Warning: this is a lengthy birth story, more intended for Navy's baby book than the blog. Read if you wish, or just scroll down to her sweet pictures :)
There was ONE day in particular I really didn't want to have this baby- Christmas! At the time I crawled into bed for a nap 2:30 on Christmas afternoon, it seemed apparent that the baby was obedient and compliant. An hour later I was jolted awake as my water broke...
I waddled to the bathroom, which is a handy 2 feet away, and asked Jo to go get Dad (in the basement). She lollygagged and made a butterfly's path slowly down and up the stairs again only to tell me in a sing song voice, "Daddy says he's BUSY."
I yelled down the stairs, "MY WATER BROOOOOKE" and he came running. I must have looked unstable because he hugged me and kissed me and rubbed my arms and shoulders like you do when you're trying to warm someone out of shock. Then after some enthusiastic words of encouragement he said, "Do I have time to finish my video game?" Argh. I guess you can't blame him for asking, and the answer was, yes, we're in no hurry. We weren't- water was broke but contractions weren't painful.
In what I can only describe as the most prolific and adrenaline induced display of last-chance-nesting, we ripped down every stocking, light, poinsettia and ornament. The tree was packed away, counters bleached, bed linens changed, and floors vacuumed. It was two hours of efficient/frantic effort that did a good job of distracting me. Several times I called my dad to inform him of a plan of action that turned out to be a winding story of hypothetical if/then/or/maybe clauses (IF the contractions get worse maybe I'll have you come get the kids. Or Sara & Lexee will come. And maybe we'll need you to take tomorrow off work. Or not.) Ultimately though, Sara & Lexee arrived- the childcare calvary that was later bolstered by the addition of Ryan, Naomee & Kaden + pringles. Where they got pringles to bring Johonna on Christmas evening is beyond me- but I do know that Jo & Baylor were in hog heaven with so much attention and provisions!
At 5:30 Luke and I hopped in the car and drove peacefully to the hospital. No traffic, no ice, no pain. The check in process was enjoyable and as there was only one other couple at St. Vincent's (quite rare!) we got all sorts of attention.
Last baby pic: 39 weeks pregnant
By 7:30 my contractions were 4-5 min apart but of no great consequence. Luke left to go home and put Baylor down for bed, and Sara joined me at the hospital. I love my husband, but Sara is significantly more useful as a birth coach than her darling son (there really are no parallels between football and birthing, despite Luke's best attempts).
Sara and I started walking laps to get labor going and within 20 or 30 minutes we called to make sure Luke was on his way & the anesthesiologist too. The epidural was blissful and after it was administered I rested for a few hours before it was time to push.
At this point we were actually embracing the Christmas baby thing, and given this is baby # 3 we assumed that when I started pushing at 11:45 we would indeed have a Christmas baby. Nope. She was face up and took some extra effort. At 12:09, (military time of 0009) our sweet girl came into this world. The doctor let me reach down and help pull her out, which was kind of slimy but super amazing. We moved the umbilical cord, expecting a boy, and were surprised to find girl parts! We hadn't settled on Elizabeth Navy or Navy Elizabeth (my vote) and since I had just evacuated her from my body by sheer force of uteran strength, I got the final say & so we named her Navy Elizabeth.
Patty told me a funny/tragic story of a family with the last name Bean, who named their three kids Navy, Three, and Butter. While that seems abusive, I immediately loved the idea of a little girl named Navy. I pictured a blonde little girl in a navy blue sundress running around. She doesn't have blonde hair, but I assure you there are many navy blue sundresses in this girl's future!
She has baylor-lips!
I love this picture
My birthing crew
She got a little santa hat from the nurses, even though she was 9 minutes tardy.
Around 3 I sent Luke home to man the fort (Baylor is still up several times at night) and enjoyed a quiet, peaceful first night with my girl. I was torn between Luke going and staying, but ultimately I was more concerned about the older two having a normal night's sleep giving the impending bomb we were about to drop on their world. Also, the nurses will bring you grilled cheese sandwiches at 3 am and there was no distraction of a snoring husband and ESPN on the tv ;)
Ready to go home!
Johonna, who is admittedly a bit of a skeptical soul, surprised us by the enthusiasm and genuine nurturing interest she has for Navy. It is precious. Jo held her hand on the car ride home from the hospital and told us she was a little shy because she hadn't met Navy before :)
Baylor too has risen to the challenge- he has nothing but "nuggies" and kisses for his little sister. The greatest threat he poses is squashing her under his brute and loving force. Here he is trying to simultaneously hold a baby and more importantly, a helium balloon:
She'll have a clear understanding of the distinction between loader, excavator, bulldozer, and backhoe:
David, Melissa & 4 week old Wes stopped by to say hi
We're working on adjusting to this new normal. I'm not sure how to define it, but this picture sums it up: everyone under age 5 must be on mom's lap all at one time. If Navy is nursing, there should also be throwing of elbows, hair pulling, and bonking.
Dad's birthday, 12/31, was Navy's original due date. He spent his birthday party holding one or more of his five grandkids in turn.
Linda, Ab & Lib stopped by. Libby managed two toddlers like a pro. Oh wait. She is actually a certified professional.
Naomee, Ryan & Kaden stopped by the hospital
And Aunt Laurie saved my world by stopping by to entertain Jo while the rest of us napped- what a hero!
Finally I will say this:
She is perfect. She has a habit of projectile pooping after her diaper has been removed, but she is wonderfully beautiful and so far quite mild tempered. She is a strong eater (my kind of girl) and is quite tolerable of the affections of her siblings. She is my sweet gift from God and I couldn't be more thankful.