|Precious Baby Shayla in her blessing gown.|
Our sweet Shayla was born 18 years ago today. I realize that her birth story did not get told last year in the "Year of Birth Stories". So, I will remedy that today.
Shayla is our 6th child and that summer I was pregnant with her, I had the older four in swimming lessons. The lessons were every morning at our local pool. Seth was two years old and full of energy, so I spent each morning running (waddling) after him in the parent seating section of the bleachers, while the older kids swam.
In my journal, an entry on July 6, 1994 reads:
"Today I ran some errands. I got a portable crib and set it up in our bedroom. Also a nursery monitor. I feel like I'm ready for this baby now. I went Tuesday to see my midwife and I am dilated 2 cm. and 50% effaced. Also the head is well down--all good news for a quick delivery. I really feel good and expect everything to go well."
At the appointment, Ann had offered to strip the membranes. I told her "No, I'm not in any hurry and I want her to grow as much as she needs to."
We had my sister Valorie come from Utah to watch the older five when I had the baby so we were prepared when contractions started on July 13--two days before my due date.
I was serving as a counselor in our ward's Young Women organization and we had planned a fun Daddy/Daughter activity for the girls that night but the contractions continued steady so I made a phone call at 5:00 to let them know I was in labor and wouldn't be there. Andy came home and worked outside on the house. We were in the middle of an on-going remodeling that included a huge addition to the back of our house. Andy was doing most of the work himself so we were in a constant state of chaos with five children and a pregnant mom trying to function around the construction. (My journal entries included many incidents and accidents involving wheelbarrows, mud, concrete, nails and so on and so forth.) Sometime after I had fed the kids, I started timing contractions and they were seven minutes apart. I told Andy maybe he should get cleaned up. Then we had scripture and prayer with the kids (this according to my journal--I would not have remembered that much detail!) Then Andy gave me a blessing, as he did with the birth of all of our babies. I was blessed that it would "go quickly and with a minimum of pain."
We got to the hospital about 10:00 (we stopped at the ATM for cash--according to my detailed account hahaha). I still wasn't positive if it was the real thing because the contractions were not painful. The nurses were a little bugged that I had not called first--they were pretty busy. Then I really hoped I wasn't wasting their time. When I got checked I was dilated to eight so yay! I was having a baby. They called the midwife and we got settled into a birthing room. By then it was close enough to midnight that I told Andy I was going to hold back a little so she would be born on the 14th. Our other two girls were born on the 24th and the 4th so I thought it would be fun to have all three girls born on "4" days.
|The three sisters in their matching Daisy Kingdom dresses|
Ann got there and I started into transition. Two hard pushes and her head was out. Ann told me to stop pushing but didn't tell me why. It turned out the cord was wrapped around her neck. After Ann got the cord off, Andy moved in and caught Shayla as she was born at 24 minutes after midnight. He laid her up on me and Ann handed me a towel to wipe her off. She hadn't cried yet so I was worried. Her eyes were open and she was calmly looking around. As I rubbed her with the towel, she gave one loud cry and went back to looking around. Ann was anxious to see how much she weighed and the nurse brought in the scale. Andy guessed 8lb. 2 oz. and Ann said 81/2 or 9 lbs. We were all shocked when the scale went up to 9 lbs. 15 oz. She didn't look chubby at all. In fact, she had very feminine, petite hands and narrow feet. She had wavy hair plastered to her head. We wrapped her up and I nursed her. She latched right on and nursed on both sides. She was calm and alert. After her bath and feet-printing we got into a room about 2:30 am. She fussed a little and nursed again. The nurse suggested I let her sleep with me which really surprised me. She snuggled right up and we both slept for several hours.
|Shayla and her violin|
A few weeks later, we were going to have her blessed. My mother had sent a pretty blessing gown for her from Utah and the first Sunday in August I dressed her all up for her blessing day. Andy was on the High Council and had a meeting that morning, so I got the kids all ready for church and headed over. Church began and no sign of Andy. I wasn't too worried because he was sometimes a little late getting back from his meetings. Soon it was time for the blessing and everyone knew we were waiting for her Daddy to get there to give her the blessing. The bishopric gave each other nervous glances and kept looking at the door to see if Andy was there. Finally, the Bishop got up and announced that they would hold off on the baby blessing until Brother Gale got there and just continue with the regular Fast and Testimony Sacrament Meeting. The meeting went on and still no sign of Andy. As it got to the end, I decided to get up and bear my testimony. I said it was ok that her Dad was serving faithfully in his calling and I appreciated that he was a worthy and faithful Priesthood holder. We were just concerned that her pretty blessing gown wouldn't fit her by next month--especially since she had started out bigger than we expected. She would know that her Dad was doing the Lord's work and her blessing would be just as special with or without the fancy dress.
The meeting closed and I took the dress off of Shayla and headed for Sunday School. Andy actually didn't get there until part way through that second hour. He had been held up by an emergency need that had come up. The Bishop gave us permission to have her blessed the next week so--she was blessed and she still fit in her pretty dress.
She was a calm, easy-going baby and slept 7-8 hours a night according to my journal. The fact that I wrote about her sleeping means she was sleeping enough to give me time to write in my journal.
On July 31, 1994 I wrote: "It's been a busy two weeks adjusting to our sixth child and adjusting to the other five trying to adjust to a new baby. They are all very positive and sweet with their new little sister --even Scott who was hoping for a boy keeps saying 'She's just the cutest baby in the world!' It's hard to comprehend that I am the mother of six children! They are each precious and wonderful and challenging! I feel so blessed that I have had the health and strength to bring them into the world and pray for patience and sanity to raise them to be righteous and decent."
My children might question whether the prayer for sanity was granted but I certainly owe a debt of gratitude for the blessings that have been poured out as I have had the privilege of mothering some of the most amazing people on earth.
Shayla will be heading off to BYU in about a month where she plans to major in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science. Happy Birthday Shay!