We had just gone to bed in Anna's room one night, when my parents called us, so we got back up. Mom put a little picture on the table and asked us if we knew what it was. It was just sort of black and white lumpy looking, and we didn't know what it was. Nathan pointed out that it said Mom's name at the top, so it had to do with her. "Yes!" she told us "you're putting it together! See, this is the head, this is the feet. . . "
"A BABY?!!!!!!!!!!!" You cannot imagine our shrieks of delight. Mom and Dad confirmed that, indeed, we would have a new brother or sister at the end of May.
We were wild with excitement. I don't really think my parents expected us to settle down and sleep anytime really soon after that news! Anna and I bounced on her bed, chattering excitedly about the baby that was coming.
In the following months, Mom was given baby showers (she hadn't had a baby in 9 years, so more than one group of people decided to bless her this way) and craved bean burritos from Taco Bell. Anna's room was turned into a nursery, and she moved back into sharing my room -- something we didn't seem to mind a bit. The nursery was the best room in the house. Anna and I would go in there and quietly organize and reorganize the bottles of lotion and power, baby clothes (there weren't many since ultrasounds in 1989 weren't great at predicting gender) and tiny diapers (Mom used disposable diapers this time around -- I remember her buying Luvs).
On May 11th, the 3 of us were taking standardized tests at home (Mom didn't much care for those, but had us take them now and then anyway), when we could tell something was going on. Mom would disappear from time to time, and we overheard her on the phone. There was nothing standardized about the tests we were taking at that point! Later, Mom found out that we scored terrible marks on our tests, but it's hard to blame us! We were sooooo distracted, knowing our teacher was in labor! We drove to the doctor, and he sent Mom away for a bit. He told us to run an errand and come to the hospital in a couple hours. I remember we went to the store and bought baby blankets. I was very anxious to get Mom back to that hospital!! When she was finally allowed to check in, the 3 of us settled down for a wait in the waiting room. I can't imagine most people leaving their 3 children to wait by themselves while their mother has a baby, but Dad checked in on us from time to time, and we would have flipped if we had to stay home or something. Mom packed us presents to open periodically. After a half hour, we opened our first presents -- books to read while we waited. The next hour, and we opened sour straws candy. At some point Dad came to take us to eat in the cafeteria (we thought it was delicious!), and we all made our predictions what time the baby would be born -- Dad wrote down our predictions and stored them in his shirt pocket.
A baby girl was born after 8:00pm! We were ushered in to see the baby in the delivery room. I remember holding my little sister before she was bathed or anything -- just wiped off a bit and wrapped up. Her hair looked black and we all agreed which name she should be called (my parents had 2 options in mind) -- Abigail! A little later that night after she was washed, her hair looked much lighter and we all suddenly changed our minds -- she looked more like an Emily to us! So that's what she was called.
We all tossed around middle name suggestions, but my parents couldn't make up their minds. I remember before my mom was going to be discharged, a nurse came in with the birth certificate and asked if they'd decided on the name. Mom told Dad just to pick, so he named her Emily Susan Benzing. My mom's middle name was Sue, and that was the name she went by, so Emily's middle name was after Mom.
|Me bringing Susie home -- this was Emily's sweater|
Emily wore a baby nightgown with colorful stars on it for her trip home (gender neutral, remember), along with a yellow hand-knit sweater that someone gave to my mom for one of her baby showers. When I was pregnant, Mom gave this sweater to me, and MY baby Susie wore it home from the hospital, too!
|Emily with Grandpa Benzing at about 4 months old|
I turned eleven not long after Emily was born, but the best thing about being ten turned out to be something much better than staying up a half hour longer at bedtime. I am linking up to Mommy's Piggy Tales where we are telling the stories of our youth.