After experiencing false labour for two weeks, Andrea Ranne joked with her husband Paul that the couple’s third child would grow up to be a prankster.
“Drama queen” might be a more appropriate term for the last baby to be born in Abbotsford on New Year’s Day.
At 11 p.m. on Jan. 1, Andrea woke up with strong contractions. But after so many false alarms, Paul wasn’t convinced. He suggested she take a bath and keep him posted.
But in a matter of minutes, Andrea knew this was the real deal. Paul phoned Armin Klassen, Andrea’s dad, to come over and watch the other two kids – Megan, 5, and Colin, 2 – while Andrea began slowly making her way to the garage for the drive to the hospital.
“I got to the end of our hallway, and I realized we weren’t making it to the hospital,” she said.
“I was on the carpet, and somehow my brain told me, ‘Get off the carpet.’ I actually made it all the way to the kitchen.”
Just then, Armin came bursting through the back door, and Andrea greeted him with a startling statement: “This baby is coming.”
Armin threw his jacket on the floor, and in roughly the amount of time it takes to read this sentence, Andrea’s water broke and the baby was born.
Armin dialed 911 and threw his cellphone to Paul to talk to the operator, then dashed off to collect towels to wrap up the baby. Paul used a bag clip to tie off the umbilical cord.
It was a girl, and not a small one at that – Chelsea Sarah Ranne weighed in at eight pounds and nine ounces.
“She was pink right away,” said Andrea, whose due date had been Dec. 29. “Then I was like, ‘She needs to cry.’ So I flipped her over and rubbed her back, and she let out a big cry. Then I knew she was good.
“It was stressful, but somehow, you don’t really think about it when you’re in it. I was totally calm and I knew what to do. I was amazed.”
Paul, on the other hand, was anything but serene as the scene unfolded.
“It was panic city,” he said with a chuckle. “Our midwife said it would go fast, but we didn’t think it would go that fast.”
Chelsea was born at 11:55, and nine minutes later, paramedics arrived to take Andrea, Paul and the baby to Abbotsford Regional Hospital. It was only then that Andrea became overwhelmed and got a little panicky herself.
But Chelsea would turn out to be fine. She’s very content, and for a newborn, an excellent sleeper.
Andrea said her daughter’s amazing arrival has made for a unique bond.
“I was the first one to hold her,” she explained. “No one caught her and passed her to me. Just being that involved, it is a different kind of connection, I think.”