3 Months Old Today!
I'm not sure about this, but I've been told that the designation newborn only applies to babies under three months old. So, we hit a little milestone today. There is no longer a newborn in our house, just an infant. This is shaping up to be a week of milestones, though.
(1) Aletheia's first emergency trip to the clinic.
Less than two hours after we took a picture of Aletheia in front of the hot air balloon, we were rushing her to an urgent care clinic across town. Aletheia was being carried by one of her parents, (hereafter referred to as Parent S to preserve her anonimity), when Parent S tripped on a curb just outside our church and went sprawling to the sidewalk. S's fall was completely unexpected and propelled her with sufficient force that she was unable to maintain her grasp on the baby, who ultimately fell about 18 inches from S's shoulder onto the sidewalk, with the back of her head hitting first. I walked outside probably about 30 seconds after this happened, and was told "Your daughter just fell!"
This was the first time I've dealt with an injury to Aletheia, and it's amazing how quickly and how narrowly one's attention focuses. First, I set a new speed record running from the exit doors to the scene of the accident, where I found Aletheia and took her from the arms of the person holding her. Looking back on it, I have no idea who had her. Let me explain that. Whoever it was had to be a person that I know--it was one of our church members, and, as a minister, I know just about all of them. But I didn't even notice who I was taking her from. All I saw was Aletheia.
Then I started asking questions--what happened? who saw it? how far was the fall? There wasn't any blood, but holding Aletheia as she screamed and screamed was absolutely heart-breaking. Aletheia is always happy. She'll cry for a few seconds when she gets an immunization, but then calms right back down. I had literally never seen her screaming inconsolably before. Parent S was pretty distressed, too, as you might imagine.
One of our friends, a nurse, recommended taking Aletheia to be examined, just in case. Concrete and babies are a scary combination. So we dashed to the car and made our way to an urgent care clinic we knew.
Good news--by the time we showed up, Aletheia was already calming down. She smiled and laughed with the nurse and the doctor, and we were already starting to realize that we had made it through this incident with any serious harm. After a precautionary skull x-ray, the doctor gave us some warning signs to look for (swelling in the soft spot, projectile vomiting, not acting like her normal self) but told us that she looked fine. We watched her closely for the rest of the day, but none of those things happened, and we went on with life, breathing a sigh of relief.
One of the interesting realizations to come out of this (other than just how remarkably unimportant everything else becomes when your baby has been hurt) is that, even at three months old Aletheia has such a clearly defined personality that when the doctor says to bring her to the emergency room if she isn't acting like herself, that really means something to us. Aletheia definitely has a self, she is her own little person. This brings us to a point about which I am surely biased, but the kid not only has a clear personality, she's got a really great one. It's fun to watch her smiling at people and laughing, to see her calm and happy approach to life. After a scare like her fall, I wouldn't blame her for being out of sorts for hours. But not 10 minutes later, she was back to her normal happy self. It's not quite right to say that I am proud of her, because I know she didn't get to choose her disposition, but I am extremely delighted by it.
(2) Aletheia's first evening with a baby-sitter
The next day after the hospital scare, Parent S and I went to a concert (Country legend Don Williams' Farewell Tour--yeah, he's getting older, and yes, we were the youngest people in the audience who hadn't been dragged there by their parents, but it was a great show). This was our first night away from the baby, and it was a great success. One of the older ladies at our church has been virtually begging to babysit for us (another perk of ministry!) and Aletheia seems to have had a blast with her. Mary asked us, "Is it okay if I hold her and play with her the whole time?" Yes! By all means! Apparently it was a gummy, drooly smilefest at Mary's house all night, and Aletheia was exhausted when we picked her up. She went straight to sleep, and slept until 7:30 this morning. A brand new record! There might be a lot more concerts in our future. Pretty good way to conclude Aletheia's last day as a newborn.