Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sammi

At 8:20 in the morning twenty-five years ago, my daughter Sammi finally entered the world. I say "finally" because we had been expecting her arrival for almost three weeks.

We had what we thought was a pretty good preparedness plan for her birth. My mother was coming to stay with us to take care of Chuck while Laurie was in the hospital; she lived about 30 miles away and I would pick her up when the time was near.

On the 4th of December, I was lying on the living room couch reading at about 11:30 p.m. when Laurie came downstairs and said, "I think it's time." I threw on some clothes, called my mom to say I was on the way, and raced off to get her.
We got back to the house at about 1:00 in the morning. I was expecting to find Laurie sitting on the couch with her coat on, ready to go. Instead, there was no sign of her. My first thought was that we had cut things too closely and she had gotten an ambulance or one of the neighbors to take her to the hospital. But then, where was Chuckie?
I went upstairs and found him sound asleep in his bed.
And in our bedroom, there was Laurie, also sound asleep. I woke her and asked, "What's going on?"
"It was a false alarm," she replied.
I went down and told my mother what was going on. "Well, I hope you're not planning to drive me home," she replied. I wasn't and she stayed for the duration.

Two nights later, we had invited Karen Smith, an old college friend, over for dinner. When I got home from work, Laurie advised me that she had called Karen to reschedule. "I'm having a baby," she told Karen.
We ate and then we headed off to the hospital. Though Laurie's water had broken, Sammi still seemed in no great rush to be born. After a few hours in the hospital, Laurie decided that I should go home and get some sleep.
I remember getting home in time to watch "Hill Street Blues," and then just after I turned out the light to go to sleep, the phone rang. It was a nurse in the hospital. She said my wife wanted me to come back because she was lonely. (This was not actually the case; there were some signs of possible fetal distress and Laurie wanted me there. But she also did not want me to be upset while I was driving, so she had the nurse say she was lonely.)
I spent the night dozing in a plastic chair in the labor room because Sammi still was not in any hurry to arrive. At about 6:30, the doctor decided Sammi needed a little coaxing and gave Laurie a shot. He assured me that I had time to go down and get a cup of coffee.
When I got back to the room, I found Laurie telling the nurse, "Go get the doctor. The baby is coming right now!"
The doctor came in and said, "It can't be happening this fast," then took a look and said, "Oh, I guess it can!"

And at 8:20 a.m. on December 7, 1984, Samantha Jill Rozakis finally made her debut!

Happy birthday, Sammi... and many. many more!

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