Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Penelope - Days 1, 2 and 3

Day 1:

Last Tuesday we welcomed baby Penelope into our family.

The whole event was sort of surreal in that it was so "normal."

Heather just had a baby. I helped the nurse wash her. Then Heather fed her in recovery.

And then they took Heather and Penelope to the mother-baby room, and left us alone.

Although it beats the alternative, it was a bit unsettling to have a baby, just hours old, not hooked up to a monitor. It was hard to tell if she was breathing. And if she stopped breathing, there would be no alarm to let us know. I laid on the couch that night telling myself that if babies dropped dead in mother-baby units on a routine basis, I would have heard about it at least once. I haven't, so I figured we were safe. But I poked Penelope at least 100 times just to make sure.

Day 2:

I have no pictures of Day 2 and I have almost no recollection of it other than I lost track of day and night and forgot to drink my usual four cups of coffee or energy drinks until my head exploded from withdrawal at about 5:00 p.m. I drank a big Starbucks coffee, then threw up three times and passed out, which I'm sure Heather appreciated. I presume everything turned out well during my loss of consciousness as Heather hasn't really mentioned it.

Day 3:

After two days away from the "big" kids, Heather and I were dying to see them. We received a visit on the morning of Day 3.

Heather's friends Cathy and Amanda gave Piper, Henry, Rosemary and Penelope big/little - brother/sister shirts that they wore for their big meet and greet:

On the evening of Day 3 Heather and I had our "Celebration Dinner" courtesy of UAB Hospital. The Celebration Dinner is a special three course meal for mom and a guest prepared by only the most discerning of cooks in the UAB patient kitchen. It's served on a black tray as opposed to the standard white.

When we had the kids, Heather delivered, and the kids stayed at the old UAB facility. Everyone who delivered there was given a baby gift - either a Medala Pump-in-Style or a stroller. Since then, UAB has moved moms and babies into an incredible Women and Infants Center. Three hundred dollar breast pumps don't grow on trees, you know. And if you spend a bazillion dollars on a new facility, something has to give. Hence, as I understand it, the replacement of the $300 Pump in Style with the "Celebration Dinner."

I can say, without a doubt, that our Celebration Dinner was the best nearly warm meal I've consumed from a hospital patient kitchen. The wine pairing was an excellent choice as well: Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice - chilled in a chicken bucket. Vintage June.

Our bottle displayed notes of grape with subtle grape as well as hints of grape.

OK. I'm just being picky. It was a nice touch. And, if that's the trade-off for a great new facility, I'll happily drink my chicken bucket wine in our big new room.


  1. "chicken bucket wine" - I think you're on to something there.

    cute baby! best to all of you.

  2. Doggone, lying there all swaddled up, Penelope looks nearly as big as the others. She's a beauty. The trips seem to have taken it well, but wait until they realize she's going to be around 24/7. :^)

  3. Let the fun begin! My trips were 2 years old when my baby girl was born. It is a fast moving train - but so much fun! congratulations.

  4. Gary, I am impressed with the politically correct-ness of your statement that the Celebration Dinner is for mom and "a guest". Obviously you've learned something from all of your UAB experiences. I hope you enjoyed being Heather's guest at the Celebration Dinner.

  5. Piper, Henry and Rosemary look as smitten as one really gets at their age (translation: new sibling? neat. hey - check out the buttons on the side of mom's bed!!) How are Francesca and TB,III taking to their new baby sister?

  6. Congratulations!! She's beautiful!

    And, what?! UAB used to give a pump or a stroller? That's wild. I barely got to keep my huge Huntsville Hospital water bottle, even after my insurance company paid them well over $100,000.00. They did have some pretty rockin' food though, so at least there's that.

  7. Wow, when Kayla was born 17 years ago we got a "real" bottle of bubbly!!!

    Times have changed.

    You guys are adorable. Hope you are keeping up on your coffee. We don't want anymore blackouts!!