Our tale starts on September 30th, when I went into early labor at 35 weeks. After hours at the hospital and a dilation of 5 cm, they were able to stop labor and send me home to let Eli cook a little bit longer. Since it was around 1 am, we decided to let Grandma Jane and Grandpa Lee keep Sophie overnight, making plans to pick her up the next morning after we all got some good sleep. If only we had known what a great decision this would turn out to be.
Daddy decided to sleep in what would soon be Sophie's room and give me the whole bed since the medicine to stop labor left me quite uncomfortable. At approximately 6 am that morning, October 1, our smoke alarms started going off. Thinking it a false alarm since there was no smoke or fire smell whatsoever in the bedroom, I laid in bed for a minute until I heard Daddy stumbling around upstairs and then fall down the stairs. When I got up to see what was going on and opened the door, smoke started billowing in from the living room vent. As Daddy ran down to the basement to support his theory that it was our furnace on fire, I ran out the front door, grabbing my purse and phone on the way and called 911.
As it turns out, Daddy was right. The furnace had caught fire from a spark created by contact with the heat exchanger from the central air system. As the fire burned, the freon, insulation, plastic and generaly yuckiness burned and was pushed through the blowers into all vented rooms. The room that got it the worst was Sophie's. The fire inspector has surmised that had Sophie been home, instead of with Grandma and Grandpa, she would not have survived. That still makes me cry when I think about it. I guess it just means that she's supposed to still be here, right? After the smoke had settled (literally) and our house was assessed, it was deemed unlivable and the insurance company got to work getting things cleaned up and repainted. We needed to find a temporary home. After two days with Grandma and Grandpa Flaig, which included another trip to the hospital with false labor, we found temporary residence with Aunt Shell and Uncle Bill. She was able to rearrange her house to give us two bedrooms to use - one as a living area with a couch and TV, and one which belonged to Sophie's cousins Tara and Brooke who have graciously been sleeping on the fold out couch on the nights they are here so that we can have beds. It's been tight, but Michelle, Bill and the girls have been so wonderful taking us in and helping us feel at home. The family bonding has been kinda fun, too, including huge family dinners, helping the girls get ready for their homecoming dance, and late night girl runs to McDonalds for hot fudge sundaes when we get a craving.
3 weeks into our stay with Aunt Shell, mommy had a check up with the obstetrician to check on Eli and they determined that I was effacing, and almost ready to go to the hospital. I had been having contractions for a few hours, which were at that time 10 minutes apart, and the doc said once they got to 6 minutes, we could head to the hospital. Since the hospital is on the other side of town and rush hour in Cincinnati can be horrendous, Mommy and Daddy decided to hang out near the hospital. Mommy got a massage, bought Eli a Halloween onesie and did a little mall walking before heading to the hospital with contractions 4 minutes apart. This time it was the real deal and Eli arrived at 10:55 pm on October 21, 2009.
Eli, your birth was a dream...especially compared to your sister's. 20 minutes of pushing and you practically ran out. You were 8 lb 2 oz and 20.75 inches long. You looked just like Sophie, but with dark hair like Mommy, which made me very happy.After a very brief stay in the hospital where Eli and I were both given a clean bill of health, we were able to come 'home' to Aunt Shell's. Sophie was a bit apprehensive about meeting Eli. It took a little bit for her to realize that the baby was on the outside and not the inside of my belly.What really helped her warm up was comparing body parts. Sophie seemed to be very excited about the fact that Eli had a lot of the same parts, only smaller. Eli has hands...
Eli has eyes....
And Sophie's favorite part....Eli's toes....
A mere week later, and Sophie loves her little brother. She gives him hugs and kisses all the time. She's also not too shy about telling him 'Shhhhh' when he starts to cry. Ah, big sister.
So, Eli, now you know all of the drama associated with and around your arrival into this world. Hopefully your life is much less exciting :-)
I'll leave today with some funny pics of Sophie trying to get some extra attention through sheer silliness.