The Agnews were thrilled to become a family of 5 officially on Good Friday, April 6th when Gloria Beth came into the world. I’ve been on a blog hiatus as my attention was needed with the growing clan, but I wanted to share with you some of her story that had some funny twists and some close calls which reminded me all the more to be grateful that God was so very gracious to us.
So, here is her arrival story and some pictures to share with you:
Gloria’s due date was April 3rd. On Thursday afternoon, April 5th, Amanda shared with me she was having some cramping or possible contractions but they were irregular. They slowed down that afternoon. My father-in-law and I, when we got off work, began to finish a septic tank line fix in my backyard. Thinking we had plenty of time, and since it was already dug up, we started working on it as it looked like a storm was brewing outside.
Amanda went to eat with the boys. When she returned, she came up and said, “How much longer you got?”
“Not sure, why?”
“Because they are really starting to come now and getting more uncomfortable.”
There I am – waist deep in my backyard replacing a septic tank line, wading around in all types of goodness from over the years, and my wife may be in labor. This is a typical Agnew scenario. She wasn’t ready to go in because they were still irregular and the closest two contractions had been were 15 minutes apart.
“We’ll get it done.”
We started working feverishly to complete the fix. I put up the final tools at 8:30. Showered by 8:45. Put the boys down to bed, ate a warmed plate from Mig’s, sat down in the chair at about 9:05, and Amanda said, “OK, I think we might be going in tonight.”
I was just thankful I had time for a shower and that the first smell my daughter would smell on her father was not sewage. At that point, the contractions were still irregular. Two hit within about 6 minutes a part from each other around 10 PM that were severe enough for Amanda to consider going to the hospital. She was worried since they weren’t consistent and they weren’t 5 minutes apart, they would send her home.
We have had friends who had a situation where the mother felt something was different in her tummy and she almost didn’t go to the doctor. Come to find out the umbilical cord was wrapped around that baby’s neck and they were able to save that child just in the knick of time because she trusted that mother’s intuition. Ever since that story, I have tried not to be that husband that casually says “everything’s alright, don’t worry about it.” In fact, something in me told me we needed to go on.
While we weren’t thrilled about going to the hospital at bedtime, I was able to convince Amanda that it wouldn’t hurt to go in, and they were probably not going to send a woman home who was over her due date with contractions 6-10 minutes apart.
As we approached the emergency room door at 10:45, we heard a car slow down behind us and hear someone yell, “Amanda’s having a baby?! Woo hoo! Here’s my baby dance!” Of all the people we needed to see in our lives at that point to encourage us and give us a chuckle, God sent our friend Tammy to be driving on that road at that exact time to be dancing in her car. Tammy is a young lady that comes to our house on Wednesday nights to be a part of our Bible study. To say she is a part of the family is an understatement. We love her dearly and she is one of the funniest, most joyful people we have ever known. As we were walking in a little uptight, God put her in our path and we just laughed our heads off in the middle of the road before we walked into the hospital.
Once evaluated, they did confirm that Amanda was in active labor and things were progressing rather quickly. The staff thought Gloria might even be here as soon as 4 or 5 AM. The rest of the night didn’t go that easy. It was a hurry up then slow down type of night. Things were progressing, but then they slowed down dramatically. They would pick up. Then slow down again. With no sleep, my precious wife endured a long night of contractions. As we reached the morning hours, her doctor and nurses that had been so helpful were about to roll off at 7 AM. This became very discouraging thinking about having to relearn a new group of people and we had been really impressed by the crew caring for us in the night.
Around that time, contractions sped up and became more intense. Amanda was exhausted and in a lot of pain. As we met the new staff coming in, they had been told that we still had a few more hours to go. When they came in, I could see the look in Amanda’s eyes, and I told them, “I think she needs to be reevaluated, this is very different than what she has been having.”
“Whoa! OK! Call the doctor in! We need to deliver this baby now!”
The voice over the intercom replied, “The doctor said to wait 5 minutes before she starts pushing.”
“We don’t have 5 minutes!”
“OK…wait…go ahead and start pushing the doctor says.”
It just so happened that the doctor rolling on was already busy with a case hence the 5 minute wait. Amanda’s doctor that had just happened to be on-call during the night hadn’t left yet, and was the one who gave the go-ahead call. She stuck around to meet Gloria. Amanda was so grateful for this nice surprise.
Within the short time of only 4 contractions, Amanda had delivered Gloria. While we knew they would have to clean Gloria’s passageways out because of meconium being involved and the danger of that possible infection, we also had another issue. The doctor unwrapped the umbilical cord around Gloria’s neck 1 time and I noticed a seriousness on her face and the other’s in the room.
She unwrapped it once. Twice. Three times. She then unwrapped it a fourth time around that little neck and the room was very silent.
And as for almost dramatic effect, Gloria gave an audible whimper to let us know she was OK and everyone in the room sighed a great relief.
We had a Good Friday baby. She was here. 6 lbs 13 oz. 20 1/4 inches. Healthy and beautiful.
After they had cared for Amanda and Gloria, the doctor speaking about the condition of Gloria when she came out told me, “I’m really glad you came in when you did. Today needed to be her birthday. It looks like somebody is watching out for your family.”
Yes, indeed. Someone is watching out for our family. I named Gloria after the first words the angels proclaimed at Jesus’ incarnation, and he saw it fit that she be born on the day he died in order to provide her life. Too fitting. Good Friday did need to be her birthday.
When the boys heard she was born when they woke up that morning, they started running around the room and cheering. When they finally got to meet her, they kept talking about how pretty and precious she was.
My wife is unbelievable. Watching her endure what she did for our family humbles me more than I can express. I love her deeply.
Cute lil’ piglet. She snorted for about 2 days straight with some congestion.
When Gloria got home, the boys decided to serenade her with a coming home song.
5 Agnews finally together in our home. Tired, but grateful.
My lil’ princess. Gloria in excelsis Deo. I’m a very, very blessed man.
Thanks for enduring through this long post, I’ve got more to share in the coming days. Thanks for your love for our family!