Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January 13th; Adventure and Happiness

It was Thursday, January 12, 1984. Dr. and Mrs. Sanden had just bid their oldest daughter, Tracey, farewell on a Semester at Sea Cruise Around the World from Fort Lauderdale, FL. Tired and happy, Dr. and Mrs. Sanden piled into their 1978 Lincoln Continental to start the long drive back to Michigan. All was well along the old-fashioned, 55 mph interstate until they stopped at a gas station in Wildwood, FL... where Mrs. Sanden's water broke.

Now is where I should mention that Mrs. Sanden was 44 weeks pregnant with her first child (Tracey is Dr. Sanden's daughter). When the trip to Fort Lauderdale presented itself, Dr. and Mrs. Sanden weighed the risk factors, spoke to their obstetrician, factored in how much it meant to Tracey that they see her off, and decided to make the trip. Mrs. Sanden was not due until the end of February and their obstetrician had told them that Mrs. Sanden was right on schedule and to make the trip with peace of mind.When Mrs. Sanden told her husband, in the afternoon on January 12th, that she was pretty sure her water just broke, he couldn't believe it. Himself, a pediatrician, Dr. Sanden knew that in the worst case scenario, he could deliver his baby. But he also knew that the baby was 6 weeks early and if at all possible, he needed to get his wife to a hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit immediately!

Looking at a map, he saw the nearest children's hospital was 65 miles away in Gainesville, FL. He put Mrs. Sanden in the car and took off 70-80mph down the highway with his hazard lights flashing. He had hoped that a policeman would pull him over so he could explain his situation and the policeman might escort him to the nearest hospital... no such luck.

Dr. and Mrs. Sanden arrived at Shands Children's Hospital on the University of Florida campus in the early evening. Dr. Sanden marched up to the desk and explained that he had the utmost respect for this University, but that he was a Pediatrician from Muskegon, MI, and his wife had just gone into labor with their first child, "I do not want a student or a resident, my child is six weeks early and I want your head of obstetrics."

As Mrs. Sanden's labor quickly progressed, someone noted that they needed to get this baby born soon, otherwise it would be born on Friday, the 13th.
And Friday the 13th it was! A healthy baby girl weighing, 5 lbs, 13 oz, was born to Dr. and Mrs. Sanden on Friday, January 13, 1984 at 12:13 am.

Excited and exhausted, Dr. and Mrs. Sanden called a few close friends, and realized that they had NOTHING with them for a baby - no clothes, diapers, or car seat (although car seats were not so imperative in 1984 as they are now). Dr. Sanden went shopping for his new daughter -- diapers and clothes including a baby sleeper that said "Sweet Surprise".Expecting to have another 6 weeks to finalize their choice of names, Dr. and Mrs. Sanden had not agreed on a girl's name yet. Clayton Howard, if the baby was a boy -- but being a girl, she needed another name. Throughout the day on Friday, the Birth Certificate Man came to visit the Sandens and inquire about a name for their daughter. Time after time, they asked him to come back later.Finally, the man explained that it was now Friday afternoon; he would soon be leaving for the weekend and Dr. and Mrs. Sanden could not be discharged from the hospital until he completed the birth certificate -- including the baby's name.
Brooke Sanden would be her name -- no middle name, because when she married, Sanden would become her middle name, and she would always keep a piece of her father in her name. That is the sentimental and romantic explanation... The Truth: It was hard enough for Dr. and Mrs. Sanden to agree on ONE name -- forget two! :-D

With the baby named, they began the long and slow drive home to Michigan - Dr. Sanden driving and Mrs. Sanden holding baby Brooke in the backseat for the entire trip.

This story has become legendary for the Sanden family and those who remember that fateful day 27 years ago. This is the story of my coming into the world. I guess the Lord wanted to inform my parents from the very beginning that I would bring unexpected adventure and happiness into their lives.

Thank you, Momma and Daddy for leading me -- and allowing me to lead you through 27 years of adventure and happiness.

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  1. Loved reading your birth story. Happy Birthday :)

  2. What a FUN story Brooke! What an interesting way to enter the world :)

    Happy, Happy Birthday!!

  3. Hey Sweetie,
    Daddy and I remember the story well:) Love the adventure and happiness God has blessed us with when He sent you our way! Happy Birthday!
    Love, Momma & Daddy


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