Forty-one years ago today, just about this time (11:30 a.m.) I saw my son for the very first time. It's difficult for me to believe I have a son that old! He was a beautiful baby, weighing in at 7lb. 9 1/2 oz. and was 22 1/2" long.
At the time, you stayed in the hospital for three days after delivery. On the third day, my doctor came by, checked the baby and me and told me that he was going to dismiss us. That's when it hit me that I'd have to take care of that baby! I told Dr. Parrish that I didn't think I should take him home yet. Dr. P wanted to know why. I told him he was too little and he just laughed and assured me that a baby over seven pounds was a good size and ready to be dismissed.
I asked Dr. P. what I was supposed to DO with him when I got him home and started to cry. Dr. P. had probably been in practice over 20 years at the time. He patted my shoulder and told me "When he cries, check and see if he needs to be changed or if he's hungry, feed him. The rest of the time, leave him alone, he'll be just fine."
My mother insisted that I come to her house for a few days so she could be sure that I wouldn't starve him to death or drop him on his head. So, when Fred came to the hospital that afternoon he didn't take us to our apartment, we went to my mom's.
Those days all babies were bathed at least once a day and sometimes twice, unlike now when the pediatricians tell new mothers not to bathe their babies every day. The next morning I got up, fed our son, and decided to bathe him for the first time.
Mama's bathroom was pretty small and had no countertop in it so I closed the lid on the commode and put a bath towel on it to lay the baby on while I undressed him. I was so scared that I'd hurt him! When I tried to take off his undershirt and it seemed like it was too small for him, I just knew I was going to break or dislocate one of his arms taking it off! I yelled at my husband to come and help me.
My husband is one of seven children and being the second oldest, he knew more about babies than I did, for sure! He picked up our son, turned him over across his forearm, grabbed the tail of the shirt and just pulled it off over his head. Then HE proceeded to give our son his first bath while I watched.
Two days later, over my mom's protests, we went to our own home. And, I guess Dr. Parrish's instructions worked out okay. By the time my son was three weeks old, he slept all night. He ate like a little pig and thrived.
Now, here he is already in his 40's with a 17 year old daughter of his own, so I guess we didn't do too bad! LOL!