Emily Frances was born two years ago this morning. After a terrible, long night hooked up to a fetal monitor, maternal monitor, with a pulse-ox on my toe and an IV in my arm that was pumping magnesium into my bloodstream, a pretty young nurse with a pony tail bounded into the room at 6am. “The doctor is here. We’re ready to go. I have your baby’s ankle bracelet and wrist bands in here.” she pointed to the bag in her hand. I’ll never forget that nurse as long as I live and the happy sight of those ID bracelets.
The relief those words evoked is hard to articulate. Emily’s arrival a short time later seemed like a dream of some kind. All those months of being on bed rest, the weeks in the hospital of having my finger stuck for blood sugar checks, having insulin needles four times a day, baby monitoring, blood pressure checks, and then that long night were coming to an end.
Emmy was chubby with very chunky cheeks and dark hair. Had she gone to term, the doctor said she would have been a ten-pounder due to her weight gain from the gestational diabetes. She was a perfect 7 pounds, 7 oz, and 20 inches long with a very distinct cry. In the NICU where she was for 3 weeks while she learned to eat and breathe right, you could always tell her cry from the other babies. (I think all moms can do that, though…)
I didn’t get to hold her or even really see her for a long time after she arrived. For 3 weeks afterwards, my blood pressure was dangerously high, and I was re-admitted twice, once after Tom called 911 when my blood pressure was 200 over 100-something. I was so frustrated. All that time, I couldn’t be with my new daughter. I cried so many times, because I was afraid she would wonder where her mother went. Common sense told me that she’d be fine, but a heart doesn’t know common sense, and I just wanted her in my arms.
They stuck me back on magnesium, which makes you feel like your eyes are crooked and that you’re burning up. One night in the hospital, I got so fed up, I told the nurse to take me off the mag or I would take the IV out myself. I told her, “I haven’t had seizures, I’m not going to, take it out, please.” She called the doctor, and they must have believed me, because they stopped the mag. (I don’t recommend this, but desperate times call for desperate measures.) After several more ER visits, 2 transfusions and more drama than anybody wants, I went home.
Emmy was able to come home shortly after, and what a day that was! When we got home, Tom had us all surround the baby, give a prayer of thanksgiving that we were both OK, and sing the Doxology together.
Two years later, Emmy is a tall for her age (not sure where that came from), thin for her age 2-year-old with a fun and silly sense of humor. There’s a party tonight with 15 loved ones here. We have Aunt Kris who came all the way from Oklahoma, Sam and Laura flew in from Colorado, Mary got here a week ago, and Charlie will be heading out to our house for the cook-out as well. All seven kids will be here, plus all six of Lisa’s family. I think counting Jon, Will, Emmy, me and Tom, that makes 15.
God knew we needed Emily in our family, especially now. She has brought so much love, so many smiles and laughs and so much joy, that words could never do justice to describe it. She sings her “Daddy” song regularly. (The lyrics are, Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy DADDY, daddy, daddy..” all sung in an up and down sing-song voice.) I’m so thankful I have been able to spend time with her, pretty much 24/7 the last two years. She is entering the “no!” stage, and she keeps me on my toes. Next up: potty training!
I’d like to give all glory to God for preserving her life and mine, and for giving us two years of joy with our little Moppet (as Sam calls her.) The first phrase I always taught my babies was this: “I’m…a…blessing!” Emmy greeted me this morning with those words as I got her dressed and we were talking about the party to come. She is a blessing indeed.