Shannon has had pretty rough pregnancies and deliveries but this was the best so far...though not without difficulty. She started having strong contractions at around 12am on the 15th. This was a big deal because she's never started labor on her own before.
When we went to the doctor he announced she was 4 centimeters dialated. Everything was going great until she got stuck at 9 centimeters from 5pm to 11pm. This was the "valley of despair" stage. Her cervix was swollen. Nothing was working. (At this point the guys all checked out. This is the problem with telling birth stories. You alienate the guys and you anger the women because you can't possibly give them enough detail!) During this period there were many moments when we thought a c-section was inevitable, but we kept praying and seeking to place our faith in God.
The doctor finally came in a little after 12 a.m. and announced--with a hint of annoyance--that she was checking Shannon one last time and if there was no change she was getting a c-section and that was final. When she examined her, she practically shouted, "This baby is coming out!" In just one push, Shannon gave birth at 12:22am February 16th to a 7 lb 4 oz baby girl.
We have named her Mary Katherine. Mary after the mother of Jesus who we fell in love with again during our study of Luke. And Katherine after Katherine Von Bora, the wife of Martin Luther. I'm studying Luther this year and Shannon read a biography about Katherine. We plan to call her Mary-Kate. Not Mary, mind you, but Mary-Kate. One side note: Mary-Kate was born on my parents anniversary which is pretty cool. Today they've been married 32 years.
Here are some pictures of the new Harris.
Shannon is doing great. We are praising God for the gift of this beautiful
daughter. Children are truly a gift from the Lord. Thank you for celebrating with us. Thank you all so much for your prayers. What a humbling thing to have brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world praying for us. We are so grateful. Now please continue to pray for the next twenty years or so as we seek to raise her for God's glory!