Sitting in My Back Yard Thinking of the Night Before Rachael’s Birth

Dusk. Getting a bit chilly. The traffic sounds out front are beginning to die away.

I am sitting among flowers and greenery. I can hear a few birds tweeting. The sun has set and night is on its way.

On April, 17, 1991, I was very, very pregnant with my third (and last) child. I was sitting in our Victorian in Sherman, Texas talking to my midwife on the phone. I was swollen and tired and ready to be un-pregnant. My due date had come and gone. She suggested I naturally induce labor with the help of castor oil followed by orange juice. Having done that with my other two full-term pregnancies, I knew I’d have a baby by morning.

I was right. I was in hard labor by the early morning hours and when Ray called the midwife, she asked to speak to me on the phone. As soon as I said hello, I had a contraction, and her first words after it was over were, “Are you standing up?” When I said yes, she told me to go get in bed that second and get on my side. She was jumping in her car right then to make the 50 mile drive to our home. “Whatever you do, do not push before I get there,” she said. It wasn’t long before I was already feeling the baby bearing down. I spent a long time panting (like I had been taught) before the midwife raced into the room.

I was happy that Ray – who had been hastily reading a child birth manual just moments before – did not have to catch our third little girl. Though I suspect everyone would have been fine, I heard a very loud sigh of relief from Ray at that moment.

Fifteen minutes later, dear little Rachael Marie Beaty was born. My biggest baby at 7 pounds. She looked supremely peaceful upon arrival.

Happy 30th Birthday, Rachael! Thank you for holding off to make your appearance. That was very kind.

And thanks for being one of the true gifts in my life.

I am grateful everyday for your presence.

It is time to celebrate!

Rachael and her “Besties,” celebrating her birthday a few years back and again tonight!

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