Five years ago today, extremely sleep-deprived versions of Josh and me checked into Vanderbilt for the 4th time in one week. I did not know the difference between real contractions and Braxton Hicks, and apparently I was a slow learner. Oops (and oops again, and again). I don’t remember much due to a drug-induced haze, but I know I slept, and a baby was born at 2:58 PM. I, off course, loved her immediately, I think I cried–I know she did–and I didn’t want to share her with anyone. I have vague memories of people coming to hold her (i.e. “Stealing my baby”)–people like her Daddy and her grandparents. I know Josh kept telling me to sleep, and I wouldn’t because I couldn’t stop staring at her. I kept interrupting her while she was eating because I was convinced I was doing it wrong. The one thing you should never tell a mother-to-be? “If you’re nursing your baby correctly, it shouldn’t hurt at all.” They should tell you, “Nursing feels WEIRD at first, but you’ll get used to it.” At some point during my hospital stay a nurse made me cry. I can’t remember about what. I hadn’t slept in about 5 days straight. On the day we were supposed to leave, they forgot to check us out, so we sat in our room for 2 hours packed and waiting…and waiting…and waiting. We took a very orange little carrot baby home. She ended up in the children’s hospital a couple of days later for what one of the nurses at our pediatrician’s office later told me were some of the highest jaundice levels she’d ever seen. While we were there we learned that good nurses make all the difference in the world, and if your child is being admitted to the hospital, you should remember to pack changes of clothes and a grownup sized blanket for yourself. We were there for two nights. At one point I remember Josh and I going on a “date” to the hospital cafeteria for Ben and Jerry’s.
Now Emmeline is five. She loves math, science, mud, bugs, princesses, all things pink and sparkly, and building lego cars. She is excited to meet her baby sister and help change her diapers. She wants to feed the baby cheese and bananas and was very upset when I told her that was a no-no. When I told Emmie she wasn’t allowed to play with bumblebees, she ran inside crying. If she’s mad, she’ll shut herself in the bathroom. Emmie loves stories, but prefers to look at the pictures and make up her own words. We’ll get books from the library and she’ll tell me, “You don’t have to read that to me, Mommy. I already read it to myself.” She could spend an hour sitting at the table with art supplies. She’s saving her birthday money for something, but she hasn’t decided what. She’s stubborn, intelligent, dramatic, and always thinks her way is the right way. She defends the ones she loves. She wants to stand out in crowds, and she usually succeeds. We’ll never have to worry about her giving into peer pressure because she won’t even give into parental pressure. She’s a difficult child to parent but an incredible child to watch grow up. She’s full of personality, she’s never bored, and she’s never boring.