What i remember most about the early part of your pregnancy is how violently ill i got. i had "normal" morning sickness with Cairo & then i had none at all with Sloanie, so when i got knocked flat on my behind with you, i was a little shocked.
Nothing would stay down - & as i kept losing weight, my doctor told me, "One more pound & you're going into the hospital to get rehydrated..."
i can honestly say that feeling as i was, it was a relief when i kept dropping & they put me in the hospital & i could just close my eyes & feel miserable. i had a bladder infection & a migraine. i was under 100lbs & i worried about the tiny one trying to grow inside under such strenuous circumstances.
But, grow you did...
When finally, i rounded the bend - & i could keep food down again, the pounds piled on... My doctor told me to "slow down, you want to fit through those hospital doors when that baby comes, don't you?"
i laughed, ate & grew.
We had bought & renovated a little old house & i felt incredibly contented & happy in my new surroundings. In the morning, the sun would come into my sunny, yellow bedroom & in the evening it shone through my living room window, bathing the whole house in a buttery, glow that left me feeling *happy*.
We lived across the street from the railroad - & if we were on the phone when we'd hear the train coming, we'd have to either quickly get off, or warn the other party that we wouldn't be able to hear anything for the next 30 seconds, so they'd have to wait. Often times, i would bring out your big sisters & we would wave to the train as it whizzed past our house with blaring horn & roaring engine.
Midday, the town horn would sound & i loved the way it made me feel like i lived in the coziest little town. We loved our sweet little home & community. We had huge trees in our yard, & the summer you were to be born, i remember standing on the deck, hanging out our laundry - or cutting the grass - or playing at the park with your sisters - waiting on your arrival.
There were tough things about that year too - Dad was working at a mill that seemed to want to go bankrupt no matter how many extra shifts he would work, or how much hair he would pull out, or how much he would fret & worry & stress.
We missed daddy.
With more than a month left in my pregnancy, my weight gain that had begun with a bang, stopped just as suddenly.
i know now that it was likely just my body compensating for those first challenging months & trying to even itself out - but it made my doctor scratch his head. He decided he wanted to send me for an extra ultrasound (biophysical profile). i was *delighted* when they told me that it looked like baby would be over 7 pounds!! Having had two 6 pounders, i crowed with delight thinking of your chubby little thighs & maybe even an extra chin or two... The doctor seemed a little disappointed that you hadn't scored "perfectly" on your biophysical profile & he felt like he wanted to give you a chance to come if you were ready. We were already a few days past your due date & so he asked me to come in for a trial induction... If it didn't work, he promised to send me home & wait for you to come on your own. That day, Grampsie came down from Edmonton to help with the girlies as daddy had worked a nightshift. i got myself ready & walked to the hospital, hoping to get something going on it's own. They said that after they put in the cervidil, they would check me after a few hours & if nothing had happened, i was free to go home.
They checked me & told me i wasn't in active labour & i was free to go.
i called Gramps & he came to get me.
i was a little disappointed - & so i went to snuggle into bed with daddy while Grampsie took your sisters out for french fries.
No sooner had i settled into bed when the contractions started. Within minutes, my water broke & i had woken your daddy who, bleary eyed, thought it would be embarrassing to take me back to the hospital when we had just left there moments ago.
In a hot panic, i told him we didn't have a choice & we needed to go now...
We climbed into our little green van & drove the 2 blocks to the small town hospital. In between contractions that were almost piggybacking each other, i yelled at him to pull up to the door.
He looked at me like i was crazy - after all, my labour had just begun - & tried to pull into a parking stall. i ripped open the door of the still moving van & he slammed on the breaks & i made a run for the front door, hoping to get inside before the next momentous contraction. i made it into the front door & collapsed on the floor. The nurses saw me & came running. i began begging for an epidural - a fact which still makes me laugh now, knowing i was in transition & just had no idea... "i don't think there's time, honey, you have a certain look about you..." said the nurse kindly..."Then gimme an epidural for the stitches!" i begged irrationally... Thankfully, they chuckled at me & ignored my pleading rants.
Still in my sandals & brown sundress, they pulled me up on a bed & said, "Here comes baby..."
& there you did come.
Daddy ran into the room as you came crashing into our lives...
The doctor, who happened to be at the hospital as i had come running through the door, counted as he unravelled the cord from around your neck... "One, two, three..." i saw thick, dark hair & then heard the words, "It's a girl!"
"Really?" i found myself a little surprised - *three girls*...
Within 10 minutes of arriving at the hospital, you were placed into your daddy's arms. i saw the look on his exhausted face & was glad when a nurse pushed a chair up behind him when his legs collapsed.
We phoned Grampsie who was shocked when we laughingly told him, "She's here!"
He rushed to the hospital with your big sisters in tow. Their round eyes registered surprise & when i glowingly showed them their little sister & asked them what they thought, they held hands & answered solemnly, "We think she's beautiful..."
Granny, it seems, had better intuition than i had - & when she arrived that night, had already purchased 3 matching white dresses.
My heart fairly burst with pride as i looked at my three darling girls. Cairo with her cotton fuzz hair that refused to lie straight, Sloanie with the bounciest pigtails you've ever seen, & you - with your gorgeous skin & dark hair - looking for all the world like an ethereal fairy princess.
i remember thinking, "This one is so familiar, 'cause it's me all over again... " i was thinking of my childhood with my 2 big sisters & how close we had all grown. You looked (& look) the most like your daddy - but i felt like you were *my* girl.
i remember like it was yesterday, bringing you home the next day. By evening, granny & gramps had already left & gammie & gampie were on their way. Daddy had to pull another night shift & i had tucked the other girls in their beds. The lights in the house were dimmed & i tucked you into my big yellow bed & smelled your hair & stroked your silky soft cheek - inhaling the scent of fresh life - my precious daughter. We both sighed contented, happy sighs - feeling that in that candle-lit moment... all was right with the world.
So typical of you, Peyton, that your story would have so many funny little twists and turns. i think you'll always be like that for me - keeping me on my toes - learning differently, surprising me daily & keeping me open to the unexpected.
In my journals, i most often call you "my sparkling eyed one", my child who is most likely to accept the blame or to try to mend fences. The one who laughs the loudest & the longest... the one who builds a bridge between the "bigs" and the "littles".
i'm so grateful for each little twist in the road that brought us you - my little 'big & small' - my middly girl - my Joy.