life), and we were greatly encouraged and provoked by the message. Some of us were provoked in more ways than one!
As the message was closing, Kia made it clear that it was going down. Sounded good to me, though I had some hesitation as I was still actively involved with comforting the hot and sweaty Whitney Kiddos. And, it wasn’t cooling down yet - it was such a hot day for April! Nonetheless, one doesn’t alter labor and delivery plans based solely on sweaty, unseasonably warm temperatures. We quickly gathered ourselves together and Kia went to the potty. I made the all important phone call to midwife Christina and left a brief message and she called back shortly thereafter. She was sending her “feeler party” (nurse Karen) to scope out the scene and report back. Soon Karen would arrive.
Our original plan was to give birth on our bed. Why we thought that was ever a good idea I don’t know. We had been sleeping on a vinyl shower curtain under our sheets for the last two weeks. Not comfortable or smart! But with the children upstairs trying to sleep, we wisely decided to alter the plan and go for birth downstairs in the schoolroom. I gathered the supplies from our bedroom and set up shop in the schoolroom, laying down a tarp to cover most of the floor.
The kind and friendly nurse Karen showed up around 10:00 pm and, after assessing the birth progress, decided it would be best for us to spend some time sleeping as the whole thing was moving along rather slowly. I liked that suggestion a lot and gave it a hearty second! Karen told us to let her know when the contractions picked up so that midwife Christina could be called to the scene. We made our way upstairs and I quickly fell asleep.
Meanwhile Kia was very concerned that labor would progress too quickly either for midwife Christina to arrive or for her to even make it downstairs. She didn’t sleep as well as me. And, around 12:30 am, gave me a shake to let me know it would be a good idea for us to head down and get word out for Christina to come over.
So we headed downstairs and were happy to find nurse Karen was now accompanied by midwife in training Stephanie. They were laying down also, trying to sleep, looking quite comfortable on our couches. Of course it was bit awkward since we didn’t know them at all but still exceedingly better than a hospital.
I decided to brew some tea but no one else was interested in joining me. Kia and I set up shop in the dining room, making awkward and hushed small talk about anything we could think of just to avoid the nervous silence of strangers half sleeping/half listening in your living area. Stephanie made her way over to the dining room and was very friendly and kind and excellent at interacting in the midst of such a situation. Clearly, she had done this before!
And so we stayed in the dining room for a while and eventually made our way into the schoolroom. After an hour or so of no visible progress, Stephanie suggested that Kia use the big ball as a leaning prop to help bring it on. Wow, that worked really well! Kia started having some massive “babytime” contractions and in a short while it was show time.
At 2:20 am everything was in place…except midwife Christina. She hadn’t arrived yet but momma and baby weren’t going to wait for her. I wasn’t the least worried as I could tell Karen and Kelly could easily deliver this baby. Either could have done it alone but we had the added benefit of both…plus my wise oversight!
Kia hunkered down and pushed through the pain, standing upright with hands spread out on the side of the couch. Behold, what beauty to see woman in all her glory! Bearing the full wrath of Motherhood, drinking it down in full gulps that would paralyze most men, only to brace herself up for another round and (figuratively speaking) say “thank you sir may I have another!”. It brings me much joy to say that Kia delivered like a pro and I continue to stand amazed by the God anointed gifting she has for this.
Stand and deliver indeed! Without notice the baby’s head appeared and the ladies told her to go ahead and push. Arms were ready to catch whatever might come out and, with no further discussion, Kia pushed! Standing up, leaning on the side of the couch, Kia pushed…and the baby shot right out, missing Karen’s catch but landing in Stephanie’s arms!
What a moment of beauty and agility. It was unlike anything I would have expected or even thought of! The words “tribal” and “cool” reverberated through my mind as I grasped what had just happened.
And then, to further revamp my expectations, baby Isaiah James faded in a distant memory…this little one was a girl! Unbelievable! I purposely read both Isaiah and James earlier in the year because that was his name.
Momma was laid down and baby girl was placed on her chest. I was a bit rushed by all the excitement but knew I wanted to clean up some of the messy stuff as soon as possible. I was surprised it wasn’t nearly as messy as they make it out to be in the big house – clearly another ploy to convince us to keep coming back to them! It only took 1 small trash bag to address the need and I gracefully finished off that task with no problem. Within a few minutes, midwife Christina arrived and knew from outside she had missed the show – she could hear baby girl crying from the front sidewalk.
Eventually we made our way to the couch and the midwife’s crew made their way to the dining room. I made them coffee and fed them a baked good Kia had made earlier in the day. They sat around the table and analyzed the entire event sort of like a post game segment on a sports channel. It was intriguing but I was close to passing out so I missed most of it. We excused ourselves with baby girl to head upstairs and get some sleep. They said we weren’t allowed to do that as government regulations require the baby be monitored by women in pajama like costumes for at least 24 hours. Ha, ha I jest.
They promised to lock the door on the way out…and we went to bed close to 4:00 am.
As the sun rose on April 11th each Whitney kiddo made their way into our bedroom – one at a time – completely unaware of their new sister. And so they were greeted with the good news. It was really neat.
Later that morning we were tossing around ideas for a girl name. Keep in mind, I had predicted with 99% certainty that the baby would be a boy. I threw out names drawing from the last verse of 1 Cor 13 – Faith, Hope, Love – none of which seemed to stick. Which led us to the fruit of the spirit…Love, Joy, Peace…Patience! We all agreed that we liked the way it rolled off the tongue, especially with the middle name Ann.
Patience Ann Whitney…PAW. A perfect addition to the Whitney family.
William has a way making me laugh. I so appreciate his taking the time to capture these precious moments and to record them in his voice for our kiddos to enjoy reading one day. And, for the record, this is just the beginning of the story! Post-delivery had us almost in a similar situation to Autumn's delivery as Patience was also Coombs positive. But, God intervened so that we were able to steer clear of the hospital. We know that had we had a hospital birth, we would not have had control over caring for her at home in the way we wanted. Perhaps we'll share that story one day as well.