BAM! Instant Baby!

Amanda was expected to give birth on December 20th.  Per normal, nature had other ideas.

This recount features 100% real pictorial footage of these events.

Commentary and (some) pictures by Nick.

At about 6:15 in the morning on December 3rd, 2008, Amanda woke Nick up instantly with the sentence, "I think my water just broke."  Amanda called her OBGYN, who told her to go to the hospital.
Amanda and Nick took The Suitcase™ to the car, and proceeded to the hospital right away.  While unnecessary since Amanda wasn't feeling any contractions, Nick convinced the car to go faster than it was designed to do.  He apologizes to anyone hurled back in time in the wake of space/time rippling.
Once in the hospital, Amanda was checked by a nurse who indeed verified that her water had broken, and that she was beginning to dilate.  Amanda was taken to a delivery room.
Once in the delivery room, Amanda revealed that she was, in fact, bionic, and that she had been experiencing contractions for a while.  They didn't hurt, though; they just felt "a little tight".  After a little while longer, they did start to hurt a bit.  Amanda then got an epidural, and she didn't experience any more pain.
Amanda then took a nap for about two whole hours.  So did Nick.
She woke up to find her OBGYN had arrived, who told us that she was now fully dilated, and she could start pushing now.
Amanda did a great job of pushing, especially considering nobody really tells you exactly which muscles to use to do this "pushing".  One can't exactly practice giving birth.  After a little while, the doctor told us that with a series of really good pushes, she could have this baby NOW.  This was fairly unexpected as the original estimate was sometime that evening, and it was now around 2:00.
So, Amanda pushed more, but the baby just didn't want to come all the way out.  The doctor elected to use a vacuum to assist in the delivery.  Three or four more push-filled contractions, with the vacuum's help, yielded a calm and healthy little baby.  Nick watched the entire process with fascination, and was given the opportunity to cut the cord.  This constituted Nick's only contribution to the process, besides telling Amanda she was doing a good job periodically.
(OK, OK, no more goofy pictures.)

The nurse asked us what name we were going to choose, and Amanda said, "Elena Anne".  Elena was carried to the warming table, where a nurse cleaned her up and checked her out.  Elena seemed a bit confused about her new surroundings, but not concerned at all.

Meanwhile, Amanda rested in the delivery bed, and patiently waited to be given the baby from Nick while the doctor fixed her up.  Finally, Elena was united with Amanda for the first time since being born.  Amanda then fed her a bit, and then Elena was taken to the nursery for tests and rests.  Being born is hard.
Here's Elena in the nursery, through the window.  There are ID tags on both legs, which have numbers that match tags on Amanda's and Nick's wrists.  There is also a tag attached to her cord that will set off an alarm if she is removed from the room.  The hospital protected the nursery with a keypad entry system and reinforced glass.  Any time they hand off a baby to a parent, they verify the name of person and match the tag numbers.  They're not messing around.
Amanda had pushed for less than an hour, and was not in pain due to the epidural, yielding one of the easiest labors ever.  I kid you not: this photo is legit, taken a few minutes after Elena was settled into the nursery.  Ridiculous.
Elena was eventually brought back to Amanda, who was now in a nicely decorated recovery room.  They got some feeding time, as well as some snuggle time.
Here's Elena in her portable "crib", swaddled up tightly.  Being tightly wrapped strangely keeps babies happy, as it emulates the womb.  We call this the "baby burrito" technique.
Finally, Amanda got some nice sack time.  Her bottom hurt some, but not too badly.  I'm telling you: bionic.

We'll get more pictures of Elena when she gets home.