Poor Grandpa Frank just can't seem to put his finger on it. He called us at the hospital to congratulate us and asked us if we would spell her name for him so he could write it down (unbeknownst to us Reid had already walked him through Phoebe's name before). So we're trying to spell the name P-H-O-E-B-E but it's not going well.
Why do so many letters of our alphabet rhyme?! P-E-B-E...
So we tried the whole "P as in pizza, H as in horse..." clearly we're not fluent in Alpha Bravo, but eventually Grandpa Frank had the letters down in the right order.
"Now how do you say it?" he asked.
"No, no, no. Listen. Fee. Bee."
"Phoebe. Fee, as in a parking fee. Bee, as in buzz, buzz."
"HeeBee. But why is there a p in the front?"
"Phoebe. It starts with ffff as in Frank."
"Oh! Like Frank! I like that! Little FeeGee."
"Phoebe. Fee. Bee. Phoebe."
"Well, whatever her name is, I'm sure she's wonderful!"
Today when Grandpa Frank called he referred to Phoebe strictly as "The Little One."
And that's okay.
We know Grandpa Frank loves this little one as much as he loves all the other little ones, which is to say a whole lot.
As Reid said, "He's got a couple of things working against him. (1) He's on the telephone and everything is harder to understand on the telephone, and (2) he's 92."
After Phoebe was born, but before we told the world that she was born, I texted my family on our little group chat to let them know that Phoebe was here. I included a "cute little pup got one eye open" picture of her, since that's a family joke (but who said it or about who? I can't remember...Mom?).
Anyway, I gave a brief synopsis of the birth story and people started offering their congratulatory remarks and then we started goofing off, as we do, and we ended up talking about how it's cute that Irie, Millie, and Phoebe all end in a long e sound, though Phoebe is the odd one out since her name doesn't end in -ie (though I would argue that Irie is really the odd one out since Irie is only her nickname (short for Ireland)). Not that we need an odd one out. It's just fun to have three little girls so close together!
So then my mom wakes up and hops on the chat.
Like me, my mom had gotten a COVID booster shot on Friday of last week. But she also got her flu vaccine at the same time, which Andrew can testify is a rather harrowing experience (he did not feel well after his shots). The flu shot actually made me feel sicker than the COVID shot made me feel...I think...though it's also possible that, like, labour masked any side effects I would have otherwise felt.
Anyway, my mom hops on the chat and says, "Getting flu shot and COVID booster at same time = not fun. But not as terrible as second COVID shot was."
And I just about died (of laughter) because clearly my mom had not scrolled up to see what other messages she had missed! It was too funny (she later felt terrible/terribly embarrassed when I asked her whether she had seen the previous messages)!
"I had a rough night, too!" I said and dropped a copy of the little birth announcement we'd made up (because I figured she had missed the previous announcement).
"Nancy you are so sneaky!!" my mom exclaimed, and then asked, "Is Reid there yet?"
As to the first, this is true.
I tend to just pop my babies out and then tell everyone. There's not much time to sit around wondering when baby is coming for me. Even with Rachel! When Andrew called my mom to say I was having baby Rachel, my mom was like, "Oh, yeah. Sure, sure. I'll stop by the hospital on my way home from work."
And Andrew was like, "But the baby is coming now."
And my mom was like, "Yup. And I'll stop by on my way home from work."
I'm sure she was thinking, "Those crazy kids have no idea what they're in for! Long night ahead of them!"
But when she stopped by on her way home from work she was shocked to find that baby Rachel was good and born already!
Miriam was born fast (4:17 am to 7:45 am)
Benjamin was the slowest (about twelve hours) but he surprised us by coming when my mom was on a business trip (to New York) and he was born while she was flying home.
Zoë was born fast (3:08 am to 11:56 am).
Alexander...was also born fast (my mom and I were going to walk a 5k the morning he was born but instead—boom—baby). I'm not sure how fast because I'm not sure when labour truly began. But we were in the hospital for a mere 10–15 minutes before he was born.
And then there's Phoebe. She also came fast.
My water broke at 3:10ish.
We got to the hospital at 3:45, where I finally started having regular contractions.
She was here by 6:50.
There wasn't a lot of time to let people know she was on her way (plus, it was the middle of the night).
Anyway, it's always a little nerve wracking for me to wait and wait and wait for babies to be born (Irie's birthday and Millie's birthday were such long days as we waited for updates...and updates...and updates (though, to be fair, I'm sure those days were longer for their parents than they were for me)), so I guess that's why my kids rush into the world.
They're so considerate and know the only update I like to hear is, "You're ready to push now."
As to the second point, we know Reid was not here. But it all worked out because he was on his way.
The children are still confusing "kitty" and "Phoebe."
Rachel even once caught herself about to deposit Phoebe on the kitty's little cat house/stand/thingy.
I tried to pick the cat up (because she jumped into the dryer while I was doing some laundry, pesky thing) and I couldn't even lift her. She's bigger than Phoebe and I just wasn't ready to tangle with anything bigger than Phoebe (doctor's orders, man...and also...I'm a little bit sore still) so I had to have Benjamin come fish her out. She really likes warm clothes (I really don't like her getting into my clean laundry).
Anyway, Phoebe has such a fun name. We hadn't even realized.
"What were we doing naming our kids things like Rachel," Andrew said, within earshot of Rachel (because we want our kids to grow up with high self-esteem), "When we could have been naming them Phoebe this whole time!?!"
This was shortly after he came up with "Phoebe feces," a clever name for what her diaper frequently contains.
Of course, before that we had "Phoebe Fetus."
Phoebe feeties are very cute.
My mom sent a gift card that had a picture of a "sweet pea" on it, but she wrote it out to "Little Phoe-pea!"
Phoebe-jeebees...when she gets startled (and/or when the cat runs out of the room when Phoebe is carried into the room).
Feed-me Phoebe...when she cries for milk (alternatively: Feed the Phoebe).
I'm sure there are other ridiculous things we've done with her name so you can probably expect an expanded list at some poit, but it's late and I'm exhausted, and Feed-me Phoebe is starting to writhe around like she's thinking it's about time for her next feeding (which is what I've been waiting up for).
I was going to go to bed, but then my nephew started a group phone call so he could share some good news he'd gotten so...I was up talking with him and some of my siblings...and then I figured I'd just stay up and write for a bit rather than go to bed and be woken up shortly after falling asleep.
That sounds counterintuitive...because I'm so tired...but sometimes it hurts less to simply stay awake a little longer than it does to be ripped from sleep so soon after arriving in The Land of Nod.