Friday, May 18, 2018

Parker Franklin Has Arrived!

He's Here!  He's Here!

Did you hear the exuberant shouts of joy bouncing off the walls of the Winter Haven Women's Hospital last Wednesday?  Yep, that celebrating was from the family of Parker Franklin McGhee!

Cody stepped out and announced, "He's here!  He's perfect!  Kristin did Great!"  (He said some other things but I missed them.  I was busy taking the first deep breath I'd had in almost eight hours.)

As with every delivery there is a story.  The short version is this:  On Tuesday, the doctor made the call to do a cesarean section delivery on Wednesday morning.  And Parker was born.

(Come on!  Not one of the regular readers falls for that impossibly abbreviated version.)

We all arrived at the hospital Wednesday bright and early.  Kristin had been having severe contractions since 3 AM.  The nurse determined there wasn't a need for pain relief, she'd be in the operating room soon.

Unfortunately, "soon" was bumped back three different times by emergency deliveries that had to go ahead of her.  Her pain continued to increase; pain she wasn't mentally prepared to handle.  Cesarean deliveries come with enough pain AFTER delivery.  Laboring hour after hour before surgery isn't supposed to be part of the equation.

She labored quietly, focusing on the deep breathing and counter pressure techniques she and Cody had learned.  But you could see the intensity in her face.  All three of my girls are tough; they handle pain well.  I knew how bad this was getting.

We tried to stay calm and peaceful for her sake but every spike on the contraction monitor caused that much more concerned. Okay, I'll admit it.  As the pain increased, so did my frustration.  When they took her off the monitor and STILL didn't get her ready to move, my "mama bear" kicked in.

After waiting thirty more agonizing minutes, I went to the desk and politely asked to speak to her nurse whom we hadn't seen in quite some time.  I was told they would be coming to check on her in a moment. 

It was the brush-off and I knew it.  I'm not sure exactly what I said at that point in response, but I felt much better after I said it.

They came in to move her to surgery about ten minutes later.  We all joined hands around her bed and Frank prayed between two contractions.  (I repented.)

A quick kiss on her head.  A pat of encouragement on Cody's shoulder.   Away they went!

The four original parents of the two soon-to-be parents walked to our designated area to wait.

Parker was delivered in less than an hour.  But with pictures and stitching and tears and celebrating, it was almost three hours before someone reminded Cody to come let us know - All Is Well!

I shared with you in an earlier post the meaning of Parker's name but perhaps some of you missed that one.  Parker Franklin McGhee means:  "Gate Keeper of Freedom."  Powerful, right?!  A strong name was needed for the little man who will carry on the McGhee name for his ancestral American Indian Tribe.

Kristin is recovering well; trying to use wisdom and not overdo.  But she is already an amazing little mommie.  Cody has stepped into the dual roles of care-giver for his wife and dad for his son with marvelous abandon.  One of the earliest pictures was of Parker and Cody each looking intently into the eyes of the other.  (Brought tears to my eyes!)

I'll leave you with the profound words Kristin posted on her facebook page this week:
"I’ve been a Mommy to a tiny brilliant human for a grand total of 7 days and here’s what I’ve learned so far:
1. Surrounding yourself with a group of wise people who have been where you are is very important.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get advice..you may just get answers that let you know you’re not alone in your journey
3. Allowing people to help in any way they offer is a gift...don’t refuse it and letting them know your thankful goes a long way
4.Be grateful for every day even when it doesn’t go the way you want it to
5.Crying doesn’t make you weak
6. Laughing is what keeps you sane
7. Above all else talking to Jesus and giving him every insecurity and each victory is what makes life possible:)


Friday, May 4, 2018

Locked Out

We're all about babies around here these days.

Big babies.  Little babies. Babies graduating from kindergarten.  Babies due in three days.  Babies due in three months.  Caution: Do NOT drink the water around here if you don't want to experience BABIES!  :-)

Apparently, Madison Riley (who will turn three next month) has promoted herself to the big baby category.  Of course, Zach will turn three just a couple of weeks later.  But that doesn't seem to matter in her calculating, curly-blond head.

Last Sunday all the babies were playing in toddler church.  Madi climbed up onto a chair and propped her tiny red flowered shoes on the chair across from her.  She watched the other toddlers for a moment then looked up at the teacher.  With a serious face she nodded toward them and said, "You enjoying this show?!"  

Yep, that's our big baby alright.

This morning Meagan brought them by our house to pick up something.  Noah came bursting in with smiles and heart satisfying hugs.  Madi lagged a bit behind; talking all the way up the drive.  I knelt down in front of her so I was on her level and could better hear her.  "Okay, Madi.  Tell me again?" I asked.

She sighed, rolled her blue eyes, propped her hand on her minuscule hip and said, "Listen to my wuhds, Noni." 

Please bear in mind, if you burst out laughing at a moment like this it's highly offensive to toddler people.   So as the laughter swirls in my chest, I'm forced to bite my lip or cough or run for another room if I hope to keep them talking.

Baby!  Baby!

In other laughter news, I had a run-in with my patio door last Sunday morning.   It was one of those moments when you make a split-second decision to laugh or cry.  And you already know I laugh as often as possible.

Sunday mornings are pretty structured for us and we need to keep moving in order to stay on schedule.  Frank had already left before daylight.  I was almost completely ready and found myself with the luxury of an extra ten minutes.

I decided to save two dollars by eating cereal here instead of going through the drive-thru for my favorite oatmeal.  Since cool mornings won't be around much longer, I also decided to enjoy my cereal out on our screened room patio.

The birds were chirping. The sunrise was brilliant.  My heart was rejoicing in the loveliness of the day ahead.

A glance at my watch showed,"Time to get going."  So I jumped up and headed inside.

One small problem.  The door was LOCKED!

I jiggled the handle as though it would magically understand the importance of ignoring the lock and open anyway.  No Bueno!

Panic tried to rise in my heart but I thought, "Maybe I left the front door open."  Nothing to do but take off running around the house through the dewy grass.  Bare-footed, dress flowing, hair coiffed.  Praying my neighbors were still sleeping.

The front door was locked as well.

Back around the house to discover the third entry point had also been fastidiously secured and would now deny me entrance.  Phone in one hand, cereal bowl in the other I did what every wife does.....I called my personal hero.

"Frank!"  This was getting serious.  "I've locked myself out of the house!"  

Silence for a moment then I heard the familiar laughter-covering cough.  "Try the left dining room window.  It may still be unlocked."

"I'm trying,"  I said.  "But I can't get the screen off."  

It's one of those fancy screens that supposedly makes it incredibly easy to clean the windows from inside or outside.  Obviously, I haven't done either in a while because I couldn't get the screen to budge.

I put the phone on speaker and laid it on the nearest shrub.  Apparently my struggle with the screen had gotten rather intense because Frank later said he felt sure it would be snapped in two before I finished.

"Honey, are you okay?"  his voice sounded concerned.  Just then the screen gave way and I yanked it out of the window casing.

"I got it!"  I shouted with delight. Time was ticking. "I'm going in...."  

Please feel free to use your imagination at this point.  I happened to be wearing a lovely lavender frock with a full skirt and white polka dots sprinkled freely over the light weight fabric.  I had to push past the shrubbery in order to hoist one foot and leg over the window sill.

(As Madi would say, "You enjoying this show?")

I must have made a grunting sound at this point because Frank asked again, "Honey, Are you sure you're OKAY?  Be careful!"

With one leg in and one leg out; derriere in the most prominent and unattractive of positions; trying my best not to lose my balance, I managed a muffled "Yes!"

Praying deeper sleep on my neighbors, I somehow maneuvered the inside foot over farther and then fully committed to the swinging motion that would bring my other leg and foot inside.

Now in my head, this was a graceful, smooth, flowing-type movement made without hesitation.  Surely, the best Ninja move of all time.  In reality, if you had been watching from across the yard, I'm pretty sure you'd have a much different description to share!

To quote Madison Riley once more, "Listen to my words, dear friend."  If you decide to take a few minutes and treat yourself to a quiet breakfast on the patio, check the lock on your door first!  Otherwise, you may also end up with a new family story to tell.





 



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