About seven weeks ago Abby started having contractions and was dilating, although not much. Still, given her history, we prepared for another premature delivery. The doctor gave her steroids to help with the baby’s lungs, we packed our bags for the waiting room and postpartum stay (I was in charge of the food/snack bag, go figure). And while she continued to contract almost nonstop, the next few weeks just dragged on with her still pregnant and insanely exhausted. Due to her body being in a constant state of work, she accepted the doctor’s offer for an induction a week early. Then she kind of got her second wind and said she’d rather just wait it out until her due date.

She had an appointment the day before her 39 week milestone and lo and behold, the girl was dilated to a seven. Hallelujah, she and I nearly had a party right there in the exam room. Dr. Billings said to head to the hospital at our convenience and he’d break her water and we’d have a baby – probably pretty quickly given her advanced dilation. We called the immediate family and gave them the news, I tied up a few loose ends at work, we went home to gather Kady and Wemberly, then it was off to Mercy. We were prepared for a swift delivery. We should’ve known better. Babies have a way of creating their own sick, twisted suspense. Little boogers. At the hospital she was informed she had Group B Strep (common, no big deal, just annoying when it comes to labor and delivery) so I the “swift” delivery was on hold for four hours while they gave her IV antibiotics. Mom and Pops went shopping. Others decided to wait awhile to even come up. Paul took a nap.

At 6 p.m. Dr. Billings came in to break her water, told us he wasn’t leaving the hospital, and would be watching the Chiefs game until we needed him. And, like the whole day prior had gone…nothing happened. Again, sick, twisted baby suspense. A few hours later, the contractions were strong enough to breathe through, but baby wasn’t moving down to get ready to launch. Ab had had enough and asked for an epidural. She had wanted to go au natural, but exhaustion had set in and she needed relief. Then the epidural didn’t work. Her right leg was all that at got numb, so she was pretty close to natural after all.

Delivery with Wemberly was swift and tense and very, very scary. This delivery was long, yet peaceful, and beautiful. Abby did an amazing job of using her teeny tiny body to push out a much bigger baby than she had last time. And finally, finally at 10:58, with one final push, my second granddaughter entered this world and became an official air-breather.

Abby and Dakota had two names picked out, but Abby said she was going to have to look her in the face before she knew which name was hers. And finally after midnight, with family gathered around, they gave her her official name: Petal Abeni. Petal after a character in one of her favorite children’s books, and Abeni which means “girl prayed for.” And prayed-for, she was. She looks just like her momma did when she was born, has the most glorious head of jet black hair that sticks out everywhere, sleeps a lot, and is currently loathed by her big sister. However, she is adored by pretty much everyone else. I won’t hold Petal in front of Wemberly just yet because her parents are currently being viewed as vile traitors and I don’t want to be guilty by association. I sneak my baby snuggles in after W is in bed. Petal doesn’t mind.

The phrase “blessed and highly favored” has resounded in my head all week. It’s good to be the grandma.

Born a semi-diva and married to a redneck, through the magic of osmosis or just because of a serious lack of sophistication over the years, Kristin Hoover has found a balance of the two that makes her what she is today.