After the first trimester, Kathleen and Brian sat down with their two children, then age 7 and 8, to explain what was happening. “I just told them that Nancy and Michael wanted to have a family as we do,” says Kathleen. “The children weren’t aware of Nancy’s breast cancer. I said that Nancy was taking medicine that was good for her but not good for a baby, so I was carrying the baby for her, and that Nancy and Michael would take the baby home after it was born.”
Toward the end of January, 2002, Kathleen telephoned Nancy. “Today would be a good day to fly to Ohio,” she said. She had gone into labor. For the next four days, Kathleen’s contractions were three to four minutes apart, but she never dilated past 2.5 centimeters. Finally, her physician, Josette D’Amato, D.O., decided to admit her to Southview Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, and induce the baby.
“Before she got the epidural, Kathleen was in such pain,” says Nancy. “I was in the hospital bathroom sobbing. I kept saying to Michael, ‘I can't believe she’s in this much pain and it’s because of us.’ It was very, very hard to watch, and I felt terrible. But fortunately after Kathleen got the epidural, the birth was quick.”
With Nancy at Kathleen’s side holding one of her legs so she could push, Brian standing directly behind Dr. D’Amato, and Michael operating the video camera, Laney Faith Rodgers was born on January 30th, weighing in at 6 lbs.15 oz, and measuring 201/2 inches. “I was so excited, so emotional. I called my mom and could barely speak on the phone to tell her the sex of the baby,” says Nancy.
“When she handed Laney to me, it was unbelievable,” she continues. “She was all swaddled, with the teeny little cap I still have in her memory box upstairs. Everyone said she was the spitting image of Michael. We didn’t put her down for hours. We passed her back and forth, Michael’s turn, my turn, until it was time for her to go to sleep. I never thought it was going to happen for us.”
Throughout her pregnancy, Kathleen had shopped for gifts for the baby, and before she left the hospital she held an impromptu baby shower for Nancy and Michael. “I had a ball shopping for Laney. Knowing how Nancy likes to be organized, I tried to plan for all those little things the baby would need as soon as she was born, including a bassinet for her to sleep in before they left for New York,” she says.The two couples celebrated in a flower-filled hospital room, all of them cooing over the new baby.
A Best Friend’s Gift|
Feb 24, 2009
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