Sep 21, 2012

We finally meet Adriana Rose!

On the day she was born, I got up at 4 am and headed to Columbia to meet her mother and her friend at the hospital.  The stars looked like diamonds in a soft black sky, and Venus was shining down like a spotlight in the eastern sky.  I even drove right to the hospital and found the main admission desk without any trouble, which is kind of a big deal.  I always leave myself enough time to make a few mistakes, but there was no need for that on this day.

They broke her mother's water at 7 am and she was very explicit and clear with her Dr. and nurses that she would not be having an epidural.  Her exact words were "nothing to do with my spine", accompanied by hand actions that mimicked the shape of a spine.  The Dr. and nurses were very supportive, and the nurse even got excited that she would get to see a natural birth.  Isn't that the craziest thing you ever heard?  Unless you are over the age of 40 it probably is not, and we are poorer for it, in my opinion.  I have high hopes that "natural birth" will be making a big comeback, as out-of-favor as it has fallen. 

The next 3 hours we spent walking very fast for 40 minutes, followed by 20 minutes  on the monitors.  I was seriously impressed with how fast that girl could walk!  She even bounced with every step she took and did stairs!  I admit she lost me on the stairs.  I was winded after about three flights up and down a couple of times.  Plus, I admit the friend and I were trying to talk.  We were quickly left behind, and I told the young girls to carry on.  I would just be right there when they came back down. We went through 3 rounds of walking for 40 minutes and resting for 20 before that girl slowed down and the labor picked up.  Once she started stopping for the contractions and random nurses started asking if we might need a wheelchair (which she always refused) I knew we were getting into the thick of it.  (also, it was the most intense workout I have had since I picked up all the riffraff from the roof.  My legs are still sore-but in a good way now.  The first couple of days I felt like I had been hit by a train.  Or maybe just laid 50 feet of train track single-handedly.)
One determined mama!
Once she quit the walking she just sat on the edge of the bed, not wanting to be touched and not really moving.  I worked on her breathing, which she said helped a little, and she did eat a Popsicle at one point but she wanted no ice chips and did not even hurl any verbal abuse.  At one point she started to cry out, and then stopped herself.  I told her there was nothing wrong with making a little noise, and that she certainly would not upset anybody there by doing that.  She just grinned.  Grinned and bore it.  What a woman!  Don't get me wrong, she was in pain, and at a certain point panic started winning.  She agreed to what the Dr. termed a "baby dose" of Nubane, (no clue how to spell that one-sorry) which would knock the pain down a little and would wear off within about an hour.  It turned out to be exactly what she needed to get her over the hump of what would turn out to be her last hour of labor.  Reading it, it sounds like her "last hour of labor" was a small thing, but believe me, it is no small thing.  It's one of the scariest, longest, hardest hours anyone ever lives through.  My best advice is to never mention any one's last hour of labor lightly, or as if it's almost over, unless you want to be kicked in the stomach (at the very least).  Just in case you ever find yourself in that position, being in labor is to live from one moment to the next, and each one seems never-ending.

By that time she had gone from a dilation of 4 to 7 and it was time to call Daddy to come!  I left to meet Daddy and get Abigail, who was very excited to be a big sister!  I was very excited too.  I wish I had video of Daddy coming through the hospital doors.  He was stepping lively with a car seat under one arm and an eager 4 year old angel attached to the other.  Clearly, this was a man on a mission.  Abigail and I headed to the cafeteria to have a Popsicle.   We had no more gotten them opened and taken a bite than Daddy called and announced "7 lbs., 4 oz., 20" long" in the most proud and pleased voice I've ever heard.  "Oh!  We are right downstairs in the cafeteria!", I said.  He said "Come on up!"  And we did.
One perfect baby girl
Abigail was not getting rid of her Popsicle, but to hold it took both hands.  I tried to just drive her down the halls with my hand on her back. I freely admit she didn't walk fast enough for me, so I just picked her up, Popsicle and all.  Some Dr. behind us heard me tell her I loved her and he came up even with us and remarked "I'd say!  Carrying that big girl around!"  I just smiled and said "She has just become a big sister and this is probably one of the last times I ever will carry her."  He looked at her, looked at me, his eyes kind of teared up a little, and then he said, "Well, carry on."  So I did, Popsicle, angel and all.

When we got to the room, the baby was nursing.  Abigail was not too happy about that, she wanted to hold her right away, but she was content to sit next to her mother and stroke her sister's soft skin.  They did all the newborn testing right in the room a little while after that.  I was so happy to have the chance to actually check out a newborn, up close and personal.  When my own babies were born they were whisked away from me. Just across the room, but I didn't get to see anything.  I held Abigail and explained what the white, waxy coating was, why there was a little dried blood on the baby, and -------the umbilical cord.  Abigail was VERY ALARMED that something was wrong!  So I explained that she had had one just like that when she was born.  So had Mommy, and I, and, well, everyone who had ever been born.
"No, honey, your baby sister's inside will NOT leak out of that thing on her stomach...."
It wasn't too long until we left for the evening to spend it watching Disney movies and making frozen pizzas and pre-made cookie dough.  My own Beautiful Redhead came with us and it was pure heaven.

The next morning, when I was doing my hair under the close scrutiny of Abigail, she looked at me with those big blue eyes and pronounced "You have Dora hair."  Dang if I don't!  LOL   4 year old's have such clarity and honesty, who could ever resist them?  Want to know what's going on?  Ask a 4 year old, but only if you really want to know.

The next day Abigail got to hold her baby sister, and shortly after that, the entire family was able to go home.
Two happy sisters!

Their first good look at one another.  Alone at last!  There are things I need to you to know!!

Let's roll, folks.  I got all dressed up and everything.........
Everyone is doing very well.  Her mother reports that Abigail firmly announces "It's my turn" every time anyone holds the baby, and that "baby sister" has quickly replaced "Mommy" as the center of Abigail's world.

............................Told ya!
Mission accomplished.  Note "Dora hair" ;D

Sep 15, 2012


Regardless of recent world events, this is not a post about anticipating the end of the world.  I know, that's a surprise, isn't it?  Well, the way I look at it, if the world ends, it will be God's will, and the end of the world will find me steadily doing what I believe is right and true for me to be doing.  And who can do better than that?  What better way to go?  I can't think of a better way, so bring it on.  Whatever will be, will be.

How this world will continue to hold on, with 1/2 of it crazy and wanting to kill the other 1/2 and the other 1/2  unsure of how to go on with their lives, depending on who the new judge for American Idol will be, I really do not know.  I just tell myself that God is in control and we are going to have to bear whatever He gives us next, and continue to do what is in front of me.  I choose to believe this.  Anything less would leave me cowering under my covers, unable to leave my bed.  Nice as that would be for me, it would leave a pretty big hole in the world for the people who depend on me, so that is not an option I choose to take.

What is in front of me right now, besides the end of the world as we know it, of course, is the arrival of a new baby.  Yes, we're going to have a baby!!!!   Well, not "us", exactly, but my bonus daughter, who is the closest I have been able to get to a new baby in a while.  

My bonus daughter is due to deliver a new baby girl, if not this weekend, early next week.  Poor mama has been walking, eating pineapple, and doing various things that may or may not be superstitious, trying to get this show on the road.  So far, the new baby is having none of it.  I already admire this new baby's sense of herself.  I always do admire a woman who simply refuses to be hurried, as long as she is also able to jump into action at a moment's notice.  I don't expect to be disappointed.  I just don't.  I choose to believe, it's what I do.

In order to prepare, and wait without calling my bonus daughter and driving her stark raving mad with questions, I have had the boys helping me clean, move furniture, wash curtains, etc.  The boys are less than thrilled, but I must say, they are big enough now to make quick work of moving furniture.  Not to even mention taking down curtains!  I guess it's my version of nesting.  Or maybe I'm having my own rush of energy before the baby comes.  All I can say is that cleaning goes a lot faster with a crew, just in case you are one of those people who plan everything and only want 2 children.  It's up to you, of course, but think long and hard about how you are going to get everything done without a crew.  My sense is that you will never regret having a crew.  Just sayin.  hahahaha

Once the crew and I get the house all back together, my bag is packed and I am ready to report for duty.  My duty will be the best for my role, I think.  My duty will be to go through the early part of labor with my bonus daughter.  I am prepared to feed her ice chips, make small talk or make no talk, as I can remember getting extremely rude with my own loved ones (poor dears) in various stages of labor.  I am prepared to take hurled abuse without one blink of either of my eyes. I am prepared for all manner of natural bodily fluids to be spewed and think nothing of it.  Motherhood prepares you best for this, in my opinion.   I am prepared to massage her, balance her on a big ball, walk with her, and wait......wait........wait.......all while appearing as this is just the most normal thing in the world.  It actually is the most normal thing in the world, and I am so very excited to get to be involved without being the one having the baby!! I can do this, gladly!   Once she gets closer to the actual delivery, I get to switch places with her husband and go home to my sweet little pretend grand baby and spend some time with her and then bring her to the hospital to meet her new sister.  Isn't that just the most wonderful thing you ever heard?

I am so honored and happy about this I am just about to burst!  I cannot put into words how proud I am of this girl, who is now a wife and about to become the mother of two little girls.  She has grown up so much in the last few years that I have wondered at what age we really become adults.  It's rarely at 18, I have noticed, it can come as young as 12, too, depending on what life throws at you, but I think it is most often after you become a parent, whenever that may be.

Until then we are hardwired to think only of ourselves, and that is perfectly natural and fine, as long as it's just us.  But throw a new little life that you are responsible for, and the growing up starts and probably never really stops.  I thought I was grown up after I had my kids, but I have continued to learn and still don't feel like I'm completely done.  Maybe we never are.  After all, if I was really grown up I probably would have bought a common sense gift of diapers to bring with me, but instead I opted for a LED light with a rock water fountain that will "gently light" the room and changes colors. You also get to hear "the soothing sounds of running water", and it will double quite nicely as a night light.  I don't even know who it's for, yet.  I guess whoever likes it better, my bonus daughter or my pretend grand baby.

I have listened to my bonus daughter worry about how it will affect my pretend grand baby, when the new baby is here.  I have remembered feeling that same way.  But now I already know the answer.  The answer is that you are NOT taking anything away from the first baby.  You are GIVING them the world.  Their role in the family and their perceptions of themselves are about to be expanded and varied.  And I might add, they are going to be so very proud and impressed with themselves in it. It will build their confidence and bring joy (and irritation) to their lives that will never stop (or will have to dealt with).  Of course, sibling rivalry and possessiveness are on their way too, but without these things, a child would never learn a lot about how to get along in the world or how to stand up for themselves, let alone anyone else.  Every one's life is about to change, forever, and after this, we will-hard pressed to even remember back before we had this new child in our lives.

I can't wait, but I must.  At least a few more days.  Just remember, as you worry about the world ending, that there is joy, too, to be found.  You just have to find it and nurture it along a little.  It may not change a thing in the world, but it can change the way you feel about the world.  It can help a lot.  

Quick!  Go find the nearest baby and hold it, smell it, let your soul feel the peace that comes with that little weight that may seem to be all that anchors you in this messed-up world. Look into it's eyes.  Especially with newborns, I always get the strongest sense that they already know everything, without being emotionally attached to this world as of yet.  I always wonder how I stack up in their estimation.  Of course, I never find out, but that does not lessen the experience that they give me one bit.  I think you will feel yourself feeling like maybe you can do a little more, try a little harder or longer, give up and make do, reuse and recycle and all that good stuff.  You will feel better and the world, whether you know it or not, will be a little better.  If there is a scale for the world, with good things on one side and bad things on the other, the balance will tip with 1 thing.  Lots of little good things may help balance out a big bad thing.  We don't know.  At least, I don't.  Just think about that and never give up, because slow and steady has won many races.  Probably all of the races that really matter.

Wish us luck and a safe delivery.  A speedy delivery would be too much to ask for, no use tempting fate.  Everything in it's own good time, as (I think) this new little jewel is already teaching us.  We all have so much to learn from her.  It will be a wonderful journey, this is what I choose to believe.