Hard to believe that three years ago...
Yesterday, we celebrated the birth of my baby girl, and I couldn't help reflecting on that day, three years ago.
Her due date was June 1st, but I thought she'd make her appearance on May 22nd. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for weeks, but on May 22nd, a category 4 tornado blew through our town, destroying half the town in its wake. As happens when a low pressure system like a tornado hits, my body responded by going into labor. For weeks I had been praying for an early birth, but now, as I reviewed the damage to property and the loss of power, I realized how inconvenient it would be to bring my baby into the world with no power and no hot water. I crossed my legs and stayed busy. The labor stopped.
Then, June 1st came and went. Now, I was grumpy. I walked for hours to motivate my baby into action, and it would work for a bit...contractions would start, but when I stopped, the contractions stopped too. My midwife was sharing all the wonderful tips she could to naturally induce labor, but that little girl was just not going to budge. Another week went by.
We went to church on the evening of Saturday, June 7th, and at communion, as I walked past the pastor, he apparently spotted my overgrown condition and pulled me aside to pray over me. Eight hours later, I was in labor. By the time I woke up and realized I was in labor, the contractions were already 2 minutes apart. The Hubby, convinced we were in no big hurry, refused to call the midwife right away, despite confirming the contraction timing twice. Finally I convinced him to call my sister-in-law to come babysit, so that we could start the migration to my mother-in-law's house where we planned to deliver our baby.
An hour later, my sis-in-law appeared, but I was useless to give her instructions through the frequent contractions. After I deliriously delegated the instruction giving to my Hubby, we motored slowly down the gravel path to my mother-in-law's house and settled into her bedroom to go through the labor.
My midwife arrived about 45 minutes later and confirmed labor was right on track. Good to hear after my frustrating hospital delivery with Boy. The Hubby was a brilliant coach, although the cologne left on his shirt from the night before made me uncomfortably nauseous as I labored on. After a little more than an hour of peaceful uncomplicated labor, it was time to push. True to form, my little girl was late to the party, but once she decided to make her entrance, there was no stopping her. She arrived with her right arm up, as though she was a superhero flying through the air.
We estimated she was somewhere around 8.5 pounds when she made her appearance, because we didn't weigh her until she'd pooped twice, and even then she was 8 pounds 2 ounces. She slept immediately, and I gorged on breakfast, high from the most wonderful, blessed home birthing experience ever. The peace wasn't to last as she awoke at about 8:00 that night, just as I was settling in for some rest, and bawled for 12 straight hours, clearly irritated that colostrum was all that was on the menu.
For the next 12 months, Little Sister gained weight. She developed the nickname "Squishy" during this time. And what a sense of humor she had. Even before she could crawl, she would giggle and squeal incessantly to a good game of peekaboo. After she could crawl it was tag on all fours. With all that activity, she didn't gain a pound for another 9 months, but continued to shoot straight up in height.
She's crazy about her big brother, and Boy, in turn, is a fully appointed protector of his baby sister. No one can make her cry (except him). Recently, Little Sister came running in and kicked me in the shin with one of her little bare feet. In shock, I began to protest but before I could catch her, she ran top speed into her brothers room, where he was sitting in time out. I heard her tell him, "I got her for you...I kicked her in the leg...she was really mad." And then they both laughed, delighting in the fact that they'd teamed up against mom and won. I was chuckling too much to follow the assault up with any further discipline.
Since her birth three years ago, my perfect little girl has been a delight and a blessing. Never have I known a more joyful, intense, complicated, independent creature than my little girl. Simultaneously all girl, and all boy, she dons her prettiest princess dress to go hunt worms in the garden. She giggles and teases, shrieks and whispers. It's impossible not to love Little Sister. Happy Birthday, my little lady bug wrangler.