Friday, December 5, 2014

Tracey Ann's Birth Story - The Final Surprise

When I last wrote about our beautiful experience of bringing Tracey Ann into the world, I left off on a little bit of a cliffhanger.

After I walked Tracey Ann in her little rolling hospital cradle through the halls from our labor and delivery room to our residential hospital room, Hubby did a wonderful job moving all of belongings from the labor room to our new hospital room, and all I had to do was crawl in bed, and rest until the next feeding.  At least that's what I thought was the plan... little did I know another surprise lay in store before we would head to bed.

Tracey Ann was born at 7:56pm, and I believe it was now around 10pm... but it might have been later.  Chris was making his last sweep of our labor and delivery room to make sure he had all of our belongings gathered and moved, and we were about to settle in for our first night as parents.

I was just relaxing back into bed, thinking how nice it felt to lay on my back for the first time in months, when I heard someone at the door knock and say, "Mrs. Miller?"  I didn't recognize the voice, but it was female... and I immediately thought, "who is at my door?"  The greeting didn't sound like a nurse... it sounded like a visitor.  And pretty much only my students call me Mrs. Miller.  And NO ONE in Colorado knew that Tracey Ann was born -- we had only told our immediate family and a few very close friends.  Did I have a student coming to visit me at 10pm at night?  Who was at my door?

"Yes?" I responded, and in walked my mother- and father-in-law.  The mother- and father-in-law who live in St. Louis... who told us they were in St. Louis.  Who told me not to go into labor early because they couldn't come see us for another ten days because of Dad's work commitments.  Mom and Dad Miller walked through the door with HUGE smiles on their faces.

I couldn't believe who I was seeing... and we quickly greeted each other, I quickly heard that they had driven all day, and they got their first glimpses of Tracey Ann.  I then asked if they had seen Chris -- they hadn't.  They came straight to my room, and had just missed Chris, who had gone back to the Labor and Delivery room for the last time.  I knew Chris was going to be incredibly touched, surprised, and overjoyed that his parents had driven fifteen hours, all day, from St. Louis to be there meet their newest grand baby.  Our room had its own bathroom attached, and I suggested that they hide in there, and I would send Chris in when he came back to the room.  They loved that idea.

Within about a minute of their disappearing into the hospital bathroom, Hubby came back with the rest of our belongings from the Labor and Delivery room.  I asked if we had everything, and he asked if I needed anything else.  I said I was okay, but had he checked out our bathroom yet.  He said he hadn't.  I then asked if he could open the door (it was right next to my bed) so I could see what the restroom was like.

He opened the door to the bathroom, visibly jumped, and then couldn't believe his eyes.  Our second shock of the day -- we were expecting Tracey Ann to be a boy (not that the doctor had told us wrong... we just thought she would be a boy), and now Chris' parents in our hospital bathroom instead of home in St. Louis, where they told us they were.

We spent the next hour or so hearing how once Mom Miller heard my water had broken (the night before, remember), she was laying it on thick with Dad Miller that they NEEDED TO GET TO COLORADO.  They went to bed that night in St. Louis... and I don't know how the decision was made, but early the next morning they hit the road to Colorado, and drove straight through until they reached the hospital.

When we had called them on FaceTime, just a few hours earlier to introduce them to Tracey Ann, we noticed that it was dark and they were in the car -- they said they had just been out to dinner and were on the way home.  Chris said that he had the fleeting thought that maybe they were driving out here, but he immediately dismissed it.  I had absolutely no suspicion at all.

I did tease them, that had we known they were coming, we would have had accommodations for them at my house.  My parents were in town, and staying at our house, and they easily could have joined my parents... but by this time of night, my parents were asleep (not that we couldn't have gotten a hold of them).  But, after 1000 miles, Mom and Dad didn't want to drive another 25 to Rifle.  We found them a hotel in Glenwood Springs near the hospital.

Tracey Ann entered the world surrounded by her Mama and Daddy, and a qualified hospital labor and delivery team.  Within three hours of her birth, she had been cradled by both sets of her grandparents, both of whom live over 1000 miles away.  As Tracey Ann, Hubby and I fell asleep that first night, as a family of three, (a little later than expected), we felt so incredibly loved and supported by our families.

Despite arriving nine days early, we would be waking up, the next morning to two grandmothers and grandfathers eager to help us in any and every way we needed.

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