Tuesday, May 30, 2017

On the road (or rather plane and boat) again!

We are traveling! England, Norway cruise, and back to England again:) Two family reunions, beautiful scenery and loads of chocolate! Will blog when we get back:)

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Account featuring Nellie's Cottage, crafting, & renovating

Account featuring my family life of traveling, decorating, renovating, creating, and best of all "Grammie-ing"

Monday, May 22, 2017

One moment in time that changed every. single. thing

I remember how excruciatingly slow Michael drove the 30 miles home from the hospital, practically stopping at every potential bump in the road. I remember feeling overwhelmed and yet sort of confident. I had spent hundreds of hours babysitting as a teenager...how hard could this be? 
We had our first tiny human to care for and in that one moment of his birth every single thing had changed in our world.

Keith was apparently impatient to make his debut on earth because he came 3 1/2 weeks early with no prior warning. I had just been given my baby shower and not even put the gifts away! 
Michael left for UPS preload as he did at 2:30 am 5 days a week. I was still in "perfect wife" mode and got up to help get his breakfast....don't judge, it was the early 1980's and still politically correct to "look after" a husband...at least down here in the south:) Anyway, I went back to bed, settled in, felt the baby kick and POP!... my water broke. Panic ensued so I called my mom:) She came right over, we called Dr. Hilton who calmly told me to come to the hospital around 7am. Seriously...didn't he know this was an emergency?! I remembered racing around the house picking up and moving random things, trying to pack, panicking....repeat:)
Dad and Mom got my younger siblings lined out for school and off we went. 
First stop...UPS to pick up Michael. 
Second stop Mid Jefferson hospital where we would become parents!

This was our only baby that a company insurance would pay for...thank you UPS! 
Michael was 24 and a UPS preloader for 5 hours each morning and was carrying a full slate of pre-med classes at Lamar University.
I was 20 and teaching piano, tutoring, and baby sitting...anything to earn money! We lived in a mobile home belonging to, AND next door to my dad's boss for $200 a month...yikes! 
To say I was unprepared for birth is an understatement. No books read, no Lamaze classes...no clue. I only knew I was in good hands with Dr. Hilton, who had delivered me! 
Well, I must have been more panicked than I remember because I woke up to the realization that Dr. Hilton "put me out" and delivered Keith by forceps. These days "mommys to be" have written birth plans and practically tell the Dr. what THEY want to do...not so in my day. 
Michael heading into the delivery room. This looks like a hazmat suit to me.....hahaha
Keith entered the world May 22, 1984 around 11:30 am. He was my earliest and smallest babe at 6 lbs 4 ounces and 18.5 inches long. Michael was a bit worried about our forceps shaped little cone head...but I am happy to report that it rounded out just fine:)
Oh how we loved him at first sight. There are really no adequate words. Brand new babies are swollen, red, wrinkled, scrawny, and like Keith, can have misshapen heads for a bit. How is it possible to love a tiny person so much at first glance? How is it possible that life can change so dramatically with the appearance of a helpless infant? 

It wasn't until our next son was born that I realized what I had missed in the moments of birth. I had experienced the old school traditional delivery, holding my baby later instead of at the moment of birth. I did much better with Aaron having had Lamaze classes, in fact Dr. Hilton even told me I did a good job...high praise from a man of very few words.

As you can see from above, picture taking has changed with digital cameras and even more drastically changed with social media. I was obviously "done for!" Back then there was no staging a photo with make-up, lighting and props. There was no chance to do retakes until you were satisfied. It was a one shot deal because every picture counted and had to be paid for...this was REAL life unfiltered! 

As we were FINALLY allowed to go home (it was a 2-3 day stay back then) I had my first "Oh my gosh what have I gotten my self into" moment. Keith had an unpleasant diaper and when I called the nurses it was clear they expected me to figure it out...and without proper wipes! Boy was I mad at them:) 
Looking back now, I laugh and realize it was the first of thousands of unprepared parenting moments I would experience over the next 26 years of life with children in my care.

Keith changed our lives. He made us parents. He began the real character training away from young and selfish towards patient and compassionate. I marvel at the mystery of birth, the magical love that appears...where were those overwhelming feelings of love and protection hiding? 

Keith was the second generation in our family to sleep in the bassinet my grandparents bought me:)

I consider it a priviledge to have been granted the opportunity to have children. The Lord knew it was necessary to bang out all of my faults and flaws out...still working on that:) 
Keith was followed by Aaron in 1986, Brittany in 1988, and finally Danielle in 1992. Boy have the difficult lessons been generous in number, but so have the extraordinary joys:) 
Still, each year on the birthday of my oldest son, I mark the beginning of my journey to enlightenment of soul, and elevation of character to this day, May 22, 1984, the day our world turned upside down with one tiny, pre-mature human given to our care by God. 

Keith was an easy child to raise and has turned out marvelously:) 
As I am writing this post he and wife Rhiannon are in the final 9 weeks of anticipating a baby girl who will be named Elizabeth and called Lizzie:) 
I am brought to tears each time I imagine that moment he holds that little pink bundle for the first time. I can feel the overwhelming love he will experience for the first time. I can also remember the feeling of panic he will feel when realizing this small helpless baby is counting on him to learn the enormous lesson of self sacrifice in an instant.
I am praying he will soak up, inhale, and completely immerse in this one moment in time that will change everything. I know how he will feel...because that is what he gave to me...one moment in time that changed every. single. thing.