May 18, 2010

two years ago

Number Four turned 2 today.  Which is mildly insane, considering I just had her yesterday.  Somehow two years passed within a day.  I'm not sure how it happened, but I'm pretty sure I didn't get more than a night's sleep since she was born.

Not that she's a horrible sleeper.  Just that I don't get much sleep.

So, in honor of the anniversary of Number Four's birth, I am now going to tell you her story.  Before we really knew her, of course.  Because that's how the story begins...

Monkey was six months old when Two Bits started telling me that I had her sister in my tummy.  And I would say, "No honey, I'm just fat.  There is no baby in there."  But she insisted.  Her sister was on the way.

It was two months later that I told Husband I was going to the community center gym to workout with my cousin.  Instead we went to Walmart and bought a pregnancy test.  Then we went to the community center bathrooms and I conducted the pee on a stick test.

We tried not to freak out too loudly when it was positive.  But I'm pretty sure the whole building knew I was pregnant.

I told Husband a few days later by putting the pregnancy test inside of a toilet paper tube, which I wrapped in black paper.  The outside said: "Trick or Treat?" because it was around Halloween time.  He was hoping it was a trick.  But no.

I managed to keep the pregnancy quiet for awhile.  Which is pretty stinking shocking, since I'm really horrible at keeping secrets.  For Christmas we always send out a DVD  with photo-montages instead of a card.  That year after the last montage a bunch of little rabbits started popping up all over the screen.  Because by that point I felt like I was living the reproduction cycle of a rabbit.  And that's how we told our families.  They were mostly happy.  I think.

It wasn't a big surprise to find out a few weeks later that Number Four was a girl.  After all, we had been told months before her conception that she was on her way.  But I remember waiting for the Dr in the exam room that day.  I told Husband that since this baby was God's plan, He better send us a small dark haired girl or I was going to be pretty ticked off.

I got my wish, but only after I spent the rest of my pregnancy in bed.  I was having major premature labor pains (Terbutaline, oh how I hate thee.)  My blood pressure went crazy.  I had too much amniotic fluid.  I was borderline diabetic.  I had to surrender my children to their grandmothers and my sister who all took turns living with us for a week.  I spent a few days in the antepartum unit at the hospital.  Near the end I couldn't even lift my head without my blood pressure spiking.  And then my contractions kept me awake by consistently happening every 12 minutes for 4 days straight (and they were ugly ones too, just not "real labor" since they never got any closer.)

It was a sunday evening that I went to the hospital and told them to either drug the pain away or stop the contractions.  Two shots of Terbutaline, some percocet, and 7 minutes later the contractions were back.  And still ugly.  And my blood pressure was jumping.  So the Dr decided it was time.

For some reason this c-section really freaked me out.  The nurse wanted to smack me, I'm sure.  Thank goodness the anesthesiologist put morphine in with the spinal block. 

I got to kiss her before she went to the NICU.  And then my Dr took about 5 years to put me back together (we're not really going to get into the damage that is my stomach - it's too scary.)

She was in the NICU for two weeks.  She was 5 weeks early.  7 pounds 2 ounces.  She was little, considering the size of my other kids.  She had dark hair.  She acted like a preemie.  After the oxygen and IV and phototherapy lights were all gone I still couldn't take her home.  I couldn't make her eat.  She would get too tired.  She would stop breathing.  I wanted to cry every time they put her meals into the feeding tube.  I wanted to scream, "She's my fourth baby, I know how to nurse!!!"  I wanted to show the nurses pictures of the fatty chunksters that nursing turned my other babies into.  I wanted to take her home.

Eventually she gained 1/2 an ounce in one day, tipping her to 6 1/2 pounds, and I made the Dr let us go.  But she still had a touch of bradycardia so we had to keep her hooked to a monitor until she was 3 months old.  And when that thing goes off in the middle of Sacrament Meeting MAN is it loud.  Not to mention people look at you differently when they see wires coming out of your baby's clothes.  It's like everyone expected her to explode at any time.  (Going to church was a little difficult anyway, so I didn't do it often, and blamed it on germs - which is a pretty good reason.)

For awhile during Number Four's first year I thought maybe she was Chinese.  Not that she really was, but look at this:
I was almost convinced that she was conceived when a Chinese man dressed up like my husband and spent the night.  (But she looks much less Chinese now....and very much more like me.  Not that looking Chinese would have been a bad thing - in fact, when she gets older I'm sure she'll be cursing the resemblance to my face.  The chipmunk cheeked/double chin combo I have going on isn't anything to be desired.)

Our little Number Four has had some trials.  They've all been pretty standard for one of our kids.  But even with the her Reactive Airway Disease thrown in, she's been a breeze compared to what we've gone through with Monkey. 

And now she's two.  TWO.  That used to sound old to me.  Now I would like to define a two year old as a slightly more independent yet still chubbily cuddly baby.  Because she's still a baby.  My little brown haired baby girl.

I have more pictures of her and my other kids on my photography blog.  I had this awesome plan to take pictures in an orchard.  In my mind is was glorious, with a canopy of colored blossoms.  So when I saw the severely pruned, almost blossom-less orchards I was really quite disappointed.  But took pictures anyway.


Heidi Ashworth said...

She's adorable! My son informed me that he was going to have a sister, too. Since I had just taken a pregnancy test and it was negative (mind you, we wanted to have another, my one and only was four by then)my reply was pretty surly. Poor kid--he was right, of course.

Barbaloot said...

She is absolutely darling! Reminds me of my little two-year old niece that I completely adore:)

Isn't it interesting how some children have that connection to their siblings? I have an older brother that told my mom about both me and the one brother just younger than him. His kids do that as well. Recently his little girl prayed for their new baby and no one knew they were pregnant.

RhondaLue said...

very adorable picture!

Happy bday to that beautiful girl! My preemie just turned 9. It's amazing to see how far he's come but we appreciate everything all the more!

cc said...

I think the orchard pictures turned out cute anyway! Too bad they pruned the heck out of the trees, but oh made it work!

And happy birthday "Number four"!