Today I am housekeeping, answering mail, and getting organized. (The Christmas lights really should come off the porch.) But I wanted you to know that the Alaska Dispatch column about the baby's birth is up (apparently the column is now posted late Sunday for Monday morning readers.) Also, if you go to Bartlett hospital's site you may see a photo of baby Caroline.
They call the new obstetric wing of the Bartlett hospital "Bartlett Beginnings". The birthing rooms are the kind I had hoped to have when I was injured and in a nursing home. They are big and airy with wood floors and a tall wall of windows. But the best thing is the people, especially the nurses. Sarah dubbed Margie "Nurse Google", because she said she knew the answers to all of her questions. "You are better than my laptop," Sarah told her.
Caroline Cooper Elliott arrived at 10:32 am at Bartlett Regional Hospital. She weighs 7lbs. 13oz. and has big blue eyes, long arms and legs and an animated face. She watches everything. She is so good natured her mom, who is doing great too, said she may call her Happy. Her dad was crying he was so happy. She has made made us all very, very happy too.
Yes, yesterday brought high excitement. Timing and breathing and walking up and down the halls. But by last night little baby Caroline decided she'd rather sleep in the womb than the cute little bassinet next to Sarah's bed. The good news is that we are one day closer to seeing her. We have to be. I'm doing the deep breathing now, the kind that centers a person. The kind that reminds you, as my more patient friends say, to be in the moment. What a moment this is.
It is not a good idea to have jalapenos on pizza. We tried that last night and no one felt very good afterwards. The baby, it seems, is the only one that didn't have indigestion. She's quite comfortable inside my daughter. The good news is that I have another daughter coming to Juneau on the ferry this evening to assist with the birth, and she is an EMT.
Sarah says she will be the first woman who is pregnant forever, and that we all should get used it. So today, instead of talking a gentle walk in the snow and sipping raspberry leaf tea, we have decided to spend the day snowboarding at Eaglecrest. Sarah says she can get down the hill just fine. I have never snowboarded, but she assures me it is easy. Luckily I brought a helmet.
So far, here is the advice my daughter has received about how to have that baby: drink raspberry leaf tea and have sex, gently. (No comment, I'm trying to be a very good mother-in-law.) Long walks, sitting and doing nothing, driving on a bumpy road, climbing stairs, and snow machining. Do jumping jacks, eat spicy food, go to the movies, make plans, eat a big breakfast and then go for a long walk. Eat nothing, drink water, and lie on the couch and watch TV. Run up and down stairs. Stand on your head. Someone said throwing up is a positive sign.
No baby yet. The movie was wonderful, emotional, and just right. Except we didn't need the towel. All is calm, all is dark.
Sarah and I walked the dog in the rain this afternoon out on the tidal flats by the Juneau airport. She is not moving like someone about to give birth. We went to Costco afterwards and no one looked at her and said, "whoa, don't have that baby here." We did see four friends from Haines in the half hour we were there, but we were mostly buying chicken for Kendra's birthday dinner. (It is in the oven now.) Then it's off to a movie. I really want to see "It's Complicated", so we figure that should make her water break.
Hertz called this morning as I was running around finishing an obituary and packing for Juneau. I have to be at the ferry at 11am, and then will join Sarah and Brian to wait for the baby. She is due today.(!) So, as I am rushing around Hertz called. I said "what can I do for you?" And he said " Nothing much. Just tell me how to write a book." I was in a hurry, as I said, so I asked if it was fiction or non-fiction. He said it was about his life. Hertz has seen a UFO, and died and come back to life, more than once I think. (He is an electrician and was a logger.