I’ve covered the beginnings, and up to current time, of Brooke and Alexis. Both of them are strong willed, independent young women.
Now I must introduce number three, little Delana.
I remember a conversation between Dina and I some time prior to Delana’s arrival:
Her: You gonna get that nursery
Me: Yeah. We’ve got like ten weeks, don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of it.
Never got that far….
Friday, June 15th, 2007…
Alexis had her friend, Kayla, sleep over… Dina, Alexis, Kayla, Brooke and, I believe some of the neighbors’ kids, were splashing around in the pool that evening. It was a pretty typical Friday night…
A little later, I set up the kids with popcorn and movies and, eventually, everyone ends up crashing…
Saturday, June 16th, 2007…
I’m prolly off on times..but here goes anyway. I believe it was around 5:00 am that Dina woke me up complaining of serious cramps and major discomfort. I, not being a doctor, pretty much wrote it off as Braxton Hicks contractions and told Dina to try to get comfortable. She went back to bed.
A couple hours later…. Dina’s up again. More contractions and she sees some blood. I start to get freaked out, because we lost a baby, albeit very early, a couple years prior. So Dina phones the hospital and, naturally, they say to come in.
Again…. never got that far…
Dina didn’t even get a chance to pack up her stuff (she wasn’t prepared either!) and she comes back downstairs to tell me she feels like she needs to push…
WHOA! There’s no pushing right now! I’m calling the pros… So I call 911.
I swear… at this point, we’re losing another baby… anyway (and I barely remember this stuff… it’s all just a blur in my memory):
911 operator: …… what’s your emergency?
Me: I think my wife is losing our baby..
Dina (now laying on the floor in the foyer): I need to push…
911: Can you see the head?
Me: No… she’s got sweatpants on… Dina, don’t push… I can’t see anything (as I’m trying to pull down her pants to get a look). I peek around the corner to see what’s up with Alexis, Brooke and Kayla who are now sitting on the loveseat…. ghost white.
911: Paramedics are on their way, but you might have to deliver this baby… get some towels.
Me: How far away are they (trying my best not to poop myself)? Alexis, get some towels.
Then I hear the sirens and the paramedics show up within a minute or so.
I hung up on 911…
They all come into the foyer and load Dina into the ambulance… I was going towards the back of the ambulance to be with Dina, but they said no and made me get in the front seat.. which seemed like it was 100 feet away from her.
The ambulance heads toward the hospital… I’m looking WAY back there to see what’s going on… and, within maybe two minutes, I see one of the paramedics hold up this tiny little baby… she didn’t even look real she was so small… and I’m thinking dead baby still, so I shout back to them, “Is she alive, please, is she alive?” And the second one of them tells me she’s fine… I lose it… The ambulance driver hears that she’s fine and starts congratulating me while I’m crying and slobbering all over the place.
Yeah…. I cried when Alexis and Brookie were born, but neither of their births were even close to the drama surrounding Delana’s birth.
Delana came seven weeks early.
She ended up spending twelve days in the neonatal intensive care unit. Dina stayed there with her while I worked on her nursery and ran back and forth to the hospital with Alexis and Brooke so they could visit their little sister. But it was a terrifying experience. Kids born that early can potentially have issues with their lungs… because their lungs aren’t fully developed at that point. There was one night when Delana stopped breathing, only once, but for a long enough time that it was an issue. Scared the shit out of us…. but everything ended up being fine.
I got the nursery done in time for Delana to come home…. but she didn’t sleep in her room for quite a while. She slept in the bassinette right next to me. I took off a week from work so I could do her round-the-clock feedings (every three hours) and Dina could get a much deserved break.
I remember the first couple nights she was home with us. I didn’t fall asleep. I just laid there listening to her breathe, fearing that her breathing would stop. If I I couldn’t hear her… I’d put my hand on her little back to feel her breathe.
Everything turned out fine. But Delana had to grow up fast! She had to keep up with two older sisters; Brookie’s almost seven years older and Alexis is ten years older. So she’s always tried to keep pace with them.
That’s quite a task considering that sometimes, the older sisters aren’t very understanding of that.
And because it’s not so cool at times for the little sister to hang around, Delana has become rather independent. She’ll have just as much fun with her sisters as she does occupying herself.
She’s never been in a real “day care” situation like her sisters have. She spends a few days a week at Dina’s cousin’s house, and a couple days with a woman who watches kids for a living… out of her house. I think it’s a pretty good mix.
She’s always wanting to help with everything, whether it be cooking, cleaning or watering the garden.
And she always has more than enough hugs and kisses for everyone. I think she’s more affectionate than her sisters ever were. Though I could be wrong about that…. nowadays the older two are usually pouting because they were told “No” about something two days ago. Delana’s affection is very calming when I’m getting dirty looks from the other two.
She’s going to kindergarten in the fall and man is she ready to go! It’s funny…. one day last year I called her a toddler for some reason and she quickly corrected me, “I’m not a toddler, I’m a pre-schooler.” She’s always talking about riding the bus and doing homework. It’s all very cute and I’m sure it’ll change when she actually goes…
We’ll get her into sports, too, like Alexis & Brooke. Though it hasn’t been discussed, I’m sure she’ll end up in softball and soccer; same as Brooke.
Delana is a beautiful, smart, funny little girl. And she hasn’t gotten into that “Don’t like Dad any more” stage…. so that makes her my favorite!
Did I mention she’s funny? I call her “Goof!”