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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010