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What I did with my summer 2: Elaine Ruth Rask

Well, this has been a remarkable five weeks. I thought it would be good to share a more or less chronological account of ‘what I did this summer’ for those who may not have heard the details – and for my own benefit.  I’m going to structure this as several chapters, each a separate blog entry.I had hoped to put several pictures with each chapter, but for the sake of actually getting this done before it gets too far in the past, I’m going to have to leave that for future edits.

Chapter 2: Elaine Ruth Rask

Abbie may actually have been due the last week in June, so that she was at least a week overdue by the time Gail and I’ve left for Dallas on Sunday July 6.  Abbie had actually been in false labor the preceding Friday, or at least not fully productive labor, and she was tired and discouraged that weekend.  So Gail asked if she and I could come up to gather that Sunday so that Gail could be there for the whole of the labor and delivery.  Abbie was more than willing to have her come.

We drove up on Sunday afternoon and arrived at Abbie and Tim’s in time for dinner.  I had to be at the seminary by 8:00 the next morning so we went to bed relatively early.  I got up modestly early to do some work and discover that Abbie was already beginning to feel one other onset of labor.  By the time I left for seminary she and Tim had already talked to the midwife, and labor seemed definite.

All that day, as I sat through the introduction to my seminary course, I got updates that Abbie was continuing and labor, and by late afternoon It at gotten pretty intense.  I decided to stay at the seminary into the evening, because Abbie and Tim’s house will stop really big enough for someone to labor in modestly.  In fact Abbie and Tim and the midwives and Gail spent time in pretty much every room of the house during the course of Abbie’s 24 hour ordeal.

By the time I finished up of the library, labor had been going on all day and some progress was being made.  I stopped on the way to pick up a few things at Wal-Mart, and then snuck in the house, and Gail the groceries, and retreated to Tim’s study or Gail and I were sleeping on an air mattress.  I lay there and will send to the sounds of labor, napping briefly, until Gail came in around 11:40 to tell me that they had broken Abbie’s water and that she was beginning to make real progress.  It was actually quite a lonely moment as I had to lie there all by myself while everyone else was involved in the delivery.  But at about 1:40 I heard an intensification of the tempo, and the next thing I knew I was hearing Abbie say “breathe, baby, breathe”.

And so Elaine Ruth Rask was born.  Almost the first thing that Abbie did after the delivery was to get a little bit modest had to call me in so that she could give me my birthday present.  Ellie was born on my birthday, July 8.  It’s actually one of the better presents that I’ve ever received.

Gail and I stayed the rest of the week.  I went every day and enjoyed being a student at the seminary, and came back every evening to to enjoy been a grandfather at Abbie’s home.  It’s funny how the Lord juxtaposes death and new life in our lives.  The grief of the previous week was matched by the joy of this new little life.