How can this little baby be 28 and have 2 babies of her own?
It was August 11 when we went to the hospital - a scheduled C-Section - Ann had no idea how her world was about to be "rocked". "changed". "invaded".
It had been the 3 of us, Charlie, Ann and I, for 18 months.
we'd spent the summer tryng to stay cool.
and having fun staying cool - if you call being a pregnant adult in a tiny blowup baby pool fun.
But we did have Laura Beth
and Charlie took Ann to see her new little sister in the hospital.
I had never been away from Ann for that length of time. It was hard. In those days they kept me in the hospital for about 8 days. With Ann I had stayed 10 days to recover. Now, it seems a C-Section is practically day surgery.
Here I'm seeing her for the first time and I so dreaded what my emotions were going to do.
Finally we brought Laura Beth home - Ann was able to get "up close and personal" with her new baby sister.
Charlie was buying LOTS of diapers.
Check out the packaging. Big boxes with handles.
That was August 1982.
Ann was wanting to constantly kiss and touch the "new baby". It seemed I was always saying, "Be Careful'.
Shortly after we came home from the hospital, it was time for Ann to start school, Mother's Day Out.
I don't remember how many days she went - 2 or 3 - but it helped the situation, and Ann was happy to go. Wish I'd saved that metal Sesame Street Lunchbox. I remember selling it at a yard sale.
But Laura Beth grew and grew and only was drinking my milk.
and she was spitting up volumes more than it seemed she consumed
but she continued to gain weight. Her doctor said,
"Her weight gain is 'spectacular' ".
I have to say that first year of hers nearly put me in the nut house.
I know now that all the spitting up she was doing - and it was so much in volume - had to have been uncomfortable. it would come through her nose at times. The doctors then did nothing to relieve it and just said she'd outgrow it at about 8 months. She did.
I had to always keep her on her tummy - I was so afraid she'd choke if she was on her back.
and we had to always keep thick cloths under her to catch whatever came out.
Ann had to mimic what Laura Beth did.
and in this photo, I was showing Laura Beth to my cousin Rachel.
Ann, of course, had to get in the bed, too.
I recall it was so brief that I let her be on her back in this moment.
Notice, she's crying.
The liquid which shot out from her tummy was always at any moment.
Laura Beth must have been 6 months here because Ann is eating from her baby food jar.
I never fed my babies solids before 6 months.
Anyway - Ann would always hang around for the jar of food to scrape the leftovers.
After this photo I was holding Laura Beth on this couch of Mother's.
She spit up and drenched the 3 back cushions of this couch.
We had to remove them and wash them off and let them dry.
I remember that moment.
This day was a major breakthrough, it seemed. Our first weekend with a hint of spring possibly being around the corner. It was Mother's Day Weekend. Laura Beth's spitting up was tapering off. It was not the crisis anymore when she did her "projectile thing". I guess it was no longer projectile.
this picture was taken after we returned and I had her and Ann bathed.
I was so aware of the simplicity of just being able to sit her in her bed and she was happy and I wasn't worried about where all the liquid was going to go from her mouth.
This was one of those "AHA" or 'Wow" moments.
It felt like we'd made it through a really tough place.
Notice in the back right corner of her bed. The stack of cloth diapers that had been my mainstay through her first 8 months. Not for diapers but for all the spitting up. That's about half the stack.
I used the whole stack each day and had to get them washed and dried to begin all over again for the nighttime and next morning. Had to keep a constant washing and drying going on.
My first Mother's Day with Laura Beth.
We're headed for church, but first a Kodak Moment.
Again - Ann reaching for Laura Beth - always.
growing and growing and increasing good moods.
And she's ONE!
I was so glad. We'd made it through a difficult year.
and she had become such a happy cute and laughing baby.
She was so happy and enjoying life. (but still always with a bib. had to have the bib)
And I would find her in random places.
so here we are 28 years later.
I was 28 when I married Charlie. Laura Beth is married and has 2 babies.
She and Ann still are posing for Mom's pictures.
This was last week when we celebrated Ada's 3rd birthday.
And Laura Beth is doing the mommy work, like getting folks buckled in.
And having birthday parties for her babies.
Now I'm holding her 2nd born and sitting with Ann's Ellie.
John is now 6 months old.
And Ellie is kissing John and I think we are still saying, "Be easy, be careful."
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LAURA BETH!