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.

10 comments:

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

    cute baby! best to all of you.

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  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. :^)

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  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.

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  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.

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  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?

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  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.

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  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!!

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