I am proud to announce that our godbaby, Christopher Ellis Unruh, was born yesterday at 2:05 pm!! He was a whopping 9 lbs. 8 oz., and has Courtney’s nose and one of Michael’s dimples 🙂 As soon as Mrs. Voss sends me the pictures from her camera, I will post pictures of him.
Here’s how it happened- from my point of view. Jesse and I got to church early because he was serving in the altar. I, however, was not going to sing in the choir because I am still getting over a cold and sound like a goat.
As it turns out, this was providential, because I was standing in the congregation for the first time in a long time, seeing as the choir is usually standing in the Kliros behind a wall. When it came time for the scripture reading (around 1/3 of the way into the service), I thought to myself, “Courtney and Michael are never THIS late….I wonder….” So I grabbed my purse and headed outside to check my cell phone.
Sure enough, there was a text from Michael, sent 5 minutes prior. I immediately called Courtney’s cell. Michael answered, saying Courtney was very busy at the moment and could not talk. I started squealing. He said that the contractions were coming pretty frequent and that they would be heading to the Birth Center soon. I said, “What, contractions every half hour?” He responded emphatically, “No! Like every two MINUTES!”
Turns out the delivery was not as imminent as it seemed, as this was the frequency Courtney’s contractions almost right from the get-go. When Karen’s mother, who was with me outside while I was talking to Michael, heard that they were coming every 2 minutes but that they were not at the Center yet, she started crossing herself and saying the Jesus prayer. Katie and James Gaspard also heard the news and said, “2 minutes?? That means she can start pushing!!!” This made me think that the baby was going to come ANY SECOND and I quickly sent a note back to the altar with one of the deacons.
Apparently, the note did not reach Fr. Joe and Jesse until RIGHT before communion. Fr. Joe casually walked up to Jesse right before they were to bring out the Eucharist and said, “Oh, by the way, Courtney’s in labor. Contractions are 2 minutes apart.” Then he walked away, chuckling at the obvious distress he had left Jesse in.
Of course Jesse freaked out. He attempted to help serve communion at one of the chalices, but was dancing around and anxiously scanning the crowd for me. Finally, one of the deacons saw what was going on and was merciful enough to take over for him. Jesse ran over to me and whispered, “Kelly, Courtney’s having her baby!” I got a tiny bit indignant and said, “Of course she is! I’m the one who told you guys, dummy!”
Fr. Joe canceled the HS Sunday school so that Jesse and I could leave IMMEDIATELY. We raced the 25 miles to the birthing center, wondering if we were too late.
When we got there at 11:30am, however, we didn’t see the Unruh’s car. Jesse and I started to panic, leaping from the car almost before the key was out. I was picturing Courtney giving birth on the side of the road while Jesse said he was picturing them giving birth on the stairs down from their apartment. We ran into the Birth Center, breathless and frantic. Sarah, the midwife, came out and said, “Can I help you?” We practically shouted at her, “Where’s Courtney?!?!?” She just smiled and said, “Oh, they’re not here yet! You can wait right here.”
I was annoyed with how calm she was until she explained that Courtney had been having frequent contractions from the very beginning and that it didn’t mean she was going to have the baby any second. About 1/2 hr. later they arrived. Michael seemed nervous and Courtney looked as though she was concentrating (I say, “looked” because I haven’t gotten a chance to ask her any of the details about how all of this “felt”. I’m sure it wasn’t pleasant, I don’t mean to downplay it!). After we saw that they were safely at the Birth Center and that Michael was doing alright, Jesse and I ran to get Chipotle for us and him.
I’ll spare you the boring details of Jesse and I sitting on pins and needles for 2 hrs. in the Family Room, eating chips and guacamole, Jesse making disturbing jokes about becoming a “Lactation Consultant” and renaming the Birthing Center, “Crowning Achievment” and “Head Start”. At around 2:05 pm we heard a distinct baby cry coming from the other room- Christopher Ellis! 5 minutes later the assistant midwife came and informed us that it was a baby boy and that they were doing just fine. We could hear them all laughing and talking in the other room, so I was actually inclined to believe her.
10 minutes later, Christine raced in the door. She had driven like a mad-woman, going 75 all the way from Houston (for you Californians, the speed limit is actually 60 and sometimes 55 m/hr. here). Too bad little Christopher couldn’t wait just a few more minutes! About 45 minutes later, the Voss parents arrived, and we all anxiously awaited the moment when we could go in and see them.
10 minutes later, the midwife came and got us. We all got to see and hold little Christopher, who had apparently already pooped all over himself. It was funny hearing Courtney and Michael say, “Honey, you are going to have to learn a few things about 1st impressions…you are NOT going to make friends that way!” Courtney looked exhausted, but relieved and happy. Everyone cried, laughed and rejoiced together.
I’m not sure what happened after that, as Jesse and I needed to get home and prepare for the Young Adult Get-Together we were hosting at our house that night, but Michael called to say that Mother and Baby made it home safely a few hours later.
Praise the Lord! Welcome to the Family, Christopher Ellis!!