I thought Hannah was going to come a week earlier than she did. I was having contractions that would wake me at night, so I would start timing them to see if I needed to go to the hospital. But they always stopped. I would lay in bed awake wishing them to start again so I could deliver little Hannah.
As it was, she still came four days early. On the morning of November 24, Richard's alarm went off and he got up to get ready for work. I had been awake timing my contractions again. I told Richard they seemed to be sticking around this time, so I started to brush my teeth and pack my hospital bag. But I also told him to go ahead into work, because the contractions weren't strong, and weren't too frequent either. It could be another false alarm.
Richard hesitantly went to work in a taxi. Oh yeah, the taxi is a whole other story. You see, we had to turn in our American drivers licenses in order to receive a Belgian license, and there was a period of several weeks before we received our new Belgian license where we didn't have any license at all, and therefore weren't allowed to drive. As tempting as it was to just drive without a license, we actually didn't have a car either. Our rental cars had been taken away, since the company found out we didn't currently hold licenses, and our new cars were not yet available at the dealership. So all that being said, we were taking a taxi service everywhere. I would reserve a taxi to take me to the grocery store even. They would wait in the parking lot while I took my big pregnant belly and my two kids into the store. Then I would come back and load up all my groceries into the trunk, and we would head back home. It wasn't easy, and I was hoping to be done with that by the time the baby came. However, we ended up getting our licenses a few days after Hannah was born, which wasn't so bad.
So, back to the story.... Richard got a taxi to work, only to be called by me when he was five minutes away from work. I told him to turn around and come home, because I needed to go to the hospital. Richard's taxi driver had another job, though, and told Richard he didn't have time to bring him back home. But after Richard told him his wife was in labor he cancelled his other job and brought Richard all the way home. Thank God!
Meanwhile, at home, I started calling friends to see who could watch the kids for the day. Out of everyone on my list only one friend was available and I'm so grateful she was! I was beginning to think the kids would have to come with us. So we got the kids up and dressed, and called another taxi, dropped the kids off and headed to the hospital.
Based on how quickly my past labor and deliveries progressed, we thought this baby would come quickly as well. And she did, but not too quickly. I still got to the hospital in time to walk around calmly as my contractions got stronger (with my first two deliveries, I was screaming in pain by the time I got checked in to the hospital). So I walked around until my contractions were strong enough that I felt I needed to get ready to push. I told the nurse I was ready, started pushing and Hannah was born soon after. This delivery was different from my others, because I was in control the whole time. Instead of the nurses and doctors telling me what to do, I told them what I wanted to do. And I never felt like the pain was too much to bear. I just breathed and pushed through it all, until she was born. I really felt very strong this time!
We had arrived at the hospital around 8:45 AM, and Hannah was born at 11:46 AM. She was 7 pounds 9 ounces and 19.3 inches long. Like Gabriel, she was born "sunny side up". Had she been flipped around, she would have come much faster.
We chose the name Hannah, because we thought it was a beautiful name that comes from the bible. Hannah was the mother of Samuel, and she had much faith in the Lord. Her name means "gracious" or "favor".
The name Kay, is after two very special people. My mother, Kathryn, and my good friend, Danielle, who's middle name is literally the letter "K". We wanted to honor them both, and so the name Kay seemed the perfect fit. Although we did not pick "Kay" for it's meaning, I love that it means "pure". Now I think of our little girl as gracious and pure.
Hannah's coming into our family has seemed very natural. She receives a lot of kisses and snuggles from us all, and Gabriel and Hope love to help whenever they can.