one week with Alden

I had someone ask me about Alden's birth story and it dawned on me that I haven't told anyone really how it all played out. Instead, I have been telling everyone about Alden's Second Day of Life story.

Alden was born after lunch on a Thursday. And we left the hospital after supper on Friday. It was just the three of us back at the farm that night and on Saturday morning our kids were coming to meet Alden for the very first time. We had a family friend offer to come and take pictures of the joyful reunion and so everyone was scheduled to arrive at 10 am. We couldn't wait to see our big three. And they couldn't wait to meet the new baby.
Rory and I were having a very peaceful moment with Alden in the nursery before everyone arrived. We were listening to Andrew Peterson's The Sower's Song, a song that holds lots of special meaning for our family. Rory was sitting in the glider rocker holding Alden and we were thanking God for this little life that had been given to our family. A huge raptor was soaring out the window, dipping down and back up in figure eights, huge and mighty.

After a while Rory asked me to look out the window to see what was attracting the bird. I looked out past the garden, and there in front of the barn was one of our sheep, all four limbs pointed straight in the air.

"Ah, Rory. This is terrible. There is a dead animal in our field."

Rory jumped up, handed me the baby and gasped. It was such a shock. We haven't had to deal with death on our farm yet, in any major way. I said to him, "the kids come in 10 minutes. they can't see that." And then our friend Jenna pulled up our lane with her awesome camera, ready to capture the joy of this epic sibling introduction. I watched her unload her car from the nursery window, while watching Rory struggle to move the huge sheep by the front hoofs. He had gloves on and finally figured out how to drag the heavy animal back behind the pole barn. Moments later he was back washing up, welcoming Jenna and then the kids arrived with Grandma and Grandpa.
At one point during the photo shoot Rory excused himself to go make a quick phone call. The vet thought it sounded like Worms had taken the sheep, and said the other mammals should all be put on a special medicated feed immediately. And that their office closed at noon, and was 30 minutes away.

Rory joined back in the pictures and we got some really fun family shots by the oak tree. And then he asked Jenna if she needed any more shots with him, otherwise he had to run a quick errand.
He took off to get the medicated feed and then spent the afternoon digging a deep hole with the tractor. My next mental picture is when I stood in the nursery window to see what he was up to and watched him heave the sheep into the hole. There was one leg that stood straight up and Rory tried to push it down but it kept popping back up into the air. The hilarity of this moment was not lost on me. I whispered to Alden, "Happy 48-hours. Welcome to the farm."
Thankfully my parents stayed for the day and kept the big three fed and occupied. Rory came in the house later in the afternoon and I asked if he was able to slow down and stay in with us. "Oh no. I have 40 chicks I need to move out to the a-frame coop. They need to be separated from the 10 chicks that will be layers. I won't be able to tell them apart much longer." So he got to work moving chicks and preparing their food and water. At dinner he told of all the sweet peas that had to be picked or they would be lost. I told him of a sweet pea pickle recipe I had seen on a favorite blog and he said, "great. we can do that tonight."

And I mentioned casually for the eleventh time that day, 'hey, remember how I was pushing out a baby just 48 hours ago?'

We got the kids to bed, Rory made pickles, worked on the sheep fence a bit and eventually we fell into bed. Sunday he woke up and got right to work on the sheep fence, a project that seems to have daily needs. Sunday night we held Barn Worship up in the barn, our family's favorite part of the week, and 30 friends from our church showed up! It was wonderful, and in light of the fullness of our life since returning home, it felt totally right.

Monday morning came and Rory's dad went to scope out a used minivan we had found over the weekend. The minivan checked out and around 10:00 Rory took off to go and trade in our jeep for the minivan. He got home at 3, just in time to lock in the baby car seat for Alden's first doctor appointment. We got home, ate dinner and loaded all four kids into their car seats for a family country drive.

Tuesday was the 4th of July and we had six visitors before noon all bringing gifts and meeting Alden. And then we took off for Mimi and Papa's for a day of play at the lake. Wednesday my sister and her girls and my folks came to help get our house ready for friends to stay here while we go to Bible Camp next week. And today is Alden's one week birthday and I haven't done a thing all morning.

With the other kids I have this memory of a really quiet, hibernating week of slowly getting to know each other. But Alden's introduction has been in full motion since he arrived. And thankfully I am feeling great. My own recovery has been the best of the four kids. I have my limits and I have my moments, but overall I have been feeling strong and able. And steady. I am sort of amazed at my own growth with baby #4. I know what to fret over and what not to fret over. I have a confidence from 3 babies before this one. Plus Alden is a sweet and peaceful boy. Obviously that helps immensely too.

Alden, you are a real farm boy. You have been born into an agrarian lifestyle and you arrived during peak season. Come October, we will all settle in for the winter and there will be slow and quiet days then. But for now, you are entering into the thick of it. And it's a fun season to enter into. Thank you for being so flexible.

Love, your also flexible Mama.


Joy Peterson said...

Precious story. Great photos! Congrats to all of you.

Nancy Holte said...

Precious pictures! I am, however, a little exhausted from your story! :)