Monday, April 26, 2010

Courtney's Birthday!

My first baby and oldest daughter is 15 today! She's actually my only daughter, but because I was raised in a family of 5 girls and just 1 boy, I figured I'd have lots of girls too. (And anyway, "the ring trick" confirmed it. Guess it wasn't as accurate as we were told by our high school friends.)

We waited to find out if she was a boy or a girl until she was born. I love surprises and was so glad I waited! Of course with my other 3 pregnancies, we found out when we had our untrasounds and loved planning and preparing for those little boys -- and sharing the preparation with our older children! I rarely dressed Courtney in pink except when she was given an outfit by someone else -- I didn't want her to be too prissy. But if I'd known then she was going to be my only girl I would have ONLY dressed her in pink!! I think I would have taken more time to get bows in her hair... But actually, I did try, she would just never keep them in!

She was such a good baby when out and about. We went to several fancy restaurants when living in Chicago and she just sat on our laps perfectly quiet and behaved. In church she was super easy too! Just quiet and content! But when we left her sight, she SCREAMED like crazy! We rarely left her with a babysitter because she cried the whole time. She cried non-stop whenever I tried to get her to bed too and I couldn't imagine putting someone else through that!

Great-Grandma Regan did fly out to Chicago and babysit Courtney when Dan's MBA orientation began and we had a week of dinners and socials getting to know other students. Each night we'd come home to Courtney wailing and Grandma Regan patiently rocking her and saying, "That's a sad story! Tell me all about it. Oh, what a sad story." Grandma Regan was the most loving, easy-going, patient grandma in the world!

Courtney was born in Dallas, Texas. Her due date was April 25th, and Courtney showed up right on time (very indicative of her personality). I woke up with contractions (as I did with every one of my babies) but was unsure that this was really IT. I had a regularly scheduled midwife appointment that morning and they confirmed I was in labor.

I had hours of labor ahead of me, so I went to work (Temerlin McClain, in Dallas, Texas). By the afternoon I realized I wasn't really up for working, so with the best excuse in the world (guess I'll head out early -- I'm having a baby today) I went home. But first I stopped at the grocery store. I remember the checkout lady telling me the tomatoes were two-for-one and did I want to run back and get another one? Well, no I didn't. I was in labor and wanted to get myself home as fast as possible so I didn't have to stand around talking about the price of tomatoes! Get me out of here!! Yea, I was realizing I wasn't in the mood to chat with people.

Once I got home I felt better but called Dan and told him he better come home early. I called my mom because I didn't know what to do. The hospital was 45 minutes away. What if we get there and it's too soon and they send us away? How long do I wait at home? She said go to the hospital when you feel ready and if it's too soon go to a movie nearby. Love that solution Mom! But we weren't ready to go yet. When Dan got home we took a walk around the neighborhood trying to kill time.

I called my midwife to let her know I was in labor but I wasn't going to come yet, and didn't want to bother her, but did want to give her a heads up. She said, do you want to get in the shower--sometimes that helps soothe contractions? No I didn't. The thought of getting undressed and dressed again sounded like a nightmare. She said she'd call me back to see how I was feeling later. A short bit later she called back and I was having a hard time concentrating on what she was saying...oh, the telltale signs...she said I should come on in.

So we putzed around, took some video, Dan gave me a blessing and we headed to the hospital, timing contractions using the CD track times. I wasn't feeling so great. We got to the hospital at 8:00 p.m. After getting checked in and changed into a hospital gown, we decided to take a walk down the hall. After walking a bit, I realized I didn't want to be far from that hospital bed. Unfortunately I still had to walk back the other way. Oh the torture! Not to mention even though my water had broken when she checked me when we first arrived, I still was enduring leakage and the indignity that brings. (Even though there wasn't a soul around except Dan.)

When we got back to the room I plopped myself on the bed and didn't want to move. My midwife was with me the entire time and was so reassuring. Dan was quiet as a mouse, just as I asked him to be. He kept his hand on my forehead which was perfect to feel his touch.

This picture is of Courtney in my high school glasses and favorite sweatshirt and shorts from college with tights underneath just like we used to wear in 1990. She's trying to strike a pose just like I used to do. You're hilarious, Courtney!

Just as I felt I couldn't endure any more contractions, my midwife said it was time to push. About 45 minutes later at 1:01 a.m., Courtney was born. When Dan saw her head his first question was, "Is she supposed to be that purple?" She was purple all right, but my midwives were so calm I didn't worry a bit. After she was born I held her and was in awe that I had given birth to her. What a miracle! Dan cut the cord and they did a good suction job on her. There was that cry! Such strong lungs -- served her well in the future at bedtime and when we went out!

They gave her back to me to hold and love and she instantly fell asleep.


Ryan and Helen said...

Courtney is one special girl!

Sheree said...

I remember the day we found out you were pregnant. Dad told me at the Homecoming Dance and I was SOOO excited. Then when you were in labor, we couldn't wait for the updates. We were thrilled when she was born. I was in my pottery class that day and trimming a little bowl I made. I put "Courtney's Pot" on the bottom of it. We were all sure that Marty and Courtney were the cutest kids that were ever created. I think all of us were way TOO eager to hold her when she came into town. She was probably a little intimidated by all these faces who were desperate to get their hands on her. I loved how one Thanksgiving when she was still a baby, we were talking about her--and she got this look on her face like she was not happy about it. It was way cute.

We love you Courtney!

Blue said...

I ♥ birth stories, and this one was particularly fun because of the many common elements to my own Bunch's birth. We need to go for a walk or bike ride together! Maybe this next week?

Happy 15th anniversary of becoming a momma! ♥

Julie said...

So sweet! I loved reading about Courtney and her birth. I celebrate the day she was born. She is such a fine friend to Ru. LOVED the photos too!