Well, this was the Big One.
Baby E. entered this world at 3:24 this morning, and left it not much more than two hours later. We did have the chance to hold her, and feel her breathe, and feel her move, before she quieted down and left us.
I apologize that these aren't the prettiest baby pictures you've ever seen; before you can bathe a baby, the baby's temperature must be above some minimum threshold, and Baby E's temperature never got high enough. But there really wasn't time to worry about making them pretty. At the time, we didn't know how much time we had with her, so we did our best to make every moment count.
Aside from being emotionally drained, Tonya is recovering from the delivery well. This baby came about four weeks early (which caught us by surprise), which meant among other things that Baby E. was much smaller than our other kids were at birth--she was only 5 lbs. 9 oz (and 18.5 inches long), as opposed to the Adrenaline Junkie's 8 lbs, 2 oz--let alone the Happy Boy's 9 lbs 7.5 oz. Under normal circumstances, 5 lbs 9 is not a big baby, but still within the normal, healthy range; but Tonya's body was accustomed to much bigger babies, and when the time came, Baby E. arrived much faster than anyone expected. The doctors had just gotten done saying that they'd be back to check on us in an hour, when Tonya involuntarily gave an almighty push and Baby E was there....
So now what?
Well, we're not entirely sure, but the first step is for Tonya to continue recovering. She should be coming home sometime tomorrow, and I'm going to be on Daddy-On-Steroids duty for a while. Thankfully, we have grandparental support to help out. When Tonya is home and has had a chance to catch her breath, then we'll start figuring out what to do. The hospital will keep Baby E. for the next two weeks, so we don't have to make any rushed decisions. That's very nice.
We have a lot of people to thank for the help they've already given. My wonderful brother and sister-in-law, Rick and Wendy, high-tailed it hither at about 9:00 last night to keep an eye on the kids, when we realized that we had to go to the hospital pronto. Then, around 10:30 when the doctors verified that Tonya was in active labor, my Mom and Dad started packing, and hit the road for the two hour drive up here, so they could relieve Rick and Wendy, so they could get some sleep for their workday. Then Tonya's parents came up this morning with the RV so they could stay with us long enough to help us get healthy and back on our feet. And, of course, there are all the people who've been praying for us since we got the Trisomy 13 diagnosis back in December; we owe you all a huge debt of gratitude.
With all the stuff we have to deal with, blogging will be irregular for a while. Not that it was very consistent before....