27 July 2008

Felicity, Serend, and the Duality of Life

So, Felicity and Serend were born way back on June 17, 2008, and we've hardly had a moment to ourselves, what with two boys running around the house, Kristi's "wound" complications (described in the next post...), church callings, and work to boot!

However, Kristi, Cathy (Kristi's mom), and a few other family members went up to Idaho and took the kids with them, so I actually have a weekend to catch you up on all the goings on.

Felicity Mae and Serend Rachelle Cummings were born June 17, 2008 at 7:29 and 7:30 PM respectively by cesarean. Kristi never actually entered full labor. Instead, Serend, who was the baby that would have come out first, pushed her foot through Kristi's cervix and broke her water. It was kind of funny, if not a little disappointing that they didn't stay in there for a couple of more weeks so that they could cook.

They were 5 lbs. 6 oz, 17.5 inches and 5 lbs. 8 oz., 18.5 inches, respectively, both with red hair. While they were a good size, they had problems with their lungs, and so they were put into the Special Care Unit (which is a nice way of saying NICU, level 2, which is less emergent than the regular NICU, but they don't want parents to make a scene, so they just call it something benign). Over the course of four days, they were on oxygen, phototherapy, mineral supplements, warming lights feeding tubes, and the whole bit. I was astonished with the amount of assistance that they needed, even if only for a few days. After that, they were taken off the oxygen, the phototherapy, and the warming lights, and, after another 6 days, they took the rest of the stuff off them, too.

However, before they actually got home, there was this strict regiment of feeding that the children had to adhere to in order for the doctors to sign off on them. They had to be breast feed about 4 times a day for the last couple of days there, and my trust for the doctor's analysis did not make the 20 minute drives to and from the hospital any easier. It was perhaps the most annoying thing that we have ever had to go through. Except taxes.

On the 11th day in the SCU, they were released. We took them home on June 29th at about 10 AM, and they have been healthy ever since.

I can't tell you how paranoid I am, though. Don't be alarmed--I don't require people to wear gloves when holding the babies. They are so tiny, though, and I'm always worried that I'm going to snap them in half or give them a disease that will send them back to the hospital or who knows what. Thus far, though, they have shown no broken bones and no head trauma, so I am gaining confidence every day. At the end of the day, I tell Serend, "See, your day wasn't all bad; at least you can be happy that no one dropped you." She didn't laugh at it, either.

Felicity's name has a very special meaning that relates to the duality of life. There is a scripture that says that it is better that we pass through sorrow that we may know the good from the evil. Felicity means 'happiness', and Mae means 'bitter'. We chose that name because want Felicity to know that through both we are made a whole person, more so than we could be with only one of them.

Serend's name also has a very special meaning that relates to the duality of life. Seren is Welsh means 'Star' and Rachelle in French means 'little rock'. Again, it is a message about duality, finding happiness in both the big and the small because they all testify of Christ.

Additionally, Serend is short for Serendipity, which roughly means 'unexpected happiness', which we liked because Serend was, indeed the unexpected part of the whole package. Since she literally had her foot sticking out of Kristi's body when they started the C-section, we also made sure to spell her name in such a way that, when you rearrange the letters, they make the following anagram:

c, she's m' l'il m'rengue dancer
(See, she's my little merengue dancer)

All my children have a scripture that we put on a picture frame for them, and the girls will get one together and one for each of them. The one for them both is Ecclesiates 3:4-5:

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
5 A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing.

We haven't decided on the scriptures for each of them, but I believe that Seren will get Matthew 13:45-46 or Job 38:7 or D&C 101:3. They all talk about valuable stones or stars. For Lici, I like Alma 36:21, but it would be hard to take it out of context. Not sure, yet.