Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Proud Papa (and Mama)

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. --Psalm 139:4

I realize the cliche that a picture is worth 1,000 words holds completely true. But here's some more details from our first days of parenthood.

This new phase started early Sunday morning -- at 5:47 a.m. (central), to be exact -- when the birth mother called to tell us that her water broke. We were up and throwing our clothes in a bag and left the house by 6:30 a.m. (The jury is still out on whether we brought enough for ourselves, but Cate is the important one here, and her bags were packed for weeks!) We ran by Greg's office (Hey, we had to have this lap top so you could see those beautiful newborn pictures!) before we hit the road to Bloomington. We were at the hospital by 12:10 p.m. (now on eastern time ...) and awaited Cate's arrival, which came about 14 hours after the birth mother arrived there.

The birth mother was amazing, even during her back pains and labor. Throughout the whole process, she's been generous, gracious and strong, and her delivery of our daughter was no different. We were in the room when Cate was born, and I'm so thankful for that experience.

Cate had some trouble breathing on her own at first, so they put on her the smallest oxygen mask I've ever seen. We were there while they cleaned her up and tended to her. She griped our fingers. Then they took her the nursery and kept her on oxygen for an hour or two. She also was breathing kind of fast, so they wanted to make sure everything checked out.

Then at 4 a.m. Monday, the nurse brought our daughter to us. I fed her, and then I held her for three straight hours. Those were the moments for which I've been waiting. And, man, were they worth it.

Monday we just spent some time with her and then took care of some paperwork when the attorney came to the hospital. Then we were surprised when the pediatrician said we could leave as long as got the required newborn screen done in a couple of days. So, the hospital got the legal order that terminated the birth parents' right and gave us temporary guardianship, and we were off for Jeffersonville, Indiana, about 8:30 p.m. -- a couple dozen minutes shy of Cate's first 24 hours in this world. We took a pit stop in Columbus, Indiana, to feed Cate and feed ourselves, and then we took up temporary residence in this hotel that is pretty close to the Ohio River. Exit 2 on the Hoosier side. In fact, we can see the buildings in Louisville. It feels pretty close to familiarity.

Even with this 4-day-old baby in our arms, the newness seems comfortable. We hold her and realize God planned her for us.

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