- From Intimations of Immortality
- Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
I've always liked this poem, and was saving it for when the baby was born. So here it is. It's just an excerpt from a much longer work, which you can read here. I think it's interesting that when you get down to what people believe, their religion's theology aside, most Christians agree with a lot of Mormon theology including the preexistance.
Well, I promised I'd tell you more about what happened in the hospital after Elizabeth was born. After letting her stay with me and start trying to nurse for about an hour, they took her to the newborn nursery to bathe her, and do blood tests, and monitor her temperature, and such. Peter went with her, and I stayed in the room to recover myself. They took out the IV's and made sure I wasn't bleeding too much, and stuff like that, then moved me to the room where we'd stay for the next few days. Rather than give a chronological account, I'll just tell some memorable things.
First, there were the results of all the tests they ran on Elizabeth. Labor had virtually no complications, though they did have to put me on oxygen since they said I was holding my breath too much -- though I didn't notice doing so -- and that the baby wasn't getting enough oxygen. After she was born, they found that she was Coombs positive -- meaning that our blood types were incompatible, and some of my blood had mixed with hers during delivery -- and that this was making red blood cells die, which increases the bilirubin, which causes jaundice. They said her numbers weren't especially high yet, but that they were increasing faster than they liked to see. They would have put her under the lights immediately, but they had an especially large crop of jaundiced babies at the moment, and every light in the hospital was being used. They did have a portable BiliBlanket they could put her on, though. This was a little light pad, about the size of her torso, that they attached to her back, and then wrapped her up, light and all for me to hold and nurse (see glowworm photo above). Eventually, they also had her under the lights, once the babies with higher numbers were released.
Other vaguely alarming test results included a hearing test, which she didn't pass in one ear the first time, and a heart murmur. The hearing test was repeated the next day by a more experienced technician, and she passed with flying colors. It's a pretty cool thing. They put a tiny speaker over her ear, and then attach electrodes to other parts of her head. These can read her brain waves, which change whenever she hears a sound. The heart murmur was serious enough to warrant an echo cardiogram, which we still don't have the results back from. The pediatrician says that these little holes generally resolve themselves within days or weeks, but since hers could still be heard after 4 days, it needs to be watched.
There were volunteers who came in and took her photo. Others brought cookies and bingo cards, and were generally pleasant to be around. I had a mixed bag of nurses. Some were very kind and solicitous, others I barely noticed when they came and went off shift. One day, after her night under the lights, she was very sleepy, and wouldn't wake up to eat. She had been fed formula several times overnight, so I wasn't really worried, but the nurse that day was sure that I was just incompetent at nursing, and kept offering suggestions of things we had already tried several times already. She was very condescending and annoying, and I was glad when she went home.
I mostly sat in bed, watched TV, talked with Mom and Peter, and fed the baby. We read trivial pursuit questions one evening, and read our books during quiet times in the afternoon. It was nice to take a shower one morning, and to get some real comfortable sleep at last. I was still very weak, and definitely sore around the stitches, and where the baby hadn't quite gotten the hang of latching on correctly, but all it all I recovered very quickly.
We came home on the 16th, at about 7pm. It was nearly impossible to put her into the car seat in the back of Peter's 2 door car, upside down and backwards, when the straps weren't adjusted to fit a baby quite so long as she was, but we managed it, and made it home in one piece.
Well, Elizabeth has been very kind, sleeping while I blog, but she's starting to wake up now, so I'll sign off.