Bossy was so beautiful! She weighed in at 7 pounds exactly. Since she was 3 ½ weeks early, we thought that was a good size. She didn’t appear to have any issues and all of her toes and fingers were just as they should be. I was a bit overwhelmed that first day! I’m sure it is because I was exhausted from the long labor and the lack of sleep. My sweetie still laughs about my hesitation…ok, I was downright scared…of changing her clothes. She was so tiny! I was afraid I might hurt her. So he took over and changed her from the hospital jammies to her regular clothes. He made it look so easy that when we finally got home I changed her clothes about 10 times.
Those first days were full of trauma and excitement. We kept expecting someone to come and take her away. We had no idea what we were doing and she was such a wonderful gift. Nursing was not going well. Both my mom and my sister tried to show me what to do, but I couldn’t get the hang of it. I felt totally incompetent.
Bossy’s fingernails were long and scratchy when she was born, so after a couple of days I got out the little nail clippers and tried to cut them. Bad idea! I cut her tiny middle finger and we both sat there and cried for about 10 minutes until the bleeding stopped. (I’ve since learned that I should have bit them off for her.)
I told you yesterday that this was definitely small-town Utah, but I didn’t say how small. My doctor delivered my youngest sister in 1977. He was also my sweetie’s Scoutmaster when he was a teenager! Yeah, a little awkward.
The doc cautioned us about jaundice the day after Bossy was born, but she didn’t look that yellow to us. Actually, her skin was very red. Someone even asked me if maybe we had picked up a little “Indian” baby by mistake!
When she was 5 days old, we ventured out of the house to vote. Grandma was an election judge and if we didn’t do our civic duty, I would never hear the end of it. In 1984, everyone voted at City Hall. We had a large gym there with a stage at one end. The lines were long and I was still so tired.
My sweetie held our place in line and I sat down on one of the benches lining the room. Of course a brand new baby is always a magnet, especially in a small town. It wasn’t long before someone mentioned how yellow she looked under those fluorescent lights. Honestly, it was the first time either of us had noticed the yellow in her eyes.
Grandma suggested we’d better call the doctor and he told us to drive those 15 minutes so he could have a look at her. Twenty minutes later we were on his doorstep. He held her up to the lights and turned her this way and that. Then he told us that as a precaution he thought we’d better take her over to the hospital and have a blood draw. I was not panicking…yet.
The blood draw made her scream and cry although she seemed pretty lethargic otherwise. We waited in the lobby for the test results. I tried to feed her, but all she wanted to do was sleep. When the doctor on call came back in to consult with us, he said her count was at 21 and he wanted us to take her to Utah Valley Hospital in Provo and have her checked in at the NICU. This was NOT what we were expecting!
Neither one of us were in any shape to make that hour and a half drive. Grandma had just finished up her election commitment when we called her on the phone. She picked us up at the hospital about 15 minutes later. As we snuggled our little one in the backseat, the exhaustion and tears just bubbled over. I knew it was too good to last! Our greatest gift was about to be taken away.