Seriously? Has it really been 2 months? Oh, delightful life with blots of darkness pulling us back to earth now and then! What a whirlwind was July.
If you just bear with me for this post I want to chronicle the rocky entry into this life that was Charlotte's. Yes, Charlotte, the beautiful long awaited blessing to our undeserving lives. Here goes...
Our family headed over to the valley for the fourth of July instead of hosting the forever annual mega celebration that is historically our tradition. The sweet friends that have vacationed here for the fourth these past 21 years invited us to their home this year knowing that we needed to be close to the kids for the arrival of our first grandbaby. Charlotte was due June 30th and we were confident that she would be here near the fourth. We had a wonderful time recreating our traditions in the beautiful, green, Willamette Valley as we anticipated the big moment.
As I recorded in this post, a decision was made not to have Charlotte induced but to instead wait for Hillary's body to respond to God's timing. A week later as she was now over 42 weeks she checked in to the hospital and allowed some help with the beginnings of labor. Her body responded well to the gentle encouragements and labor progressed.
Here is where I want to mention (for family posterity) that being allowed silent witness to the process was wonderful beyond words. Monte and Hillary worked magic together. They were one in a process that was ordained and I seriously felt privileged. Quietly she labored and quietly he offered his eyes, his hands, his voice, his presence, his strength...
Everything was perfect. It wasn't until she was pushing... Charlotte was visible. I had just told Monte that he needed to come and look... "you can see her beautiful face!"
Thankfully I wasn't aware that something had gone wrong. I was busy at the top... cheering my girl through those final moments... "You're doing great! I can see her! You should see her! She's gorgeous! You're doing great! One more push! You're doing great!"
Now I know that the doctor had had a scare. When silent Hillary screamed out loud for the first time, the second time, the third time... it was because Charlotte's heart rate had dropped, her shoulder was stuck and the doctor had to reach in to help. A good amount of tearing but Charlotte was here! She was beautiful and fine! Hillary held her while the stitching went on and on. She really is the dream patient. Both the doctor and the nurse confirmed it.
Monte and Hillary decided not to stay the extra night recommended by the hospital. They wanted their little family home. The girls and I went home before them and got everything ready... sidewalk chalk welcome, banners and signs, dinner simmering. We waited. We knew that it could take a while for final tests and check out. It was getting later when I answered a phone call from my mom. "Honey, what's going on?" she asked with concern. "What do you mean? We're just waiting for them to come home."
Hillary had arranged to skype with my brother and his family and had to cancel. They were going to have to stay at the hospital because something came back in the tests... Hillary had been trying to contact me but my phone was on vibrate and I hadn't 'heard' it. I called her but there was no answer. For half an hour the girls and I prayed and worried. We finally got word from one of Monte's sisters that they were having to stay because the test came back positive for possible... jaundice. JAUNDICE. I could so handle that... Everyone breathed relief and I called all of the concerned family. The next day we video taped the homecoming... a little late but... yea!
We spent a lovely night and most of the next day... We waved them off to the pediatrician at 2:45 the next afternoon. Charlotte was dressed up and all was well. Once again the girls and I prepared to welcome the little family home. A couple of hours later my son (dressed in his work clothes and at a time when he should still be working) walked in the front door. "Cory!" ... "Mom, where's your phone? Hillary's been trying to get a hold of you. Charlotte has a fever and they think she may have meningitis."
He loaded me into his car and we high tailed it for the... emergency room? What emergency room? We were en route when we realized we weren't sure exactly where they were. A phone call to another family member had us headed to Doernbecker. I was in a nightmare. Almost an hours drive through unfamiliar freeways and downtown Portland and we were finally at the desk asking for passes to the pediatric ward. We found our little, brand new family in a 10'x10' cramped room and were informed that blood work had been done and now they were preparing to do a spinal tap. The results wouldn't be in for 3 days and they would have to stay at the hospital until then. Our baby girl was barely 48 hours old.
This is already the longest post I've ever written so I'm going to continue tomorrow. As I said before, this is for family posterity. Therefore it is the long version.
To those of you who care enough to stick with me through this tale, I value you more than you can know. You've been patient with my pathetic attempts and encouraged me when I needed it. You've been faithful and I'm thankful. Suffice it to say that this story does have a happy ending. I could have just popped back in here with a few sentences but I want to remember the details. So... to be continued.