On Wednesday, May 21, 2014, Kate the Chicken joined us in the world.
My due date was May 19, and that day came and went with zero signs that I would ever go into labor. Like, ever. We decided to have an elective induction on May 21 – an auspicious birthday shared by Mr. T.
The first thing I noticed when we got into our L&D room was that there was a towel in the shape of a swan on the bed. Apparently the head of housekeeping used to work for Carnival Cruise Lines, and she’s been spreading the gospel of animal-towel-folding to the staff. It was unexpected and kind of delightful, and helped put us in a good frame of mind for the day ahead.
The induction proceeded like a heavy truck rolling downhill – almost imperceptible at first, but flying by the end of the day. In fact, the momentum built so much that my OB almost missed the delivery! The nurse came to check on me at 8:30, and as she was getting her gloves on, she said, “So, we’ll try some gentle pushes, just to see where you are, and we’ll call the doctor to keep him informed.” Then she checked me. Her face froze. “Don’t. Push. Baby is RIGHT. THERE.” She placed an urgent call to my OB…. who was out jogging. He arrived sweaty, with his running clothes on under his scrubs, but cheerful and calm as always. Two contractions later, she was out.
Hazel had a bit of jaundice, so she had to spend Friday night under the disco lights to help get her bilirubin count down. Thankfully, they worked, and we were discharged on Saturday. Shortly before we left the hospital, we realized we had not decided by what name we would call her. Jason was calling her “Kate,” and I was calling her “Hazel.”
So let’s talk about her name.
Hazel was my great-grandmother (my mother’s father’s mother). Her daughter and her granddaughter were also named Hazel – much in the same way that me, my mother, and my grandmother are all Winifred. Original Flavor Hazel was blind, but my mom reports that she still went to my great-grandfather’s fiber plant and sat at a great big desk every day that she could. She also had an elevator installed in her house in Jacksonville. We have inherited a few pieces of furniture from her house, which are among my favorite pieces. Katherine is not a family name, per se, but my paternal grandmother was Mary Kate and Jason’s mom is Kathleen, so Katherine-with-a-K felt like a name that would honor both sides of our family.
As I said, my legal name is Winifred, but I’ve gone by Windy my entire life. It’s one thing to be called by one’s middle name (like Hollyn), but a slightly more difficult thing to be called by a name which is neither your first nor your middle name. And as much as we love “Kate the Chicken,” it’s not like she’s going to write that on her school papers. So we’re going to call her Hazel.
Since we got home, things have been relatively smooth sailing. She eats well, sleeps well, and generally goes with the flow. We switched over to cloth diapers after she finished getting rid of her meconium, and that’s been going swimmingly. I even bought a clothesline so I could dry those suckers outside. Who am I?
Our friends have overwhelmed us with love and food, bringing meals almost every day since we got home from the hospital. Jason’s parents came up to take care of Hollyn and Jensen last Wednesday, and my mom arrived Thursday and stayed through the following Wednesday to help. We have been humbled by the support we’ve received, and are immensely grateful for it.
Despite being a newborn, Hazel has shown a few distinct preferences. She H-A-T-E-S being swaddled, but loves being in the Baby Bjorn. She likes to poop at inopportune moments, such as fifteen seconds before the pediatrician enters the exam room (stay classy, Hazel!). She tolerates Boots’ kisses, but punches Lucius in the face when he sticks his nose in her ear. Ron does not understand her purpose, and therefore remains wary.
Jason has been an excellent partner throughout this process. He is happy to do whatever needs to be done so that we can all function. Because I’m breastfeeding, he generally takes on more of the diapers-and-burping duties, which I appreciate.
It took me nine days to write this update. One day I will learn to operate a laptop one-handed, but today is not that day.