Elizabeth Hope Freeman came into this world at 7:59 am on April 6, 2007. She will be six months old tomorrow! It is so hard to believe that she has been her for a whole half a year.
On April 5, I had a doctor's appointment and I was told, everything looks good, see you next week. I knew then that I would be having a baby before 'next week.' I had been contracting pretty regularly for the better part of the week. I asked the nurse what would happen if I went to the hospital that weekend and she smiled and replied, 'Well, we wouldn't send you home, but try to hang on for another week or so.' I wondered if she remembered being that pregnant.
I started calling people before I left the parking lot. I had suspected all along that I was further along in the pregnancy than the medical profession said. Let's face it, I would know certain things about, say, my marital relations than they would. I knew that baby was on it's way. I called Joshua to let him know we were going to the hospital that night. I called my aunt to ask her to help with the older kids. I called the grandparents to let them in on the plan. Then I went home, packed my bag and Joshua's bag, fed the kids dinner, and started walking around our large backyard.
I clipped along for about an hour Then at about six announced I was ready. We had been there about two hours when the nurse said they would probably send me home. Part of me wanted to scream at her that I would only be coming back and part of me wanted to cry. You see, Thomas and Sarah Grace were both induced labors. This was my first 'natural' start. I felt sure I was ready to have that baby, but what if I was wrong and they sent me home?
In case I have never said it before, I love my OB. Dr. Bailey came through and let me know they would be keeping me. Would I like an epidural. Yes! Oh, and yes to the epidural, too, please. They gave me the epidural about 10pm, I think. I slept soundly until 6:40 the next morning when the nursing shift changed over. Elizabeth arrived just over an hour later.
Again, we had chosen not find out what we were having, so we were thrilled over the 'It's a Girl' announcement. We counted toes and fingers, and I was HUNGRY! I hadn't eaten in over twelve hours. Don't worry, I didn't eat the fingers and toes. I called my parents and asked them to pick me up some Cracker Barrel on their way in!
We were released with the same old instructions. Back to the pediatrician within 24 hours for the bili-rubin check. Guess what? Yup, it was to high. Third verse, same as the first, a little bit louder and a little bit worse. Actually, not as bad. We had a home health nurse bring us a photo therapy bed, which Liz was on for about three or four days, and we were done! No extra hospital trip! We thought we had arrived!
We learned a LOT at the hospital before we were released. This was our third child with unusually elevated bili-rubins in her body. Third. Three for three. What could we do to counter act this some? Well, there were two possible answers. It could be our blood types, mine and Joshua's. I forgot the rest of that tale. Just something to do with our blood types. Or it could be that one of us was passing on a genetic liver disease that surfaces as infant jaundice. While this is not the everyday thing in the infant ward, it is not uncommon either. We haven't had any of this checked out and don't plan to. It was just a few nuggets that helped us to understand some things. I mean seriously, most folks I know say that their child was jaundiced slightly, but sunlight did the trick. Not my kids, and we were exposing them to some sunlight, let me tell you. A few say they had to do the at home paddle or bili-beds, but not so many talk about having to return to the hospital with their carrot kid for another three to five days.
Another thing we learned that set my mind at ease some; Redheaded, fair complected women often have problems with milk supply while nursing. This revelation from the SAME nursing consultant I had seen with both the other kids. Oh, now she tells me. After two failures and lots of beating myself up over how my body wasn't doing what it was supposed to do.
Things they should tell a person the FIRST time around. Not that I am bitter. No, actually, armed with this knowledge, I was better able to relax, and Elizabeth was my first successful nurser. Three months with minimal formula supplements! Hooray!
Anyway, back to Baby Liz. She came home, camped out in her little straight jacketed tanning bed, and tolerated the noise and poking from the other kids. Upon being freed from the bili-bed, she napped most of the day despite the activity around her, ate well, and was a precious bundle of lovely girl. One of the things I noticed about her that I loved was how relaxed she was. Her hands rarely ball into fists as babies tend to do. They are almost always relaxed and opened wide, showing off her beautiful long fingers.
She smiled earlier than the other two, slept through the night at about seven weeks, and was moved into the bedroom with Sarah Grace at about three months. Heaven. She is an incredibly joyful baby. She adores her brother and sister and still puts up with a lot of poking from them. She squeals with laughter when they start making animal noises at her, loves to touch their faces, and frequently causes them to yelp when she manages to get her hands curled up into their hair.
She is trying so hard to crawl and sit up unassisted. She loves to gnaw on anything and drools incessantly. She laughs easily. She loves to eat. Bath time is a favorite highlight. She kicks and squirms, and if I let the water out really low, she excitedly spins about on her belly exploring the tub walls and splashing the water about as she coos and squeals. She is not a paci kid like Thomas, nor is she a thumb sucker like Sarah Grace. Nope, she likes to pop her left middle and ring fingers into her mouth and snuggle down for her rest times. She wakes up smiling and cooing and we just have to scoop her up and shower her with kisses.
I love having a baby in the house.