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Michaela Joy Challies

I’m in love.

Last night, on her thirtieth birthday, my wife gave herself (and me!) quite a gift: our daughter, Michaela (in case you don’t know, the name is pronounced “mih-KAY-lah”) Joy Challies. I’m crazy about her already. Actually, I’m crazy about both of them.

Michaela was an unexpected gift, actually. In her two previous pregnancies, Aileen has given birth ten days and seven days past her due date, so we were not anticipating Michaela’s arrival for another couple of weeks. However, during a routine thirty-eight week appointment yesterday afternoon, the midwife decided that, based on a few factors (higher protein levels, possible decreased fetal movement and slightly increasing blood pressure), she would send Aileen to the hospital for a consult with the obstetrician. The doctor noted a strange little temporary decrease in the baby’s heartbeat and, while she was not overly concerned, recommended that it would be best to get the baby out sooner rather than later–or that was her gut feeling, anyways. Her attitude, based on Aileen’s past history of elevated blood pressure in the final days of pregnancy, was that “at this point all we’d be waiting for is for something to go wrong.”

So they induced Aileen at around 8:30 PM (by breaking her water and by giving her oxytocin) while I ran home to get her bags (which she had only packed that day!). After a couple of hours, just as things were getting really difficult for her and as she was about four centimeters dilated, they gave her an epidural. Only a couple of contractions after the epidural she said she needed to push. The midwife didn’t believe her so Aileen raised the volume a little and sure enough, the baby was well on her way. After four or five minutes of pushing, Michaela was born. She had a little bit of trouble breathing initially, perhaps related to the cord being around her neck, though thankfully only loosely, but after a couple of minutes the midwife and nurses had her wailing at the top of her lungs. They found also that she had tied a knot in her cord so were glad that they had induced her when they did as it made for a short labor and delivery.

I left the hospital a few hours later. Aileen was doing great–she needed only a couple of stitches and should be back on her feet shortly. Knowing her, I’m sure she’ll be itching to get home today. Michaela was still having a bit of trouble with fluid in her lungs, but the nurses checked her out and thought she would manage to get through it on her own. So I came home to grab a couple hours of sleep and will take the children to meet their sister in just a little while.

Needless to say I am profoundly grateful to God for the gift of another child. He certainly has been good to us in blessing us with this little family. May He continue to bless us in His kind providence, and may He be the Lord of our home.

Here are the inevitable and expected early photos. I’ll try to get some better ones later today.



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