Eleonora Margaret Stücklin
Born Sunday, June 21, 2015, 11:01 p.m.
Weight: 8 pounds, 1 ounce
Length: 20 inches
There are five syllables in her first name; think Italian. Our you could do what her family does, and call her Ellie. Janet has posted Ellie's birth story on her own blog, and you can find more details there. I'll add here a few from my point of view.
This was the first time we'd only planned a four-week stay for my visit; previously we'd allowed two weeks before and four weeks after the due date. So I was getting rather nervous as my final week approached. But I think it all worked out well, and don't regret having had three weeks before the birth, as I believe it helped Janet get some much-needed preparatory rest; she was exhausted when I arrived, and doing much better when the day finally came. It was also great to have the time to be part of the family and focus on the older kids, who will remember my visit a lot more than Ellie will.
I hardly know how to classify Janet's labor for Ellie. Was it long? I don't even know when it started, as she went through a few days of "this may be it, no, yes, no, maybe." Was it short? All I know is that the end came very quickly.
My duties were easy, as the kids—my primary responsibility—were sound asleep by the time the midwife arrived. In the interest of keeping the crowd down, however, I mostly stayed out of the bedroom, but kept my ears on the alert, and occasionally peeked in through the doorway. Suddenly I heard the kind of moaning that means labor is getting serious, followed only minutes later by the sound of pushing! I was through the door in a trice, in time to see the bursting of the amniotic sac and a firehose gush of fluid flying straight at the midwife. Then Ellie's head appeared, followed swiftly by the rest of her. A beautiful baby! A baby girl! And then came the most amazing placenta I've ever seen. (I've been present for the birth of 12. This was a two-pound hunk of meat with not a hint of the calcifications that indicate the placenta is aging. Despite coming a week after her purported due date, Ellie was not late.)
Even more amazing was the reaction of Ellie's brothers and sister the next day. From the beginning, the three of them—who have themselves an incredible, "best friend" sibling relationship—have doted on their new sister, competing for the privilege of holding her, covering her with kisses and hugs, professing their love, showing their concern. Long may their joy remain!
What a great Father's Day present for both Daddy and Dad-o!