Our fraudulent life began on April 13th, the day after our 4th daughter was due. Katy had hours of contractions, and—knowing how quickly our third had come—I rechecked our hospital bags, got ready to call my in-laws, and posted our automatic email saying we were on maternity leave.
But then, the contractions stopped, and we waited. And waited. Everyone who emailed received our auto response and said the nicest “Congratulations!” and I didn’t have the heart to say that the baby still hadn’t arrived. Finally, Katy scheduled an induction for April 22nd, ten days after her due date.
We woke up at 6 am full of anticipation but found out they were super busy with deliveries and were told to call back at 12, then 5, then to call the next morning. By now, Katy was having contractions again, and they were getting much more intense. They said to stay at home, but to come in if they were five minutes apart for an hour or if things ratcheted up another level.
Armed with my stopwatch, I counted the minutes. Ten minutes apart. Eight minutes apart. And then suddenly, 90 seconds apart repeatedly. (What happened to five minutes??? ).
“We’re going to the hospital” I said. Katy had three more contractions between our bedroom and the kitchen door, and then three more in the car as I coasted through red lights a little before midnight.
Tessa Abigail Waechter was born at 1:52 am on April 23rd. Katy was an absolute warrior, and like Tessa’s three sisters, I caught her, and handed her to her mom. Makayla, Kelsey, and Emma are completely smitten and keep asking to hold her and stroking her hair.
Tessa means “Harvest” or “Fourth,” which we chose because she is our last and after quite a few seasons of hard work, we are thrilled for this next season with our four daughters. Abigail means “Father’s joy” because Katy wanted kids earlier than I did, but I was the one who especially wanted one more little girl.
Thank you to the exceptional staff at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, especially Dr. White who has been Katy’s doctor since she was pregnant with Makayla. We were thrilled she was the doctor on call for our last delivery.
Joel and Katy