Phineas Coltrane Milliman entered this world sunny side up resulting in a scrapper's bruise to prove it. Sturdy and strong he is our burliest little guy weighing 8 lbs and 6 ounces. Eli noticed he has Christenson characteristics. Ryan's hands and feet, facial expressions we could see like like Ryan and Katelin. His hair seems darker but most people look at it and say, "THAT's dark?" Perhaps your perspective changes when the color spectrum in your household ranges from white to mellow yellow. Never trusting my instincts I suspected labor initiation about 10 pm May 29th. I called the midwife on call, Becky thought it was too early. We called around to get someone to watch our sleeping kiddos as in my gut and knowing my track record for speedy deliveries we decided to veto the midwife's assumptions. Wishing and washing around as I tend to do I feared inconveniencing many and doubted that this was the real thing as I wasn't in any pain yet we went anyway. We called about three folks on our list and none were available. We called Clinton. He was out on the town with friends and reluctant...could it wait? Um, not really, so he came over and his life was ruined for the next 40 hours. We stopped at the gas station, drove to the hospital, 20 minutes about-no traffic at midnight and nonchalantly strolled up to the Maternity level. Felt like we were coming home, baby number five to be entering the world via Providence Portland Hospital. At the desk I felt like saying, "I'll have the regular..." Instead I told them I thought maybe I was in labor. Michelle was our first nurse. She checked my cervix, dilated to a 4 or 5. Phew, in my mind that solidified that this was active labor....I DID know what I was talking about! Now give me my epidural. Please. But then Becky Bruns, the midwife checked and since my contractions were so irregular she wasn't ready to allow an epidural. Boo, hiss! Instead, go walk stairs for a couple hours and come back to be checked. So up and down 6 flights I headed. Coach Eli suggested I do what he did for basketball drills-hop stairs. So I did and let me tell you this was sadly the hardest I had worked out in a long time. But, may I remind you, I had a purpose in mind for being at this location and that purpose was 1st to have and epidural and 2nd to have a baby. I was not going to be a fool sent home so hop I did and contract this uterus did. It worked like a charm. After an hour of exerting power from within things were getting mighty painful. Eli suggested we go back and tell them to check again...and this time around dilated to about a 7. So yes, they got this woman her epidural. Thank you body for cooperating and quickly accepting an iv and thank you anaesthetist for this modern miracle. The pain leading up to the epidural was getting mighty unbearable. I was quite relieved to have the pain subside. Becky was simultaneously delivering another baby and trying to time both appropriately. I decided to take a nap. And told Eli to do the same. So after a couple hours of sleeping Michelle and Becky came back and suggested maybe we have this baby. Awakening from my dreamy slumber my first impression was, "Nah, how about I sleep some more." Quickly realizing this wasn't going to be the option I had I said, "Ok." The expectation was this baby would melt out but it wasn't quite as smooth as that. It took about 20 minutes to persuade the guy as opposed to a few minutes, probably a result of the face up position. Not too shabby. Before he was born Eli had a spell feeling low sugar levels and of course the impending trauma and excitement developing before his very eyes. Becky suggested he drink some orange juice and automatically he was fine again. He helped catch the baby supporting as needed and soon our little guy entered this world. Dried him off and put him in my arms. I hadn't yet had a good look at his face, feeling winded and my pulse was very low even after getting extra oxygen I was sure I'd soon enough get my chance. My first thoughts about this little boy in my arms were interrupted by a quick baby pee on my abdomen. Well, he was here. Our littlest Milliman, our little son. 8 lbs 6 ounces, 21 inches long and healthy on all accounts born at 6:39 am May 30th and apparently encased in one of the healthiest and heaviest placenta's Becky had ever seen. Not too sure what that indicates but we'll take it. He latched to my breast easily, seemed a little fussy and congested the first day but we cut him the slack deserved. He'd been through a lot. Eli and I are peacefully happy to have another precious baby boy in our family. Eli nurturing and loving our little infants is the epitome of what I love him for. He is most tender to the vulnerable who need extra love and care. Eager to give of his heart and time to the little people in his life. The big people, too. At nights when I feel most exhausted with all of our babies and little Phineas Coltrane is finding this truth now, Daddy is always there with a song, a tight swaddle, a prickly kiss that makes tender baby skin red and lots of love and gentility and wonder bringing comfort and joy to a sad or worried heart. This week we are taking a weeks vacation from work and this week we have to just be a family and to rest and to get to know the new little spirit that has come into our lives feels like time standing still. Disconnect from all the travails and stresses that daily we must bog through are forgotten for a brief interval. How I wish it could continue but nonetheless thankful we have this small window. We love our little Phineas. You are beautiful and bring heaven near.