Well, blog followers, thank you for your patience and perseverance! For those of you who haven’t given up on me (a two month hiatus is justifiable grounds, believe you me), here is the news you’ve all been waiting for:

Nathaniel Owen Porter arrived on February 10, 2011 at 1:17 AM, a few days early and in record time!

He is more precious than I could ever have imagined, and while we are all adjusting to the new little man in our lives, we are feeling extremely happy and blessed with his addition to our family! His birth story is one for the record books. If you would lend me your ears for a few moments I will share it. Forgive me if there are too many details.

Wednesday, February 9 was my day off. I could tell you now that I knew something was going to happen. My body was “not quite right” all day long. But I enjoyed lunch with a friend and her two adorable daughters. I decided to rest in the afternoon (as opposed to doing other fun things) because, like I said, my body was telling me to get ready for something (plus, I was scheduled to work again on Thursday). When Doug got home I convinced him to go out for wings at my favorite place (after all, my heartburn issues had resolved substantially!). I started feeling uncomfortable at dinner with what I could only think were contractions (being a “first timer” I questioned everything). When we got home I decided to start timing them and was surprised to find that they were 2-5 minutes apart (time check: approximately 8:30 PM). Sadly, not too much later I lost all of those fabulous wings that I had enjoyed… We decided I should call my doctor. It is important to note she didn’t see any need in haste to get to the hospital and I was pretty adamant about not driving the 35 minutes just to diagnose false labor! So, I waited an extra hour and called various people (including work to call out… no way was I going to make it to work on Thursday. Side note: this was tricky because I didn’t want people to know I was really in labor even though “Ellen calling out of work nine months pregnant” would only mean “labor” and I knew this news would only spread like wildfire). With contractions only progressing, I informed Doug that we needed to work on getting to the hospital. Good thing we did! I felt miserable, so the task of packing the car fell largely on Doug while I tried to be productive in between contractions (time check: approximately 11:00 PM). I’ll save you the details of our trip except to say prayers for green lights and no traffic were answered. Doug wheeled me up to L&D (time check: 11:45 PM) then went to park the car. Somehow I managed to pee in a cup and answer all their questions during triage (and vomited one more time). By this time my contractions were one right after the other. They were ready to move me to my room and I was planning on walking there… until, my water broke (this bought me a stretcher ride! Time check: 12:30 AM). Did you know? A woman’s body is amazing. I’m convinced that God has created an incredible thing. He designed our bodies to “know” what to do at just the right time. And that’s how I knew it was time to push. My doctors didn’t inhibit that instinct either. It was quite awesome, actually. I was in charge of my delivery. More than once I heard, “If you feel that’s the right thing to do, go ahead and do it”. What support I was surrounded with! So, there I was surrounded by nurses, doctors, and my husband when I heard the words, “We can see his head!” (time check: 12:50). Then the most amazing thing happened – they asked me if I wanted to feel it. And I did. If that doesn’t make a woman want to push harder and meet her newborn, I don’t know what will. My hands remained there until I felt him come out (time check: 1:17). How amazing to “catch” your own child! I can’t describe it. Not even a little bit. The rest is a bit of a blur, but I spent it looking into the eyes of my boy with my husband at my side. A-ma-zing.