Friday, January 23, 2009

This is Birthday Season for Us

Three of my four girls' birthdays are coming up.....

and I'll have to say that of all the things I love to remember - and which are my favorite things - it's the birth of each of my daughters. I love to remember my wedding day - and Charlie's proposal and all of that - but finding out that each of my girls were growing inside of me, and the whole pregnancy, even being sick, and the fullness of the pregnancy - the discomfort - and the anticipation of each one- all of that is the icing on the cake -(cake being meeting and marrying Charlie) So, that sounds like I love my girls more than I love Charlie. Not true. It's all different. Charlie and I love being together at this stage of our life - prefer each other's company to anyone's - although we do need a balance of friends and family - I was just wired with the maternal gene - whatever that is. And on top of that, God blessed me with girls who have grown into incredible women. If they read this, they'll say, well, you never tell us that - or, wow, who knew you were thinking that??? Which, it's true - I don't hand out a lot of encouragement. Sad - but back to birthdays and births and what I like to remember.

This is birthday month.

Sarah's birthday is Saturday January 24, 1986
Ann's birthday is Sunday February 1, 1981
Kate's birthday is Monday February 15, 1988

Lb is in August, August 12, 1982. But I can't leave her out of this discussion. Bless you, LB. I am glad that at least one of my babies was born during a different season than the others. If you want to get to know LB, see my list of blogs. adaupdates2. It was certainly unplanned to have 3 children with birthdays within 3 weeks of each other. They could have been on the same day - because of the scheduling of a C-Section - but I wanted each girl to have her own birthday.

Sarah's birthday is tomorrow. In 1986, when she was born, insurance companies still paid for the C-Section moms to be admitted the night before surgery was scheduled. With 2 other children at home, Mom and Dad came up to stay with them while Charlie and I headed off to Huntsville Hospital. I never knew ahead of time the gender of my baby. I would have loved to know,boy or girl, but in those days, the ultra-sound wasn't clear enough. I was always nervous going into a C-Section - I just don't like all of that - I always had an epidural so I'd be awake during the delivery - except not with Ann - I was not prepared for a C-Section and had not planned to have an epidural.

Sarah was born early in the morning and that magical sound of her crying - there's nothing like that. I cried everytime I heard the first cry. If I'm watching that baby show on TV, I cry when I hear the babies cry for the first time. I just love it. With C-Sections they show me the baby, as I lay there unable to use my right arm, flat on my back - not the best bonding situation - but after an hour in recovery I'm in my room, and they always bring the baby in pretty soon. I can still remember Sarah being brought in - that's heaven to me - I can see her and remember reaching out for her. Oh fun, fun, fun. I was so fortunate that with all of my babies, nursing them was a breeze. Never any problems - so I didn't understand those complications I've heard about from Moms - until Ann and Laura Beth had their babies - it really happens - but, honestly - I tend to blame the hospitals they were in - I just think there's something going on with the hospitals and the formula companies. Maybe I'm wrong - but I nearly did battle with the nurses in each place - they were insisting on bottles, etc. when those newborns wouldn't nurse that first hour - those totally hydrated newborns who are not hungry yet.

I also remember that my friend from S'boro and from my church, Calvary Baptist, was in my room at the same time they brought Sarah in - Yonea Chunn - she was doing her whatever in nursing and was there at H'ville Hospital. So - she was there the first time I nursed Sarah. At the time Yonea had no children - she now has NINE children!!

I, too, have a vivid memory of that day and three ladies from Calvary, Sherry Black, Brenda Wigley, and, I think, Sandra Herring, visiting me and standing around my bed. They looked beautiful to me. When one is in the hospital bed, following surgery, the appearance of the one visiting is like the most refreshing look. They are whole and well and able to walk about.

I also remember Charlie bringing Ann and LB up to see Sarah. It was snowing outside and I could look through my window, through the space of outside, and into the next hall, where the babies were viewed. I could wave to them through the windows.

In 1986 insurance companies did discourage hospitals from keeping the patient too long. With each baby my hospital stays were more brief than the other. I stayed 10 days with Ann!! Fewer days with Laura Beth, and Sarah, and by the time I had Kate in 1988 I only stayed 4 days. I supposed eventually a C-Section will be day surgery. On the last day of my hospital stay, with Sarah - I was waiting for Charlie to pick me up at the hospital. Mother and Daddy had driven back to south Alabama with Ann and Laura Beth who were 5 and 3 1/2. During that waiting period - a nurse came in to ask me if I'd had the television on. The spaceship "Challenger" had exploded during takeoff. (my room was just outside the nurse's station). I didn't even know anyone was going up in space. If that launch had been successful I probably wouldn't remember it - but I turned my tv on immediately. All day I watched that scene - and nurses were in and out of my room, catching a glimpse of that horror. We were all aghast at what had happened. It was so awful. I was hardly a patient anymore. We were just caught up in those lives being extinguished so suddenly.

The day I took Sarah home from the hospital, Charlie had not expected such a quick release - so he had so many things to settle at work - it was difficult to get away. By the time we drove away from the hospital that afternoon, late, it was dark out. Sarah was fine - Charlie was stressed, and I wanted it to be a party. There was a bit of conflict, but we got it together - and arrived back in Scottsboro with Sarah.

We stared at her for the first two hours or so. I remember sitting on the couch with her, Charlie beside me - and we just stared. There were no little girls(Ann and Laura Beth) to draw us away. It was as if we had a do over of bringing the first baby home, for the first time. We weren't so scared of her - we knew she was healthy and well and that she was safe enough. We loved her so much and couldn't get enough of looking into her face.

I do remember the first night, when she woke for her feeding. That feeling of, "Oh yeah - I don't get to sleep through the night". Charlie and I both laughed at the time - at ourselves - at the situation - and there we were - another newborn infant - several months before any schedule - oh dear.

My first and second day, Charlie at work, I know that my two closest friends, Corny and Yonea, were over, helping me with the day - with laundry - etc. They were on board - but I, being the introvert, that I am, had been looking forward to a day of just myself while Sarah snoozed the biggest part of the day - although who could resist the fun of those two ladies. I remember, when Corny showed up at the door, first, envying her ability to get into normal jeans. I still had a LOT of baby weight and tummy. It was all fun and exciting. Except when my postpartum blues kicked in on the 2nd or 3rd day and I was wild with homesickness for Ann and Laura Beth. I had this bizarre notion that I would never see them again. I knew the day they were scheduled to return with Mom and Dad, but I was insane with angst over their safe return. I called Mom, I was unable to speak through my crying - she was unaccustomed to such an emotional daughter over practical things (my emotion and drama was usually over intangibles) - but alas - they did return to me - and all was well.

There are so many memories. Sarah was an incredibly easy baby. She was beautiful, and still is, and so delightful to have around. It was magic. New babies, to me, are heaven. It's so easy to love them - even when they are screaming - although that can be maddening and crazy - I'll admit - but the good far outweighs the bad to me.

As I close this post - a huge element to Sarah's birth - exactly one week, to the day, following her birth, was Ann's 5th birthday. It was also Ann's first real birthday party, with gifts from friends. It was at Pizza Hut - and I had arranged it prior to going into the hospital to have Sarah. Charlie was with me, plus some moms of the children attending helped me a lot. I sat in the booth most of the time, still in recovery from surgery, and I do remember having the shakes and feeling very lightheaded, but we "got it done" and have pictures to show for it. Mother and Daddy were at home with 1 week old Sarah. I only nursed her at the time, so I'm sure I didn't stay at Pizza Hut more than 2 hours. I always nursed my babies on an every 2 hour schedule - until they got some meat on their bones and their newborn nerves had settled down. I just let myself be their pacifier.

Next post - Ann's birth - because hers is the next birthday on the calendar.

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