On the Day You Were Born

Shanna Marie 
Jan. 1987~3 months old

When I was five months along with Shanna, we moved from our tiny trailer house to our first "real" house. We settled in and Dad began the remodel that would go on for over a decade. Moving walls, tearing up carpet and sheetrock, adding on, jackhammering concrete. He started with the front yard. He decided it needed a waterfall and fountain that covered the whole front yard. So that is what he was doing on the Saturday morning when labor started.  Shanna surprised us by coming into the world two days before her due date. It was General Conference weekend and it was in the days before you could get it on TV in our area. We were going to go to the stake center to watch it, but my labor changed our plans.  Because of a mix-up in Siara's due date we thought she was three and a half weeks overdue--but it turned out she was about a week early. I didn't put it all together until several children later.  But in the meantime we just assumed that Shanna would go way past the due date and we didn't really have things ready. Like getting my sister there from Utah to watch Scott and Siara for us. Or getting a crib. So when labor started, we called Rebecca and made flight arrangements for her to come that day. Then we went to Toys R Us and bought a crib. We brought the crib home and Andy put it together while I washed the bedding.
Shanna Oct. 4, 1986
The Hospital Pic

I should mention here that we didn't have an ultra sound so we didn't know what gender we were having. I decided it was a boy because I felt the same way I had with Scott and she was less hyper-active in utero than Siara had been. (I really did eventually learn to stop using my ridiculous logic to make leaps in assumption.) But we had only picked out a boys name: Christopher Joseph. If Shanna had been a boy, it would have changed the course of history in our family because the "S" thing would have stopped with her.

I should also mention here that about three weeks earlier, we had suffered through the ordeal of a head lice outbreak. It was running rampant through the schools and thus through our ward. Scott was not quite three years old  and Siara was 19 months Since I was a newbie in the lice detection arena, I didn't catch it until several generations had established themselves in our hair. Yes, OUR hair. My lovely pregnancy-thickened hair was also infested. We were a snuggly family and I spent a lot of time with them on my lap or laying next to them reading so of course I got them too.  Our doctor gave us the poisonous concoction Quell (now banned by the EPA--yikes!) and told me to use gloves while applying. There is nothing like a lice crisis during the last exhausting month of pregnancy. 
Siara, Scott and baby Shanna with Aunt Rebecca

But back to our story. We picked my sister up from the airport at noon. By then the contractions were coming faster but still not hard at all. I showed Rebecca around the house and did several loads of laundry. Andy went out and did yard work. He told me to come get him when I was ready to go the hospital. Around 4:00 I decided it was getting close so I called Andy in and we took off. Vancouver Memorial had just added a new birthing wing and I was hoping to get one of the two much touted birthing rooms. The nurse put me in a labor room to check me and told me I was dialated to 5. I thought "Oh darn! This is going to take forever!" But there was a birthing room free so she had me wrap up in the sheet and walk down the hall to it. It didn't even really seem like I was in labor. (I am quoting from my journal here) Once I got into the birthing room things sped up. I heard the nurse talking to the doctor on the phone and she was trying to talk him into coming. I guess he thought I would be awhile. At 5:15 (I was watching the clock) I got all weepy and told Andy "This is taking so long!" Next thing I knew, I was in transition and pushing. The nurse kept saying "Don't push! Blow it away!" Trying to buy time for Dr. Williams. Finally we heard him in the hall. The nurse ran out and said "Get your buns in here! She's delivering!" I pushed as soon as the nurse turned her back and the doctor barely made it in time to catch her. She was born at 5:32. Seventeen minutes after I said it was taking too long.  Andy said "A girl!" as soon as she was born. Dr. Williams laid her up on me and she was crying and kicking. She calmed down quickly and started sucking on her tongue. She looked around the room and up at me.  Andy got to cut the cord, then everyone started guessing her weight. The doctor said "She's small, I'd say 7 lb 5 oz or so." The nurse agreed. Andy said "No, 8 lbs 2 oz." He went with them to see her weighed and measured and when the nurse came back she said "Your husband had it almost right on the nose--she's 8 lbs 4 oz.!" 

Shanna's beautiful curls: Age 18 months

Once we were settled into a room, Andy's parents brought my sister and Scott and Siara in to see the new baby. They each held her and Scott had a million questions: "Mom, your tummy went away--did she come out of there? Are you going to put her back in when you come home? Her name is Joseph huh!" 

Shanna Age 2

I stayed in the hospital until Monday morning. The nurses oohed and awwwed over Shanna's beautiful curls and she charmed everyone by sleeping through the night the first night--I kept her in the room with me which was almost unheard of back then. They kept asking me if they could take her for me so I could rest. But I wanted her to myself while I had the chance. She was calm from the start and kept that disposition clear up until high school drama kicked in. She also kept those beautiful curls--though she cursed them as often as I pointed out how lucky she was to have them. 

Now that sweet baby with the bouncy curls is a mama herself. 
And her calm disposition is getting her through the sleepless nights.
 Happy Birthday Nunny!


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