Zero to Two Months
Lisa started having contractions Sunday night. Of course, she didn't bother to tell me until 6:00 a.m. Monday morning. We started timing contractions at 7:00 and began one of many walks around the neighborhood. Finally by 2:30 p.m., we had arrived at the magic 511 number -- contractions were five minutes apart, lasting for a minute, and had been that way for an hour. Lisa still wasn't convinced that this was IT, so we ran some errands on the way to the hospital. When we got there, the nurse took one look at us and was ready to send us home. "You're still smiling. You can't be ready." Little did she know that Lisa had all her fillings done without Novocain. After a quick exam by a resident, we were instructed to walk around the neighborhood for and hour and come back. The walk was punctuated by lots of stops for Lisa to lean against a convenient tree and breathe through a contraction. Back at triage, Lisa had gone from three to four centimeters and the baby had moved down from station 1 to station 0. We were admitted at 4:00 p.m.; Lisa's water broke at 4:30; she lost her sense of humor around 7:00; she started pushing at 10:00. Lilly said hello at 11:05 p.m. -- she was crying while her shoulders were still inside.
The birthing classes had prepared us for the worse. We were shown so many pictures of gray, pointy-headed alien babies that we were ready. Lilly, however, was beautiful right from the start. She was pink and had a round head. Combined with her 10 fingers and 10 toes, she was perfect.
I had called Nanny and Grandpa Ford when we were admitted. They left the next morning. They arrived in Madison at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Nurse Helga made sure we had little Lilly cinched into her car seat and escorted us all out to the car.
Lisa's brother, Uncle Joe, happened to be in Chicago on business and took the bus up to see his new niece. Today was Lilly's first doctor's visit. She impressed everyone by regaining her birth weight (plus a half ounce). This day also marked Lilly's introduction into the Ford-family culture of eating and shopping -- we all went out to dinner at Tony's in DeForest. Lisa had to whisk her out to the car for a feed, but overall it was resounding success.
Lilly had her first out-of-state trip today. We took her down to Batavia to meet Grandpa Hall, Great-Grandma Hall, Great-Great-Auntie Ruth, Great Aunt Ruth and cousin (second?) Julie. She performed beautifully by sticking her tongue out and just being cute. She slept in the car all the way down and back.
I went back to work after a couple of weeks off. Sometime during this week (or the following) Lilly started recognizing me when I got home and smiling at me. It was a new and magical feeling to see that awareness in my little daughter.
Nanny and Grandpa Ford were back out for a visit. Around this time, Lilly started to TRY to talk. She didn't of course, but in response to our prompting of vowel sounds ("ahhhh"), she gurgled and spit and smiled and stuck her tongue out and generally gave the impression that she really WANTED to say something. Sometimes she actually gave us an "ahhh." Later she started tacking on a pseudo-consonant, making a sort of ahhh-gkk sound.
This was a big day for Lilly. It was her mother's birthday and her introduction party. We had a big cookout -- grilling out, drinking beer, and showing off our beautiful daughter. So many people wanted to lay their hands on Lilly that we could actually relax and let well-wishers feed her, change her, play with her, and comfort her. She was a hit.
Lilly had her first set of shots today. She wailed some when she got the needles but was generally pretty good and her crankiness was mild enought that momma and poppa got a few hours of sleep that night. She recovered fully by the time we left for a visit to Nanny and Grandpa out east on Friday.
Flying to Chicago is a real pain in the patoot whether you've got a baby in tow or not. As usual, United decided to mess with us and delayed our flight out of Madison. This meant that we would miss our connection at O'Hare enroute to Buffalo where Lisa's folks were supposed to pick us up at 8:00 p.m. The "helpful" United clerk rebooked us on a later American flight out of Chicago, putting us in Buffalo at 11:30 p.m. Once at O'Hare, however, we found that we were booked stand-by AND the flight was delayed by hours. Lilly was a trooper though. She loved wheeling around the terminals in her stroller and only cried when she wanted to eat (nothing out of the ordinary). In fact, she held up better than her mother. Lisa was ready to wring someone's neck, but we eventually got to Buffalo after 1:00 a.m. Then we had an hour and a half drive to Canandaigua. All in all, Lilly was a doll and performed above expectations.
Lilly went to both a zoo and an amusement park today. She wasn't too impressed, but she was a good sport about getting trundled all over hell and gone.
I had to fly back home today, leaving the girls to frolic in New York. Lilly promptly got a cold on Wednesday, though when I talked to Lisa on Thursday, it was much improved.
Lilly and Lisa returned from New York with tales of blueberry picking and family reunions. Lilly, beautiful as ever, looked more alert than just a week ago and seemed genuinely happy to see me.
Lilly had an ultrasound today to determine if her left hip is developing normally. Her pediatrician thought that it might be displasic and ordered the test. The results: wait and see. Apparently things looked OK, though just barely, and they'll want to retest again in a few months. Lisa reported that despite the odd positions that were required, our little Lilly didn't complain too much.
For unknown reasons, Lilly was quite the fussy baby tonight. We had friends over for dinner and she kept one or the other of us on the run until midnight. Lisa conjectured that the "loud music" over stimulated her. It's something she'll have to get used to, given her poppa's avocation. Despite her uncooperativeness, she still charmed Ron and Cheri, who are expecting their own little bundle of joy in September.
Lilly kept us enthralled all morning as she "talked," wiggled, smiled, blew bubbles, and punched at hanging toys on both her bouncy chair and her play gym on the floor. People often ask us soon after meeting Lilly, "Do you just sit and watch her all the time?" The answer is yes. I know that all parents think the world of their own children, but having seen my share of ugly babies, I think I can honestly say that our little girl is the most beautiful baby in the world.
Lilly loves kisses. When I kiss her on the cheek and say "Give Poppa a kiss," she opens her mouth wide and sloppy against my cheek. Then when I tell her "Thank you for the kisses," she smiles, squirms and gurgles.
Lilly's recent fussiness may be due to teething! Although it's hard to believe given her age, the neighbor ladies all told Lisa today that that's probably what's happening. They grow up so fast...
Lilly attended her first funeral today. She, of course, didn't grasp the import and fussed a bit. Her mother removed her for a feed and a nappy change. Despite the fact that the day marked the passing of Lilly's great grandmother, it was exciting to see all 10 of her great grandchildren in one place (ranging from two months -- cousin Paige is even younger than Lilly -- to eleven years). Lilly got to meet Aunt Beth and Uncle Tim and her cousins Sarah and Adam. We spent the night with cousin Julie and her new baby Paige.
We bundled Lilly into the car early Saturday morning and headed for Milwaukee to catch a flight to Pittsburgh for Lisa's company picnic. For her second plane trip, Lilly ran into no delays and was as much of an angel as she'd been a couple of weeks ago. She slept all the way in the cab to the hotel and seemed unfazed by her new surroundings. Later we walked around downtown Pittsburgh in the beautiful sunshine stopping for sandwiches and a couple of beers at the world-famous Primanti Bros. The gentleman at the table next to us outside commented, "She has her mother's eyes." Indeed she does.
Following and evening of delivered pizza and a hotel movie while Lilly slumbered, we awoke to a rainy, cold, and gray day. At 11:00 we boarded a bus in the rain to make the trek to Lisa's company picnic at the Pittsburgh zoo. Lilly slept and cooed all the way to zoo where we were greeted by a torrential downpour. Protected by the canopy of her stroller, she seemed not to notice the mad dash to the party tent. First order of business was obtaining a caricature of our little one. The rented artist seemed to capture the sparkling essence of our Lilly. While we socialized, Lilly charmed all comers and generally behaved well -- doing the usual eating and eliminating. After a couple of hours the sun came out and we took a quick turn around the zoo. While happy, Lilly got about as much out of this zoo outing as she did out of her first some weeks ago. (Lisa thinks she understood a great deal more than she let on.) Later that evening, we and Lilly, along with Lisa's co-worker Carolyn, cabbed it down to the Church Brew Pub for dinner. Lilly was a bit fussy -- skawking a whole lot and requiring lots of Nuk and bottle ministrations. She settled down while we had a few after-dinner drinks and slept in the cab home.
Momma had to attend a staff meeting this morning so Poppa and Lilly played in the hotel room and then hit the streets of Pittsburgh to find Eide's Entertainment, a fantastic music store. I got quite a few stares and sideways glances while picking up, among other things, the new Shellac LP, an old Birthday Party anthology, and a Johnny Cash box set. Lilly, for her part smiled at me as I went up and down the aisles until she got hungry. We holed up in the section devoted to conspiracy-theory books and had a little snack before resuming shopping. Lilly slept in her stroller for the rest of the excursion all the way back to the hotel. Around 2:00 we headed for the airport where we had no idea what lay ahead... the Butt Explosion Incident. As we finished up lunch, we heard the telltale sound of some diaper action. Lisa headed for the bathroom while I waited... and waited... and waited. When she finally emerged, Lilly was wrapped in a blanket and I was informed that she had no pants on. Apparently, the force of her movement had soiled every garment she was wearing. With all her clothes already checked, Lisa had to resort to a sweater for her top and a clean diaper and blanket for her bottom. Not wanting to look like trailer trash by hauling a diaper-clad babe onto the plane, we bought a pair of "fishy" pants off the sale rack at Baby Gap (thank goodness for the Air Mall). We made it home in one piece, though obviously not with a coordinated wardrobe.