The Portugal Years – Year Three: The Lady Waits Again

Of course, in the general way of things, no one can really know when a baby will be born.  “Baby come when baby ready” they told me. Babies laugh at due dates, and this one was no exception. The due date was August 17. No one really explained that it was a guesstamate. What I really wanted was a firm promise that baby would move out on time. By the 17th, I had one dress into which I could fit – two if I didn’t breathe. And I waited.

The room and crib were ready for the baby. I made a blanket and curtains. The cat had inspected the facility and called it good. And I waited.

The days dragged by. I had my suitcase packed and repacked along with a bag for the baby. We had to tote our own baby clothes and diapers to the hospital. We bought a few dozen of soft, white terry cloth diapers which were fashioned in an almost square. Almost square is not the same as actually square, and they gave me fits trying to make them to have even sides. This was a world where Onesies had not yet invaded. And my parents were coming to visit at the end of August. Surely the baby would have exited by then? And I waited.

On the evening of August 26, the baby was creating a ruckus. Harry called the doctor in the morning and she told us to come in. The baby wasn’t quite as ready to meet us face to face as we had hoped, but given that I was already exhausted, the doctor opted to induce. It was a long, uncomfortable day. Harry was convinced that all babies were ugly, and I insisted that all babies are beautiful. It gave us a nice distraction during the ensuing hours. And I waited.

Then, things began to move. The nurse told me I was walking to the delivery room and assisted me over. At that point Harry decided that he needed a break from rubbing my back and giving me ice chips. He left to go find something to eat and almost missed the main event. He was there, though,  when, after the doctor delivered the  baby’s head, and I asked if it was a boy or a girl. When Harry finally saw her, he was smitten and said she was beautiful. Reliable witnesses stated that when they allowed him to wheel our little Elisabeth Louise to the nursery, his feet never once touched the ground. The waiting was over.


Our Newborn Bethy – see that stubborn chin? Yeah. She takes after her mother.

Later they brought her to me and put her in my arms. I sat there fascinated by each perfect little fingernail. I was afraid to move, terrified of doing the wrong thing and thereby ruining her entire life. I loved her and was scared she would not like me. Harry said, “She’ll love you. Don’t worry.” I wasn’t convinced, but it turned out he was right. What I didn’t know was just how much my life would change.

New baby, new parents. Won't we have fun?

New baby, new parents. Won’t we have fun? Good times.

What are some of the big changes you’ve experienced in your life?

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  1. The biggest and best change I experienced was accepting Jesus Christ. That fundamentally changed my life forever. The second one was when I left Connecticut. Never a regret and haven’t been back since.

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    1. I love this, Lady. I don’t remember when I accepted Jesus. He has always been there for as long as I remember. My little granny told the story of leading me to Him, and though I don’t remember the event, I know He knows me and loves me.

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    2. If I have children I pray that is their testimony.

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    3. You and the Professor totally made my day with your declarations. I knew, of course – it isn’t easy to hide His presence when His light shows in a person. Thank you so much.

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  2. A stubborn chin is a good thing, I think. The professor should get one. I agree with Lady: Accepting Jesus is the biggest…then probably becoming the professor.

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    1. I can do an internet search for stubborn chins for you if you like. :D

      I already knew that about you and about the Lady. It shines out of your lives.

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    2. :lol: Oh dear…

      Thank you, Susan. Same for you. :)

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    3. Thank you. I love it that there are so many. It’s not yet time to throw in the towel.

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  3. OH, Susan, this is so heart touching! There is no greater miracle then birth! I have tears in my eyes.

    As for the changes in my life, there are SO many it would take a book to write. Yet, about Jesus, without Him in my life, I would not be standing some days. He carries me when I cannot. I’ve known Him since a child and he has been with me my entire life. I “know” that some of the things I “hear” are from Him. Or what He has taught me throughout my Life.

    Thank you for this. I will be thinking about your beautiful Elizabeth throughout my day!!! Love, Amy

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    1. Thank you, Amy. I understand about being carried. For me, a lot of that had to do with just letting go and letting Jesus direct the day. I’m a first born, and it’s hard to say no.

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  4. ooops…..He carries me when I cannot STAND.

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    1. I knew what you meant. Kindred spirits seldom need explanations. :D

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    2. Thank you, Susan. I think I was on my second cup of coffee when I wrote this, not quite yet awake. Love, Amy

      On Tuesday, February 4, 2014, The Portugal Years wrote:

      > Susan P commented: “I knew what you meant. Kindred spirits seldom need > explanations. :D”

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    3. :D Have you had more than two yet today?

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    4. My limit is two. Two extra large ones. LOL That has become my morning ritual and I laughingly say every morning as well, “Who is going to fix my coffee for me today?” Of course, I do. LOL Love, Amy

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    5. My limit is two – and maybe a decaf. I like the first mug when I am sitting in the dark and silence.

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    6. OH! Nice. I don’t have the luxury to sit in the morning with 14 hungry mouths. I used to LOVE the silence of the mornings. I did much writing at those times, probably in preparation of what I am doing now. Love, Amy

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    7. Are they all cats? My George was all upset this morning. Kept running over to me and then running back into the kitchen. Turned out he had disposed of the mother of all hairballs on the kitchen floor and was all kinds of worried about it being there.

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  5. Touching, soft, and I love the chin! Beautiful photo of you three, just lovely! Your faith comes through!

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    1. Thank you DR. My dad took that photo on one of those instant print cameras.

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  6. Kevin Spencer · ·

    An expectant mother waits…
    Beautiful, Susan.
    Changes? Oh yeah, I’ve had changes. “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate”, I’m pretty sure the sign read, before the gates closed.

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    1. If they did, they were wrong. Where Jesus is, there is always hope. Thanks for taking time to come by and comment, little brother.

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  7. What a cute baby! ;)
    I think one of the biggest changes was having my daughter…

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    1. Yeah howdy. I know how that feels…times three. :D I wouldn’t trade any of you, though.Wait till you see the expression on your face in the photo of your first Christmas.

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