Rachel and Natalies Excellent Adventure

I don’t know where to start. I am so glad that I signed up for a Twitter account right before leaving for Oregon and Colorado, because those “tweets” are now my mile markers through the blur of the past few days.

The evening of Thursday, September 25 Lindsey and I flew to Salem, Oregon. Lindsey, is the Two Little Hands Communications Manager, she also coordinates, executes and assists on my outreach events. If you want me to come speak or perform at an event or conference in the future, contact Lindsey. She sometimes refers to herself as, “Rachel’s Handler” which makes me crazy. I think animals have handlers, not people, but whatever. I like to call her my assistant.

Another character in this cast is Natalie. Nat and I have been friends for 20 years. We went on our first dates together.

Monster Mash 1990

Monster Mash 1990

In the past 20 years we’ve gotten into a bit of trouble together, like when I accidentally lit her hair on fire or when we were sledding down freeway embankments, when the freeway was under construction, and then there was that time I broke my ankle when I was chasing a goose and a rooster was chasing me! (All true stories I swear) We met in 8th grade. Her locker was two down from mine. Somehow we had 7 out of 9 classes together that first year and we became fast friends. Natalie is officially my #1 Fan. (Sorry! I know a lot of you think you are it… nope, it’s Natalie)
Love the 90s

Love the 90s

When I began writing songs, I would tape record them and give them to her. She keeps everything, even all of our notes passed back and forth through the years. She is practically my personal archivist! (Nat should we release a “Rachel Unplugged”?? .. nah better not I was sort of grumpy in high school, mostly to try and hide how shy I was) So, if there ever is a True Hollywood Story in the works, they should just go straight to Natalie’s house.

Sometime around, oh… 9 months ago, Natalie and I had a conversation. It was a conversation about the future, her future and how it looked like she was going to become a mother. At that time it also looked like she would be taking on motherhood, for the most part, alone. She asked if I would be her Birth Coach. I said, “Yes!” Her due date was September 21st.

Fast forward to THIS weekend.
Lindsey and I landed in Salem and made our way to the hotel. When we got to our room there was only one bed. I called to see if we could get two beds and they said none were unavailable. We considered two rooms, but decided that is not as much fun as one room. Sometimes I think I am reliving the sleepover days. Those of you who have volunteered at ST! events can attest. We stay up late talk, eat, have pillow fights (not really) and laugh (yes really hard). Two rooms would not do! Plus what if one of us slept in, missed the wake-up call, or had no idea what time the events were scheduled! I offered Lindsey the sofa bed, (nice of me eh?) but she said she doesn’t mind sleeping with her boss… err, not how it sounds AT ALL.

Who's Closet?

Whose Closet?

We hit the sack, with a serious “pillow barrier” between us. There is nothing more freaky then stretching out and touching a strange someone, in a strange hotel room, in a strange city. Thus, the “pillow barrier.”

In the morning we met Cory and her kids. Cory came bearing gifts! She brought breakfast scones, drinks, candles, a scarf, jam and other fun stuff.

Welcome basket

Welcome basket

Cory must read my blog. (Hi Cory!) Because the woman brought me cannoli!! FYI, I also love chocolate covered strawberries, English toffee, anything coconut, lemon or lime, The Cheesecake Factory and massages…(hee hee) Oh, Lindsey is single and is looking for a “tall, dark, handsome, funny, smart, single man.” Just thought I’d put that out there. If someone wants to deliver that to her sometime she would be very appreciative! You can even check out her blog first.

We got ready and went to Salem Heights Elementary. I did a signing, story time with one of the kindergarten classes.

Salem Heights Story Time

Salem Heights Story Time

Class photo

Class Photo?

After story time, I got ready for an assembly for the whole school. I had a great time, that’s what counts right? The kids had a great time too.

I have NO idea what I am signing! (Match?  Roommate?)

I have NO idea what I am signing! (Match? Roommate?)

Signing Autographs after the assembly

Signing Autographs after the assembly

I have to thank Nacho Cordova! Nacho was our photographer and he did a superb job. (Nacho, how’d you make me look so good?) Checkout our Salem days on his site. Here I am with Nacho’s adorable daughter.
Rachel and Terra

Rachel and Terra

After the school visit, Lindsey and I went shopping. I needed to buy PJ’s, since we were down to one bed, and that’s all I am going to say about that. We went to Macys and I did a quick change in the car. I have a fear of getting busted, no pun intended, because I always have to change in the car.

Let's shop

Let's shop

Guess who's car?

Guess whose car?

When we finished shopping, we got lost, like we always do. Lindsey gets so mad at Google Maps, and I think it is sort of funny. I mean how lost can we get? We made a few calls, got our bearings and arrived for the Willamette Valley Down Syndrome Association fundraising concert, starring, yours truly. We had another great show! THAT was a “Silly Pizza” that I will never forget!

After performing the Silly Pizza Song, we all died!

After performing the Silly Pizza Song, we all died!

And then we hung out on the floor and had a long chat

And then we hung out on the floor and had a long chat

After the performance we held a “Meet & Greet” so that I get to meet, chat, share, take pictures with and give autographs to all who want it. I knew it was great show because while I was performing, I could see Lindsey cracking up at the back of the hall as she ran some of the technical aspects. And Lindsey has heard all of my jokes a hundred times. Later she said, “Rachel you are way more fun to travel with when you are sleep deprived!” 😉
We grabbed dinner and went back to the hotel.

Saturday, September 27, 2008.
I got up and started getting ready. Today I would perform at the WVDSA’s Buddy Walk. I was doing my hair and makeup when my phone rang. It was Natalie, she said, “Rachel, my water just broke!” I didn’t know what to say. Did you know that water breaking at onset of labor is very Hollywood? It rarely happens in real life! How could this happen? No contractions for days, everything quiet and hoping to wait until Sunday when I get back and her water broke? AHHHHHHH! She still wasn’t really having contractions either… hmmm

Lindsey called Cory who happily rearranged my scheduled performance time, so I could sing before the Buddy Walk, instead of after. (Thank you Cory and crew!!!) Lindsey pulled up flights. We were flying out of Portland an hour and a half away. I found a flight and booked it and off we went to the Buddy Walk. Before the event we had to eat our cannoli!

Let's have breakfast

Let's have breakfast

Lindsey, Rachel and Cory

Lindsey, Rachel and Cory

Loved this pin I saw at the Buddy Walk

Loved this pin I saw at the Buddy Walk

The Buddy Walk was another great event. We had our Meet and Greet before the performance.

Thanks for the photos Jennifer!

Thanks for the photos Jennifer!

And with that, Lindsey and I ran to the car and sped to the airport! If I was going to catch my flight there was no time to change clothes. Colored fingers and all, I RAN through the airport, feeling a bit like a speeding orange traffic cone or a flare.

The plane landed early and I called Natalie, she was still at home. I got my car and made my way to her house. Natalie laughed when I showed up at her door as “Rachel Coleman.”

Now, remember Lindsey? She stayed in Portland to fill up the car, return it and get on the original flight straight to Denver. The plan was, let’s deliver the baby and I could pull an all-nighter and drive the 8+ hours to Denver. As long as the baby came by midnight, this plan would be fine. My sound check at the Oh Baby Expo in Denver was scheduled at 8:30AM. Looking back, that was sort of a silly plan!

Natalie, her mom, friend Emily and I went to The Birth Center at 7PM. They checked her and though she was having contractions, it was still early labor. This was not good. As we approached the 12 hour mark, it was clear this baby was not going to be born within the time frame that The Birth Center could comfortably and legally accommodate, considering the broken membranes. We packed up and went to the hospital.

That alone was frustrating. It didn’t mean Natalie could not necessarily have the ideal delivery she wanted, but we both knew it meant we would all have to work much harder for it. I sat alone in my car and cried in the parking structure outside of the hospital. It was almost mid-night and it appeared I would be facing yet another defeat. I needed to leave for Denver. How could I leave? Especially right now? I felt like I had just barely proven myself as the best friend in the whole wide world, turning my schedule upside down, grabbing a flight home and even showing up in bright orange, and now I would instantly be the biggest jerk. How can I go up there and say, “Natalie, I’m leaving.” As I sobbed, and put off the inevitable, my sister Rebecca called to see how thing were going. I sobbed and yelled and let it all out. “I AM SO MAD! I can’t be EVERYWHERE I need to be and I PROMISED! I promised to be HERE and I promised to be in Denver! I PROMISED!” Rebecca listened to my frustration and said, “Ray, it sounds like you need a replacement, a back up for yourself. Can I come down and support Natalie?”

I was stunned. Rebecca is two years younger than I am. We were the ultimate picture of sibling rivalry for most of our lives. She made me crazy. For many years I had no relationship with her, I couldn’t stand her! Then three years ago, I saw how much of that was really my fault, not hers. I offered to be her sister again. Nine months after we made peace, I was able to be at the home birth of her first child. In the past 3 years we have become more than sisters, we are great friends. So, here is Rebecca, who had given birth just 2 weeks ago, 2 WEEKS ago to her second son and she was offering to come down at midnight so I could go to Denver? I cried even harder, “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” I went up to Labor & Delivery with puffy red eyes, and found the rest of my now puffy, red-eyed team. I asked to have a minute alone with Natalie. “Nat, I have to go.” The tears streamed for both of us. “I have to drive to Denver, I am so sorry. Please forgive me. Don’t hate me.” Natalie looked back at me through tears and said, “Rachel I can’t stand the thought of hundreds of little children being disappointed that you are not there.” I told her Rebecca was coming. We hugged. I kissed her on the head and I cried my way into the hallway, still feeling fairly defeated. Rebecca was already in the hall with Natalie’s mom and Emily. Aaron, my husband was also standing there. Huh?

Aaron and I walked down the hall and he said, “Come on. We’re going to Denver. You are not doing this alone.” I asked where our kids happened to be. Aaron had called my mom, packed the girls’ bags, dropped them off at mom’s house and made it to the hospital in record time, to make sure I didn’t try to go it alone. As we walked out of the hospital we passed this mural on the wall of Starbucks

Speak softly people will listen. Take your time the world will wait.

Speak softly people will listen. Take your time the world will wait.

We picked up a rental car and drove into the night. He took the first shift, since I was exhausted. He blared Rush albums, as I slept. For me it is REALLY hard to sleep through Rush. It is Aaron’s favorite band and… well it’s not at all my favorite band… at all. Geddy Lee’s high pitched voice was piercing through my dreams!! I tossed and turned in the uncomfortable passenger seat and plotted my revenge. What would I listen to while he tried to sleep? 😉

“Hey, wake up. Can you drive?” We were in the middle of nowhere. I sat up. I had slept, on and off, for close to 4 hours. “Yes, I can drive.” We filled up the car and bought some pringles, nibs and a cherry coke for me, a code red for him. I took my turn driving. I sang “The Silly Pizza Song” for 4 straight hours 😉 Just kidding. I listened to Shawn Colvin and did my best to out-sing and out-harmonize her on every single song, singing at the top of my lungs. The sun came up. I kept driving. My phone buzzed with a message from my friend Cathy who lives in NV, she had sent me driving directions to the convention center. (Thank you Cathy!) I pulled up to the convention center at 8AM listening to The Pixies, “Where is My Mind?” Fitting.

Sound check was set for 8:30AM. Whew, that was close! I re-did my hair, and put new make-up on top of old make-up, taped my fingers and put my Signing Time clothes on. I called Natalie. She had finally progressed to 6cm after more than 24 hours of labor. A c-section was on hold. Are you kidding me? I might make it back for the birth? Aaron found a flight back to Salt Lake City and we booked it. I hit the stage. Were my eyes red? Was my voice haggard from dueling with Shawn Colvin for 4 hours? I don’t know. Was my brain foggy from lack of sleep, well yes. I smiled, sang, and told them the truth. “My best friend is in labor and I am her coach. I flew home from Oregon yesterday and then drove straight here all night. Natalie said she couldn’t stand the thought of causing such disappointment for your families, if I did not come.” The Signing Time families in the audience signed “Thank you.” I stayed just long enough to take a handful of pictures and sign a handful of autographs.

Still smiling in Denver

Still smiling in Denver

Aaron and I ran to the car and sped off to catch our flight back to Salt Lake. He had filled the tank while I was singing.

If I hadn’t gone to Ghana, Africa twice this year, I don’t think we would have made the flight. We did not check-in in time. The computer would not let us check-in, but I have Gold Medallion status because of those Africa miles with Delta and they made and exception and we ran through the Denver airport, me in my bright orange again. As I ran passed, people looked bewildered at my taped fingers and outfit and asked, “Go Broncos?” I had no idea what they meant. Then Aaron explained the Broncos colors are orange and blue and he started laughing. Ok, “Go Broncos!” When we got on the plane I happened to be seated next to a woman who was also wearing orange.

Maybe they sat us together BECAUSE we were wearing orange

Maybe they sat us together BECAUSE we were wearing orange

I slept on the plane. This plane landed early too! I ran to my car, dragging my carry-on bag behind me. I imagine Aaron walked to his. I twittered my landing and one of my dear friends, twittered back, “Go! Hurry to hospital! All cake and eating it too!” I had to smile, everyone around me, friends from coast to coast, fans across the country, they were all pulling for me to be there with Natalie.

I called Natalie, “I am back and I am wearing orange again!” While I was gone she had pitocin and an epidural, she had been laboring for over 36 hours and was exhausted.

I returned to Labor & Delivery and got the details. Since Nat was still at 6cm, we were all hoping that 7 to 10cm would happen quickly. The nurses came in and updated me. Emily and Nat’s mom fell asleep. Then the nurse came back in and asked for my autograph. I looked at Natalie and we both started laughing. Then a bunch of nurses came in, all fans of the show. They apologized to Natalie, saying, “Our kids, love Rachel. They’ll never believe we met her!” Natalie said she was used to it, she’d known me forever and it was part of the deal. Besides, we all know how Natalie feels, “There’s no way I am going to disappoint a bunch of little kids.” I handed out Signing Time temporary tattoos and I autographed pictures of me and Alex and Leah.

Signing Autographs for the Nurse, Still Smiling

Signing Autographs for the Nurse, Still Smiling

The evening wore on, Natalie rested. The nurse midwife came to check the progress. Bad news. Still at 6cm. The last 8 hours she had stayed at 6 and now her cervix was swelling and the baby’s head was moulding to try to come through at 6cm. I put on scrubs, so did Natalie’s mom. I kept telling myself, “breathe and don’t pass out.” Technically had two c-sections with Lucy, but had never been the one standing up through it, being supportive, I got to experience the other side of the table.

At 6:38PM my best friend Natalie became a mom. When they brought Baby Nicholas into the world, everybody in the OR room gasped variations of “What a beautiful baby!”

Auntie Rachel and Baby Nicholas

Auntie Rachel and Baby Nicholas

Brand New Baby Nicholas

Brand New Baby Nicholas

I spent the night in the hospital with Natalie and Nicholas, even changed his first diapers. I help Nat figure out the whole breastfeeding thing. We all slept a little.

The following morning was Monday, I drove home. The house was empty, the girls were in school. Aaron was at work. I autographed 300 Baby Signing Time covers for the upcoming release.

Signing the New Baby Signing Time Covers

Signing the New Baby Signing Time Covers

I put them in a box on my front porch and called my Two Little Hands office, “The covers are done. But someone needs to pick them up. They are on my porch. I am going to sleep. Please don’t knock.”

I slept. Around 4:00PM Leah and Lucy woke me up. “Mommy!! You are home!!” My eyes had headaches. My head felt heavy. I squinted at my girls, reminding myself, “Oh yeah, that’s right I am a mom too.” I sort of unpacked. I sort of helped the girls with their homework. I felt like I had been gone for ages. Was there even food in the fridge? Leah came down the hall around 6:00PM and said, “Something smells weird in the hall!” I was too foggy to care. Besides a lot of things could smell “weird” in a hall. Awhile later I walked down the hall and noticed, “Hey something smells weird!” It smelled like something was burning. “AARON I SMELL FIRE!!! COME HERE!” Aaron ran down the hall and we went from room to room. It was strongest in Leah’s room. I double checked outlets to see if a plug had gone crazy, but found nothing. Aaron ran downstairs to see if it was coming from the basement. We couldn’t find it! No smoke, just that smell. Some of our neighbors had an electrical fire in their wall a few months ago and I was not going to risk it. “I AM CALLING 911!” I yelled as Aaron came back up stairs and put his hands on the attic ceiling entrance in our closet, to see if it was hot.

The 911 operator told us to “Get out of the house.” I grabbed Lucy, put her in her power wheel chair, and we went across the street. Aaron and Leah followed us out. We could already hear the fire engines coming. I guess our neighbors heard it too because they all came pouring out. They could see I had been, tired, crying, upset but they didn’t know it had not been about the “fire.” A simple, “Are you okay?” was answered with a flood of tears. “I am so tired!” Is all I could get out… and then, “See I flew to Oregon…” and then I stopped. I mean really! Really? Did all of that really even happen? Who would believe it. “I’m just really, really tired.” I repeated.

See what happens when you call 911

See what happens when you call 911

Just use the front door

Just use the front door

The firefighters could smell the burning, but they couldn’t find the source. Aaron finally went in with them and came out holding Leah’s favorite hat.

Grumpy Hat

Grumpy Hat

And then he turned it around.
Very Grumpy Hat

Very Grumpy Hat

The sweet smell of burnt acrylic. Leah burst into tears, “That’s my favorite hat!” Yep, her favorite hat that accidentally got tossed on top of her desk lamp and ended up with a lightbulb shaped hole burnt right through it. So, if any of you are going to Disneyland anytime soon, I would sure appreciate it if you kept an eye out for a new “Grumpy Hat” for my daughter. See… I am tired. Really, really tired.
Go Broncos!
We're Tired!  Really Tired!

We're Tired! Really Tired!

This entry was posted in Behind the Signing Time Scenes, Crazy Little Thing Called Life and tagged , , , , , by Rachel Coleman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rachel Coleman

The opinions and late night musings published on this blog are Rachel de Azevedo Coleman's alone, and are not ever intended to represent the opinions and sentiments of any organization or product that Rachel is, was, or will be associated with. Rachel Coleman is the creator and Emmy-nominated host of Signing Time!, the children's American Sign Language vocabulary building series. She is also the creator and host of Baby Signing Time, Rachel & the TreeSchoolers, and Rachel & Me. Rachel now serves as the Executive Director of the American Society for Deaf Children, a 501c3 nonprofit established in 1967 by parents of deaf children. ASDC is the American Sign Language organization for families who are raising deaf children. www.deafchildren.org Motivated by her child, Leah's deafness, Rachel has spent the last 18 years creating ASL products to help bridge the communication barrier between hearing and signing communities. In 2006 Rachel founded the Signing Time Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to putting communication in the hands of all children of all abilities. In 2014, the Signing Time Foundation launched a 50-Lesson online ASL curriculum called "Sign It: ASL Made Easy" that is available free-of-charge to families with deaf or hard of hearing children ages 36 months and under. Apply at www.mydeafchild.org. For those who do not qualify to receive Sign It ASL for free, they can find it for purchase at very reasonable rates on www.SignItASL.com. Rachel and her husband, Aaron, live in Salt Lake City Utah. They are parents to Leah who was born profoundly deaf, and is now a senior in college at NTID/RIT in Rochester, NY. They are also parents to Lucy who has spina bifida and cerebral palsy, and recently graduated high school. In 2010 the Colemans were joyfully reunited with Rachel's daughter Laura. Rachel is proud to be Laura's birth mom. Laura was placed for adoption as an infant in 1992 when Rachel was 17 years-old.

34 thoughts on “Rachel and Natalies Excellent Adventure

  1. I think I need a warning at the beginning, like “Kei, grab tissues before you read this”. You know I’m a crybaby. I laugh along with your posts, and cry a bunch. Especially when you do.

    What an adventure! Fitting though, don’t you think, after all the adventures you & Natalie have had over 20 years, why should the birth of her first child be adventureless?

    Your family rocks~ always being there to help when it’s needed. Tell Aaron for me “Forget Lester, forget Ellsbury, forget Bay… Aaron, YOU are the stud!” He’ll know what I mean.

  2. Congratulations to Natalie and Nicholas!! And of course to Aunt Rachel! What a champ you are and how tired can one person be? Amazing that you made it through and got everything done! You are my new hero. I shall nap in your honor!!!!

    What a beautiful baby Boy!!!!!! All that hair and those eyes! But it’s the lips I love most…just made to be kissed! Welcome to the world Nicholas!

  3. Oh, and for anyone like me who hear about a baby being born and think, “How much did he weigh?” Rachel did send it out on Twitter (so sign up,start following her and stay in the loop!) …
    Beautiful Nicholas came into the world at 20″ long, 6 lbs 14 oz.
    Congratulations Natalie and Aunt Rachel!!! He is so beautiful!

  4. What an amazing story. I was following you on twitter but somehow didn’t realize just HOW MUCH of a feat this was for you. You are super woman! And congratulations to Natalie on successfully birthing Nicholas, who is gorgeous! Water breaking early truly sucks (my story is here:mcmamasmusings.blogspot.com/search/label/labor). She’s awesome for pushing through as long as she did and that beautiful baby is a great result! Now go sleep, both of you! 🙂

  5. Those were the best 2 days of my daughters life Rachel. (Salem) She is still smiling. I’m so glad you could be there for Natalie. I know you were in a hurry to get to the airport. I’m glad you made it. Congratulations on the new baby in your life. I pray for you some much needed sleep and recooperation. You so deserve it!!! You do so much for everyone, you are an Angel here on Earth. We love you!!
    P.S. I have the cutest pic of you after the Silly Pizza Song when you fell to the floor and took a quick break. All kicked back on the step. One of my fav’s.
    Take a few days to yourself my friend. You deserve it more than anyone I know.
    Love you,
    Jennifer and Brook

  6. Thank you for reading my 5000+ word essay. I mostly had to get it out of my head and as it turned into a small novel I thought who on Earth is going to read this? I figured at least Nicholas could Google himself down the road and find this.

    cathybarra: Thanks for being one of the people who simply gave me what I need most… directions!

    Kei: That must be some sort of Red Sox reference? Because it is entirely lost on me, but I will tell Aaron… Go Broncos?

    Cindy and Co.: Oh please do nap in my honor. “made to be kissed” – We said the same thing, “kissable lips”

    Kei: You always have my back.

    jessicam: You are so welcome! Thanks for understanding, my running in and out.

  7. This was like the best novel I couldn’t put down until I read every last word! Phew and you made it through it all! Congratulations on being an “auntie” again!


  8. You are right…He is gorgeous! I don’t know how you pull it off, but you are there for everyone. You are AWESOME! Thanks for the blog!

  9. What an excellent story! It is now 2am and I have sat here reading it like an exciting little novel. It made me laugh and made me love and made me happy. What a lovely family and what a beautiful baby, and I’m so glad it all worked out, despite how tired it left you! The amazing super woman, Rachel Coleman! Or was it Carson? haha. Missed you all at chat today.


  10. You certainly had your cake…and I can tell that you TRULY enjoyed eating it too! FYI: we need to talk about my title change from ‘Handler’ to ‘Super Communications Chick Extraordinaire’ (who happens to be very excited for the next event and what could appear on the doorstep). Also, just so you know, I am a BIG fan of sleeping with clothes on! 😉

    Glad you were able to be super woman over the weekend. I know every time I related this lengthy story, people would gasp in awe and then wish you, Natalie and cute Nicholas the best. Y’all had a lot of prayers. Thank you for letting me be a part of your CRAZY journey called life.

    Next stop: North Carolina!

  11. Googsmom: Thank you for sending the pictures!! Your cute family is now on my blog.

    Salisbury8: Oh good, I was afraid to post it for fear of boring the world to death. I was wishing for a camera crew, I have to tell ya. It was that surreal.

    Amazon: Would you all have thought less of me if I missed the birth? Because that is how it was looking as I drove to Denver. I thought, how can I blog that? It would have been called “Rachel is the Worst!”

    Jackile: To my favorite friend “Down Under” it took me a minute to figure out how you were reading it at 2AM LOL. We missed you on the chat. How does tomorrow look, since you are already there. Let us all know.

    TwinJen: I do it with a massive network of people who rock, that’s how!

    STlindsey: I told you I would do my best to find you a man. It would be great if you were out on blind dates while I am getting my beauty rest. After THIS past weekend I am needing some SERIOUS beauty rest… but you know that. It is kind of creepy how you stare at me while I am sleeping. LOL

  12. I am exhausted just reading this! Clearly great people attract great people. Lindsey, Aaron, Natalie, Cory, Cathy, Rebecca, and so on just rallied around you so that no one would be disappointed. What a gift! Now you need to take care of YOU for a bit.

    Oh, and I think I know what you should be for Halloween…WonderWoman! 😉

  13. Oh man I think this goes down as the best blog ever!! I loved reading it. I was anxious, teary eyed and happy with you. I’m so glad you were able to be there to welcome your newest little one into the world. Congratulations to you, Natalie and your families. I’m so glad Aaron was able to split the driving with you!

  14. Dear Rachel,

    Bless you and Natalie for all that you both went through last weekend. (Beautiful baby!)In reading your blog along with all of the pictures, I felt exasperated and victorious right along with you in reading about your whirlwind weekend journey. You made me cry in the possibility of defeat and cry in the joy of accomplishment when everyone pulls together. From all of us here in Denver, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the joy you brought not only to all of our children to see their icon in person but also to us parents for the way Signing Time helps us to feel connected to our own inner-child with the joy that comes with communicating with our own. It brings us together in such a special way. Thank you Rachel and thank you Natalie – you both rock to the Mile High city!! Now rest, rest, rest! –Vaughn’s Mom

  15. “Greater love hath no (wo)man than this………”

    You have amazing character,and are part of equally amazing family, and friends. My hope is that you continue always to have these, and much more, in your life. When I was reading this blog, the chorus to the Elton John song, BLESSED, kept running through my mind. (My opinion….it applies to all who were part of your adventure.)

    And you, you’ll be blessed
    You’ll have the best
    I promise you that
    I’ll pick a star from the sky
    Pull your name from a hat
    I promise you that, promise you that, promise you that
    You’ll be blessed

    (Well, in truth, when I first read your blog title, my thoughts went to favorite lines from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. LOL 😉 Sorry)

    P.S. Thanks for the personal answers to our comments. They are thoughtful.

  16. Now THIS, my dear, needs to be made into a movie. The suspense was killing me…”Did she or didn’t she make it to the birth?” You are full of talents. Awesome post. Can’t wait to read it to my kids.

    And that baby boy…oh my…oh my…he is ADORABLE. And yes, those lips…first thing I noticed.

    Since you said you already have your #1 fan, I will say we ARE your biggest fans from North Dakota.

    Hope you’ve been able to catch up on your sleep.

    Steph & Joey

  17. hey rachel this is just a quick note from some faraway fans. 🙂 i love long blogs!!! and have been following yours ever since you left a comment for my little 3 yr old girl mallie on our blog (adopting quincie) a couple of weeks ago. just wanted to thank you for taking the time to do that – it made our year! i hope you keep making signing time videos – we are going to be LIFELONG FANS. 🙂 after a long 4 months we finally discovered that my 3 yr old daughter quincie (adopted from china this past june) has a retrocochlear hearing loss; she is missing her auditory nerve and has severely malformed cochleas. 🙁 anyway, we plan on getting your whole video library (we need it!) and want to sincerely thank you for your enthusiasm, dedication and terrific songs when it comes to teaching big and little kids asl. 🙂 because quincie will never have a chance to hear (ever) we will be lifelong signers and YOU have been such a bright spot in what has been a rather difficult chapter in the beginning of this amazing journey for us. you are my little mallie’s hero – we’ll stick w/ you all of the way! we love you! hope leah gets a new hat soon. 🙂 allie, mallie and quincie bestwick from the land of oz (kansas!) 🙂

  18. simply_lori – Oh I had already looked into Wonder Woman costumes, believe it or not. I just don’t think I have the legs to pull it off though. That was the thing I realized, is that I am so lucky to have an incredible “safety net” of people to catch me when I fall. And yes, I DO fall, for those of you wondering.

    SallyAnn: and I was worried it was the worst blog 🙂 – 20 minutes into the drive I thought, “Man if I was driving alone, I would turn around and go home.” There was no way I could have done it without AA.

    Crysm: “Go Broncos” may just be my new tag line, though that won’t sit well with my husband who loves the Rams.

    kgoudy: It WAS magical and miraculous that everything came together. Thanks for being there.

    Ella: Time travel, as seen in Bill and Ted’s would have been helpful 🙂 But turns out it would have been unnecessary. Thanks for the song!

    Joeysmom: SEE!! We may not be on public TV anymore, but I think a reality TV show might actually be more entertaining and you will STILL learn sign LOL

    allie bestwick: Allie I received your letter about Quincie. I will be in touch. It has just been a little crazy around here 😉 Just wanted you to know I got it, hang in there.

  19. Wow! That was worth the wait. Your blogged story is told with palpable emotion just as your song writing is sung with such feeling as well. Thank you for sharing your wild weekend with us. As silly as it sounds, as soon as I finished reading the blog I went on line and searched yesterday and today for about an hour looking for a replacement Grumpy hat for Leah – I think I’m just grasping at a way to be helpful from afar, but I’ve turned up empty handed. I have enjoyed reading each birthing story that you have shared and they are all as unique as the children who are born. I think your picture would appear in the dictionary with selfless friend. I hope you have managed some sleep and comfort in knowing how many lives that your purpose has affected in a positive and life-changing way. As an aside, maybe some travel window shades would be a good thing to pack for the car!! 😉

  20. Wow Rachel, you truly are super woman! i enjoy reading your blogs so much because they are very exciting! Glad the fire turmed out to be nothing serious, that would have scared the crap out of me.
    When youre not ” Rachel Coleman” who are you? hehe! “Natalie laughed when I showed up at her door as “Rachel Coleman.””
    Do yourself and all of us favor, and SLEEP THE HECK IN THIS WEEKEND! Let Aaron take the girls, and you get some much needed sleep!
    I’m glad Aaron was able to make the Colorado trip with you so that you would not be delerious and risk your life driving when you are dead tired. Way to go Aaron!
    You should have started the challenge game, How Many Miles can Rachel Travel in one day? lol. you made me dizzy just reading, I can imagine actually doing it!
    Gotta love the 3 pairs of “ST clothes” That has become your official uniform!
    Next stop is NY! NYC or even better, Long Island!!!!

  21. Wow, even reading this for the second time (I couldn’t get in to comment earlier!) I cried and laughed and marveled at how many incredible people are in your life. What Aaron did sounds like something my husbaad would do, too. How sweet!

    I don’t want to get all gushy and girl-crushy on you, Rachel, but I am so in awe of the things you do and the things you have accomplished. You touch so many lives in so many ways and inspire people to do things they never thought they could. You rock. 🙂

  22. 2 things…First, Did you say you are not on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) channel anymore? If so, why not? Sorry, we don’t watch PBS as we have the whole ST library.

    Second, Ever since your “near fire” story I’ve been thinking about that and how horrible that would have been. So this Sunday morning getting ready for church I smelled something burning. I thought it was in my bedroom but couldn’t find it. I noticed a light bulb burned out but didn’t think that could be it. I was walking in every room and was worried to leave the house without finding the problem. It was always the strongest in my bedroom. Then hubby and boys came in from milking chores and said they burned the garbage outside. For some reason the smoke smell came into my room. That was so freaky. I HATE fires. When I was around 12 years old I was babysitting 2 little cousins and there was a fire in the house.

  23. Anita: You looked for the Grumpy hat? That is so sweet! I am sort of afraid that Leah might end up with a couple hundred of them now. There is no way I can leave all of you thinking I am some kind of saint… trust me, I know me! But this weekend was extraordinary! I feel lucky that I was a part of it. It altered my future and will cause me too look hard and long at what I *think* is possible and impossible.
    Circumstances are just circumstances, we all have them, but we have the chance to be extraordinary when we are not stopped by those circumstances 🙂

    Tiffany: When I am not “Rachel Coleman” I am “just Rachel” or “Ray” or “Mommy” or “Rache” or my mom calls me “Ray Ray.” Funny story, once I was getting ready for a ST! performance here in Salt Lake. I got ready and came out of my bedroom in my signature outfit. As I walked into the kitchen, Lucy looked shocked and said, “RACHEL COLEMAN???!!! Mom, WHERE did you get those clothes?” So, even my kids see Rachel Coleman as someone else and Lucy seemed surprised that RC showed up in her very own house!
    I love NYC!

    Niksmom: I think when Aaron overheard me comment that a middle of the night, fiery car crash might be a perfect ending to my “True Hollywood Story” he got very upset AND neither one of us are interested in living THIS life without the other, PLUS he loves me madly.
    LOL “Girl-crushy” now? Oh, am I going to have to stop blogging? (teasing) If NOTHING else I HOPE this crazy life I am living does actually inspire others to live unstoppable, unreasonable lives too, even if it is just for one weekend!

    Joeysmom: Yes you are correct, we are no longer on public television a little fact that I think needs to be addressed right here on my blog. So watch for it.
    Fires suck! LOL

  24. Hey Rachel,
    What a crazy story! You may or may not remember me but I’m Adriene & Cooper’s mom. She was in 4-6 (yellow, W) and then again in the next group (helicopter, nurse, etc.). Cooper was a tiny baby propped up on your couch in the song that says, “I can sit…” and was in helicopter in his light flight suit. We’ve met you at your house and the zoo.

    Anyway, I loved your story. I thought I stayed up a long time and got super tired when I work overnight. You certainly win! I work in L&D and of course was wondering where Natalie delivered. I work there! I figured it out when I saw the picture of my co-worker. Wish I could have been there for you guys. Sorry she had to have a C/S but it looks like he is a darling boy. It’s always nice for us medical folks to see if from the patient’s/family’s perspective.

    You are certainly a dedicated person… on so many levels! Happy Birthday too!

  25. Glad it was just a hat. Our house caught on fire on April 6th, and we ended up moving because it was uninhabitable for a while, and we couldn’t afford to pay for the mortgage and renting another place while it got fixed.

    Glad everybody was okay, especially.

  26. Rachel,

    Wow. I had no idea that things were so crazy for you when we all fell down on stage after the Silly Pizza Song in Salem. You were the picture of grace and poise the entire evening! (yeah, even during our little reclined chat! LOL). Congratulations on making it through in one piece. Your sister offering to be your stand in made me cry! I had what we called an understudy prepared to take over for my best friend in the birthing room when the twins were born because she was 6 months pregnant and we weren’t sure if she would be able to make it to the end (she did though!)

    The burning hat sounds terribly scary! I’m glad it was just the hat. I hope she gets another one (or 12 😉 )

    All three of my girls still talk about being on stage with you and laugh at how hard it was for mommy to keep up with the song. We’re constantly singing it, but we just sing it at our own pace and add our own silly ingredients (popcorn and hot dogs are the current favorites). I *never* realized how darned fast that song is for real! I think I feel talented for being able to keep up for ONE verse of the whole thing.

    Anyway, THANKS SO MUCH for an evening that my family will never forget and will be a cherished memory forever. They think it’s AMAZING that there are pictures of US on your blog! And now that we’ve met you IRL, it REALLY feels like you’re in our living room when we turn on Signing Time!

    Oh, and my kids all want to know when you’re coming back to Salem! According to the 7 year old, she is gong to die a horrible and very dramatic death if this was the only time she ever gets to see you in person! ROFL!

    -Renee (Chaya, Solana & Rhianne too)

  27. melwk: Oh that would have been so great to see you in labor and delivery! Well not in labor and delivery LOL, but you know what I mean! It is good to hear from you. Ah, that would have been even more magical if you had walked in when I had to walk out… well maybe next time! My best to you guys – it’s always good to hear from you!

    Lorren: Not sure that I even want to imagine the house catching on fire! I am so sorry 🙁 Just the burnt smell that hung out in Leah’s room for a few days made me crazy.

    lotsofjoy: Thank you Renee! I was sort of a silly, stressed, mess that whole weekend, but I really went over the edge when Nat’s water broke. All is well that ends well. Thanks for being my Silly Pizza Victims. It is so unfair to bring anyone up there to sign/sign that with me… that is what makes it so good! I will be in Klamath Falls OR over Halloween, speaking and performing there, I imagine that is quite a ways away. Looks like something may come together next year though in OR, if so… let’s have a rematch!

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  30. Pingback: Rachel Coleman » Blog Archive » Babies, Buddy Walks and Blogs

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