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Having babies is definitely for the young

Dr. David L. Chancey's picture

I shared in a sermon on June 30 that our newest grand baby, due July 11,would come on Friday, July 5. It was just a projection. I knew her sister, our first grandchild, came one week early. That year I was hoping to get through Easter Sunday, and Harper was born on the Monday after Easter. Great timing!

This year, I told the Sunday morning crowd that surely I’d get to run the Peachtree Road Race after finally getting a number. I lost the entry lottery this year, but that’s another story.

Rachel called Amy as Amy was heading home from work on Tuesday evening, July 2, and said she was heading to the hospital. Three hours later, our second granddaughter was born. So we packed hurriedly, hit the sack but were too excited to sleep, and left the next morning at 3 a.m. The July Fourth race would wait ‘til next year.

We arrived at Cape Coral’s hospital at 11:30 a.m. and had another proud moment as we celebrated the safe arrival of a six pound-seven ounce, 19-inch long granddaughter born at 10:21 the night before.

Unlike last time, Rachel ran some names by us that she was considering, but had not settled on a definite choice. We gave input, but didn’t have a vote. Amy campaigned for Esther, a name she’s favored since our fourth child was born nearly 24 years ago. We have three girls and named them Rebecca, Rachel and Ruth.

When child number four came along, we didn’t know the gender. If the baby was a boy, he would be named Jonathan because of the David and Jonathan friendship in the Bible.

The girl names were tougher. We had exhausted our biblical names that began with “R,” unless we went with Rahab (the prostitute) or Rizpah (King Saul’s concubine), or Rhoda.

Since the baby was due in December, Amy chose Esther Noel. My son Jonathan thanks his lucky stars every day that he’s not Esther Noel, and I was pulling for a son anyway. But Amy still campaigned for Esther, though I thought Lydia would be nice.

One of the neatest but sometimes more challenging parts of having a baby is settling on the name that’s just right. I heard, but never confirmed, that if the baby was born during the week before her due date, she’d be Saylor. If she arrived the week of her due date, she’d be Aniston. If she was one week late, she’d be Vivian. Or something like that. Or, they’d just wait and see who she looked like.

Her name is Brooklyn Rae and her name fits her perfectly.

We were there to help Rachel any way we could, so we kept the baby in our bedroom so Rachel could sleep. Brooklyn would wake up every two to two-and-a-half hours to eat. Newborn babies nurse eight to twelve times a day, so she was right on target.

Only, she’s a spitter. We held her upright for about 30 minutes after she ate, so our night went like this: she’d wake and one of us would take her to Rachel. Then we’d crawl back in bed for 30 minutes of sleep. Then Rachel would text us, and we’d walk back across the house to pick up the baby.

Then we’d come back to our bedroom and either sit in bed holding Brooklyn upright so her food would settle, or we’d stand and gently sway to get her to sleep. After 30 minutes, we’d attempt to lay her in the bassinet and hope she’d settle in for at least two hours. Then we’d start over again.

Then Harper got up at 7:30 or so every morning, and we’d get up with her and keep her involved so Rachel could sleep. Then when she went down for a nap after lunch, we’d go down for a nap after lunch. That was exhausting!

No wonder only young moms have babies. But, oh the joy of cradling that newborn baby in your arms, and having her snuggle against your chest. These were sweet, sweet moments, and we cherished every one.


[Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church. The church family gathers at 352 McDonough Road, just past the department of drivers’ services. Visit them on the web at and like them on Facebook.]

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