A Tale of a Coming

by Lisa McKinney

From The Folknik July/Aug 1998

[I (Kathryn) ran into LisaMacKinney, carrying 8-month-old Hannah, at the SF Free Folk Festival. When reminded that she hadn't sent us something to put in the folknik, Lisa sent the email birth announcement released shortly after Hannah's arrival. And here's their story!]

Hannah Ruth Mackinney was born Friday, October 10 [1997], at 7:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time. Daughter of Lisa Hubbell Mackinney and Paul Gordon Richard Mackinney, she weighed in at 8 lbs. 12 oz. and measured 21" in length. The exact location of her birth shall never be known, as the vehicle in which she entered the world remained in motion throughout the delivery.

Lisa's contractions started shortly after she attended a benefit concert for the Traveling Musician's Union at a local folk music club in Berkeley. But she didn't want to wake her mother or husband until she was sure it wasn't a false alarm, Anne was awakened only at 4:40 AM, and Paul at 5:00 AM. Fifteen minutes into the 45-minute drive to the birth center in Pleasanton, just as they were merging onto highway 580, Lisa said, "My water broke!" Paul, in the back seat with her, held her head and rubbed her back, thinking that things were fine since Lisa continued to breathe quietly, in peaceful contrast to her demeanor before they had left the house.

They were driving through Castro Valley when Lisa asked Paul to help support her. "There's a head crowning!" he said. The next moment Paul said, "I see a face!" And when she slipped out onto the seat, "Hannah, you're here!"

Lisa's mother, Anne Maiden, continued to pilot the Volvo masterfully as Hannah's cries announced her presence to the world. Paul emerged from stupefaction to pick up his daughter and wrap her in a blanket while Lisa rested. "Where are we?" Lisa asked. Anne replied that they had just driven by the Crow Canyon exit. "Oh yeah--what time is it?" Paul asked. "It's just after seven," Anne replied with aplomb. "We'll be at the birth center in 20 minutes."

As it had begun, the journey proceeded with singing. By the time they arrived, Lisa was able to sit up and hold Hannah to her breast. Anne went and knocked on the door. When our midwife, Beah Haber, answered, Anne declared: "We have a beautiful healthy baby girl! We need you to help with cutting the cord." The rest of the day passed without incident. Lisa was attended to at the birth center and released in the early afternoon. After a stop at the pediatrician in Berkeley, where Hannah was marveled over and pronounced resoundingly healthy, the family was home by 4:00 PM.

With much love and delight, Lisa and Paul

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