Celebrating Another Grandbaby and What a Blessing

While storm-watching meteorologists tracked Hurricane Michael three weeks ago, we were on baby-watch and anticipating the arrival of another grandbaby. The due date was October 14 but for a week, my daughter Ruth had contractions off and on and had everybody on standby.

A trip to the doctor Monday morning, October 9, brought news that Ruth was close to ready at 39 weeks-plus. The doctor said, “I have an opening Wednesday if you want to induce, or you can continue to wait.”

Ruth and Andy decided to move forward with the induction.

Wednesday morning, as Hurricane Michael approached the Florida Panhandle as a category 4 storm, Ruth and Andy drove to Piedmont Hospital to begin the process.

This moment itself was a miracle. Ruth and Andy welcomed their first daughter in April, 2016 and wanted to give Ivy a sibling. For both children they prayed and struggled with issues of infertility (see www.theoneineight.com). They were beyond excited when their pregnancies were confirmed.

          I drove up to Alpharetta early Wednesday morning to hang out with two-and-a-half-year-old Ivy, the big sister in waiting, while my wife and Andy’s parents, Liz and Ernie Bowen, gathered at Piedmont Hospital.

          My instructions were to wait for a call, then load up Ivy and join everybody at Piedmont. Then, when Ruth was ready, we’d all march in together and witness Ivy seeing her baby brother or sister for the first time.

          As with Ivy, Andy and Ruth did not want to know the gender, so we were in suspense.

These days the gender reveal is a big deal. For example, when Freddie Freeman and his wife Chelsea revealed their baby’s gender, they gathered friends and family on a baseball diamond and Chelsea tossed Freddie a ball. Freddie swung, bat met ball and the ball exploded in a puff of blue smoke. Pretty creative approach to “It’s a boy!” (https://ftw.usatoday.com/2016/03/atlanta-braves-freddie-freeman-wife-chelsea-exploding-baseball-baby).

Our gender reveal would happen at delivery. We simply waited in suspense for nine months, though, interestingly, random people would occasionally walk up to Ruth and say, “You look like you’re having a boy.”

On our beach trip in July, Andy, Ruth and Ivy were walking down the beach and met a couple also walking. The man pointed and said, “It’s a boy” as they passed by. Little Ivy turned and chased them down and said, “No, no, no – It’s a girl!”

Nor were options for the baby’s name revealed.

As the calendar crept closer to October 14, the family registered their guesses for birth date, weight and gender.

          My wife: “Boy, October 15, 6 pounds, 14 ounces.”

          My son: “Girl, October 17, 7 pounds, 7 ounces.”

          My Grandson Cobb guessed “Girl, October 18” and daughter-in-law Amanda guessed “Boy, October 7.”

          My daughter Rebecca projected “Girl, October 11, 6 pounds, 10 ounces.”

          My daughter Rachel stated “Boy, October 8.”

          Even Andy and Ruth guessed girl, with Ruth saying October 9 and Andy saying October 10. Andy nailed the date!

As the Bowens and I entertained Ivy, shortly after 1:30, Andy texted baby was here! About an hour later, Andy appeared and escorted us back to meet our new grandbaby and to see Ivy’s reaction.

          With great excitement, Ruth introduced us to Norah Virginia, weighing seven pounds, eight ounces, born at 1:27 p.m.

          Ivy’s reaction didn’t disappoint. She climbed up beside her mom and smiled ear to ear, beaming at this brand new baby. She sweetly and gently welcomed her little sister.

          Norah was on the list for the first baby’s name but Ivy Joan won out. Norah, which means “woman of honor,” got Ivy’s OK. Every name Ruth suggested was a “no,” but Ivy liked Norah.

          Ivy’s middle name, Joan, came from Ruth’s maternal grandmother, Joan Gould, my mother-in-law. Norah’s middle name, Virginia, came from Liz Bowen’s mother, the late Virginia Brown. These two girls honored two godly women by taking their middle names.

          We praise God that Andy and Ruth have two beautiful daughters and we’re now blessed with seven grandchildren.

          And another is on the way! Jonathan and Amanda, my son and daughter-in-law, are due around March 1!

          As Proverbs 17:6 reads, “Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the pride of children is their parents.” They are a blessing from heaven that add sunshine to one’s soul!

Dr. David Chancey